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FJC-callJoin Us in Song

Do you like to sing? Do you like history? Do you like swing, blues, gospel music, improvisation, hand clapping, foot stomping, freedom songs, and the opportunity to perform at this year’s Healdsburg Jazz Festival? Then the Healdsburg Jazz Freedom Jazz Choir is for you!

NOTE: This page reflects the 2013 Freedom Jazz Choir. If you want to register for the 2014 Choir, please go to this sign-up page. Thank you.

The choir is a free-of-charge community ensemble. Participation will be open to all regardless of age, background or musical ability, and will bring diverse communities together for a rich musical experience.

Choir members must commit to
4 rehearsals and 3 performances.

Rehearsals are: Saturdays on below dates, from 2 pm to 5pm at the Community Baptist Church, 1620 Sonoma Avenue, Santa Rosa, 95405 (see map).

  • February 23
  • March 30
  • April 20
  • April 27

Performances Listed Here

Please plan on being available from  5:30 to 10 p.m. these evenings:

  • Saturday, May 11 (Santa Rosa)
  • Saturday, May 18 (Santa Rosa)
  • Thursday, June 6 (Healdsburg)

Led by composer, bassist, educator and activist Marcus Shelby, the goal of the choir is to create a group, building on the diverse demographics of Sonoma County, to come together in song, using music as a unifying force.  The Freedom Jazz Choir will offer performance opportunities for participants to work alongside professional musicians, creating a profound cultural experience fostering cooperation and understanding while expanding awareness of and access to jazz and American culture.

Santa Rosa’s Adam Ivey and the Joyous Noise Ensemble will also participate and contribute music from its gospel repertoire.

In 2013, this project will showcase the music from “Soul of the Movement: Meditations on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”, a musical suite for big band and choir inspired by the music in the Civil Rights Movement. The music and lyrics will include Shelby’s arrangements and orchestrations of spirituals and freedom songs associated with Martin Luther King, music from the Joyous Noise Community Baptist Church Ensemble, as well as material composed during the Civil Rights era by notable composers such as Charles Mingus, Nina Simone and others.

Choir members will have the opportunity to discuss freedom songs from their own background and suggest specific compositions to be included in the choir’s public performances.

lo_h_bw_300dpi_cmyk_aaMore information about this James Irvine Foundation-supported program can be found in this press release.