The History of the Abyssinian Mass: Part II - God's Trombone


Chris Crenshaw (Photo by Frank Stewart for Jazz at Lincoln Center)

News | Feb, 18th 2016

In honor of Black History Month and the upcoming release of THE ABYSSINIAN MASSalbum, we look back at the inspiration for Wynton Marsalis' sweeping suite of spiritual jazz and the reception it received. In this installment, we travel to Augusta, GA for a concert that had special meaning for one member of the JLCO.

When the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Chorale Le Chateau tour buses rolled up to Augusta, GA in 2013, it was a homecoming for Chris Crenshaw.

"I can't remember how many times I have been asked, 'When is the band coming to Augusta?'" Crenshaw said at the time. The trombonist called the "Magic Man" by Wynton Marsalis grew up 30 minutes outside of Augusta in the small town of Thomson.

For Crenshaw, who grew up in the church, the opportunity to perform The Abyssinian Mass in front of an audience of his friends and family carried special significance. His father Casper sang in a gospel quartet called Echoes of Joy, and Crenshaw's first gig came playing spiritual music with the group. 

Watch him play trombone, visit his high school, and sing:

"This powerful concert concluded an overwhelming day for me on many accounts, and showing my brothers off to the Augusta area truly made it worthwhile," Crenshaw said after the performance.

Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes history of THE ABYSSINIAN MASS and preorder the album:

--From the Jazz at Lincoln Center webstore

--From Amazon

--From iTunes


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In honor of Black History Month and the upcoming release of The Abyssinian Mass album, we look back at the inspiration for Wynton Marsalis' sweeping suite of spiritual jazz and the reception it received.


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