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August 31, 2014, 4:19 am

Jazz, praise find a home at Tindley Temple

Continuing its commitment to the legacy of jazz in Philadelphia, the Charles Albert Tindley Institute of Tindley Temple United Methodist Church opens the second season of the Jazz, Jive and Praise Christian Cafe at 4 p.m. on Sept. 9 with trumpeter Bruce Frazier and vocalist Leigh Ann Purnell. The artists will be accompanied by the Webb Thomas Trio.

Melanie Dupree, chair of the Charles Albert Tindley Institute, is pleased with the outcome of the concert series’ inaugural season. “I think it was received well,” she said. “People were pleased with the performers that we had — with the musicians that we had, and we did develop a following.”

Even so, Dupree maintained that patrons can anticipate that the coming season will be even more satisfying. “One thing is that we’re more organized this season, because when we started it in February, it was month to month. This year, we have the folks outlined for the year, so people will know what they want,” she said. “We also have a season ticket discount. The discount is $150 for all the performances, except for New Year’s Eve. That’s a $30 discount.”      

Drummer Webb Thomas, musical director of the series, is excited about the coming season.

“I think it is important for fans to know that even though the music is in church, there’s a spiritual side of the music that really needs to be expressed, and I applaud the Charles Albert Tindley Institute for giving me the opportunity to present that,” he said. “Normally, I’m taking to music to the stages of jazz clubs and restaurants, so this gives me another perspective and makes it a little bit more diverse. I’m trying to actually bring some more spirituals to the music, too — some of Charles Albert Tindley’s music. So I’m looking forward to experimenting with that.”

The 2012–13 season of the Jazz Jive and Praise Christian Cafe is as follows:

  • Sept. 9 – Bruce Frazier and Leigh Ann Purnell
  • Oct. 14 – Praise & Worship with the Anointed Brother Ryan Bates
  • Nov. 11 – Ruth Naomi Floyd
  • Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve: Warren Cooper and special guest Sam Reed at the Clef Club: Tickets $60 (10 p.m. – 2 a.m.) Includes sacred New Year’s service and traditional feast.
  • Jan. 13 – Bootsie Barnes
  • Feb. 10 – Webb Thomas’ Sacred Concert
  • March 10 – Rosella Washington
  • April 14 – Juanita Holiday
  • May 12 – Ella Gahnt (Mother’s Day)
  • June 9 – Surprise Guest

Admission is $20, and includes light refreshments. Season ticket discounts will be available until September 30. For tickets and complete information on the Jazz, Jive and Praise Christian Cafe, visit or call (215) 735-0442. Tindley Temple United Methodist Church is located at 750-762 S. Broad St. The Rev. Lilian Smith is the senior pastor.


Contact entertainment reporter Kimberly C. Roberts at (215) 893-5753 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .