"The Psalms read like a blues, so for a jazz composer, the material felt natural. It’s all there—suffering and defiance, hope and redemption. The ancient universality of these poems and prayers can reach across the ages to speak to all of us, regardless of beliefs." —Jeremy Walker
Using the full texts of the poetry of the Old Testament Psalms, Jeremy Walker composed 7 Psalms which blends country, blues and classical music influences with jazz instruments and voice. The lyrics are taken from the complete texts of Psalms 3, 6, 13, 22, 126, 130 and 131. “There are marching armies and elements of Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s Mass in B minor;” says Walker, “John Coltrane inspired the Psalm 22 movement; you will hear the sound of folk choirs in country churches and Duke Ellington’s influence is everywhere.” This work has been created to be performed as a larger, community music- making experience with guest choirs and as a quartet for more intimate concerts. 7 Psalms was most recently performed at a nearly sold-out performance at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, MN with the debut of The Radio Choir from American Public Media conducted by Tesfa Wondemagegnehu.
“Compositions that attempt to fuse the worlds of jazz and classical aren’t often convincing, but here’s one that is.” —Star Tribune
“I wasn’t prepared for the power, scope, and enormity of 7 Psalms…It was sad and uplifting, stormy and hushed. It marched and it swung. It was requiem and hosanna, blues and hymn.” —bebopified.com
“Walker’s 7 Psalms is an affecting piece of music, a remarkable achievement and…should not be missed.” —American Jewish World
“7 Psalms is searching, soulful and swinging. This is a beautiful and important work.” —Ted Nash, two-time GRAMMY® winner, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
- Orchestra Hall photos by Clare W.G. Nieto -