The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


'Thanks to Jesus' and all that jazz

Minnesota band brings Dixieland to church

There's no need to fear, so be of good cheer
Let everyone hear Jesus Christ is risen
Fear of the grave need not make us numb
Thanks to Jesus, your best is yet to come.
’Cause on the other side, the gates are open wide
So let us shout with pride, Jesus Christ is risen
I'm as grateful as I can be, Jesus Christ is risen for me.

There's no sitting still at the back of the sanctuary when the Barbary Coast Dixieland Band leads a church service. This sixsome of sixtysomething Twin Cities musicians has worshipers hopping right from the start, as they launch into the service via Louis Armstrong's tune Swing That Music set to lyrics (above) written by drummer Tom Andrews.

Before long, even shy Lutherans clap their hands, tap their toes and sway to the irresistible Dixieland jazz beat. It may not be A Mighty Fortress, but the group believes it's an equally legitimate musical choice.

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February issue


Embracing diversity