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The Sacred in Jazz

Jazz Unlimited for December 8, 2019 will be “The Sacred in Jazz.”  Jazz can be a sacred, spiritual music, as witness the works of John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, Charlie Haden and Grant Green and others.  There is more to that direction in jazz than you might think.  We will explore connections between the sacred and the secular from other religions with selections from Johnny Griffin and the Big Soul Band, the Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts, John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, Cyrus Chestnut, Dave Brubeck, Max Roach, our own Grant Green, Charlie Haden & Hank Jones, Abdullah Ibrahim, Charles Lloyd, the Turtle Island String Quartet, Albert Ayler, “Rahsaan” Roland Kirk and Pharoah Sanders.

The Slide Show contains my photographs of some of the musicians heard on this show.

Here is an interview with the Turtle Island string Quartet on their "Love Supreme" album.

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Dennis Owsley has broadcast a weekly jazz show for St. Louis Public Radio since April 1983. He holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and is a retired Monsanto Senior Science Fellow and college teacher. His show, Jazz Unlimited, airs every Sunday from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. The show has the largest jazz audience in St. Louis and was named Best Jazz Radio Show in St. Louis for the years 2005-2007 and 2009 by the Riverfront Times. In celebration of his 25 years on the air, January 24, 2008 was proclaimed Dennis Owsley Day" in the City of St. Louis. He is the 2010 winner of the St. Louis Public Radio Millard S. Cohen Lifetime Achievement Award. Dennis is also a noted photographer, and his exhibit, In the Moment: Photographs of Jazz Musicians, ran from September 23, 2005 to January 21, 2006 at the Sheldon Art Gallery. He is a lifetime student of jazz history and teaches short courses on the subject. Dennis is the author of the award-winning book City of Gabriels: The History of Jazz in St. Louis 1985-1973, published in 2006.

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