Spontaneous spirituality: religion, improvisation and the groove

Mark Evans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Christian spirituality has had a long association with various improvised musics in Australia (Whiteoak, 1999). This association has affected both the composition of traditional and contemporary hymnody, as well as various performance practices now common place within the wider Christian church. Indeed, current participatory practice in churches involves improvisatory musical leadership. New developments in this tradition have involved enlisting jazz music as an evangelistic tool, and as a contemporary form of spiritual release. The former was most obviously evident of the compilation album, ‘The Gospel According To Groove’ (2001). However, both elements are more subtly found in Sydney-based group Selah, who attempt to integrate their strong Christian convictions Into their compositions and musical practice. This paper aims to explore this development within a local vernacular music, specifically contrasting the above approaches to spontaneous spirituality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe History and future of jazz in the Asia-Pacific region
Subtitle of host publicationrefereed proceedings of the inaugural Asia-Pacific jazz conference
EditorsPhilip Hayward, Glen Hodges
Place of PublicationMackay, Qld.
PublisherCentral Queensland Conservatorium of Music
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)0646430084
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventAsia-Pacific Jazz Conference (1st : 2003) - Hamilton Island, Qld.
Duration: 12 Sept 200314 Sept 2003


ConferenceAsia-Pacific Jazz Conference (1st : 2003)
CityHamilton Island, Qld.


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