Listen to jazz music at St. Thomas Episcopal Church

It’s kind of a jazzy week coming up.

First, there’s the Jazz Vespers at 5 p.m. Sunday at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 2100 Hilton Ave.

When choir director Rick McKnight called me one day last week, he said it’s kind of unusual for a church to host jazz.

And what church but St. Thomas would present a night of jazz?

The special guest is David Ragsdale, a classically trained violinist who can play rock, country and jazz as well as he can play classical music. Sunday will be a special night for David because it honors the memory of his mother, Carol.

Carol Ragsdale was one of those special women whose house was open to all of her children’s friends. She was also one of the founders of the Columbus Jazz Society, which is collaborating with the church to benefit the Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry.

Playing with David are Tom Chadwick, piano; Eric Jones, guitar; David Morgan, drums; Alex Pershounin, double bass; Roger Redden, trumpet and Edward Robinson, electric bass. Vocalists are Jan Hyatt, Kathy Roberts and Ed Cox.

That’s quite a line-up.

If you’re a jazz fan, you ought to go to this concert. Although it’s really not a concert, is it?

Rick says it’s not a worship service, but a vesper, a service of sorts with mostly music, but no sermon.

“It’s a chance for people who may have stayed out too late on Saturday and missed church,” Rick told me. “They can get all dolled up and go to church … at 5 p.m.”

The theme is “A Reflection on Creation,” he said.

It will also include the students in the Infusion program. Led by Isiah Harper, a drama teacher at Northside High School, this program is for young people who are interested in the leadership experience. The students will act as ushers.

It’s free, but donations will be collected. St. Thomas is part of CVEM and each church in area has been asked to take part in the 30 for 30 program, in which CVEM is trying to raise $30,000 for its programs.

Call 706-324-4264.

Swing into Fall

On Oct. 7, the Cavaliers Orchestra will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the Lakebottom Park Bandshell.

It’s kind of a sad evening. Long-time Cavaliers member John Suhr died last week.

John played an instrument in the band, though I can’t think of which instrument he played. But he’s probably best known as a singer. The last concert he did, “John Suhr Sings with the Big Band,” was Nov. 17, 2007.

I’ll miss the silly e-mails and the even sillier e-cards he would send me from time to time.

But the Cavaliers will go on. They’ve been in existence since 1946 and are keeping the tradition of the Big Band alive.

So bring a picnic dinner, a blanket or lawn chair and listen to music.

I’ll guarantee you’ll have fun.

Call Jim Evans at 706-327-5150.

Dinner at the Springer

They’re offering something special at the Springer Opera House before several shows this year.

Celebrity’s Bistro is offering a meal at 6 p.m. in the Saloon on Friday and Saturday before “The Full Monty.”

Call 706-327-3688 if you want to have dinner before the show.

Sandra Okamoto, sokamoto@ledger- or 706-571-8570

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