Anne Phillips - Singer, Composer and Producer

The Jazz Nativity

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Never has there been such a combination of jazz and theater!

44_jn_11skatoff_24_copyPeople of all faiths, for jazz fans and those new to it, young and old, return year after year.  The joy, love and camaraderie inherent in the show radiates throughout the audience.

The show was written and arranged by singer-songwriter Anne Phillips at the suggestion of the late John Garcia Gensel, “The Jazz Pastor” of St. Peter’s Church.  The Jazz Nativity was premiered in 1985.

The original music written by Ms. Phillips, Bob Kindred and Dave and Iola Brubeck is combined with well-known carols.  The soundtrack recording features the late CBS journalist Charles Kuralt as host and jazz greats Lionel Hampton, Dave Brubeck and Tito Puente.

The show plays annually in New York and cities across the country.

“In Bethlehem in the grotto where Christ was born, a light shines into the darkness.  The light is meant to serve, as light serves for so many religions and philosophies, as a symbol of truth and love and hope. Hope, that even in a dark season, we may begin to see the world BENDING TOWARDS THE LIGHT.”
– Charles Kuralt from The Jazz Nativity

“Brilliant, infectious, the music roars … a spell-binding production!”
– New York Amsterdam News

“None of the classics is half so giddy, nor so utterly entertaining as “The Jazz Nativity.”
Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

“By the end of “The Jazz Nativity” you know you’ve been through something wonderful.”
Dr. Billy Taylor, CBS Sunday Morning

“It swings so hard you dance in your seat …”
– US 1


Jazz Nativity 2018 Performances

December 7 & 8
Greensboro, NC
West Market Street UMC
302 West Market Street
Friday Dec 7, 6 pm
Saturday Dec 8, 5pm

December 16
New York, NY
Christ & St. Stephens Church, 120 W69th St. NY, NY.
A Kindred Spirit and Chelsea Opera production.



Get Tickets

December 18
Utica, NY
7pm
A Chelsea Opera Production
St Mary of Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament Church
648 Jay Street
Free Admission
Get Info

December 19
Syracuse, NY
Chelsea Opera production at Our Lady of Pompei/St. Peter’s Church
301 Ash Street
tickets $50/45/35 available by calling 315-422-7163
More info and tickets can be purchased at any of these links
Church Facebook | School Facebook | School Website

December 21
Chicago, IL

More cities/dates will be added soon


Memorable Moments

Bending Towards the Light - Memorable Moments

CLARK TERRY sings “Mumbles” to Mary

Clark had been a King in the show from the very first year, 1986. But he surprised us in 1988! The Three Kings enter from the rear of the church, they each then present the gift of their talent. We expected again to hear a great trumpet solo. But no, he began to sing the great Clark Terry “Mumbles” … in Hebrew! At least that’s what it sounded like! Here it is. Its a classic moment!

Watch Video

For This Year’s Performances and Tickets


The Jazz Nativity Gallery


Performers Through the Years

Lionel Hampton KING
Tito Puente KING
Dave Brubeck SPECIAL GUEST
Clark Terry KING
Charles Kuralt HOST
New York Voices SINGERS
Jon Faddis KING
Jimmy Slyde KING
Al Grey KING
Paquito D’Rivera KING
Jackie Cain & Roy Kral ANGELS
Slide Hampton KING
Savion Glover SPECIAL GUEST
Hank Jones SPECIAL GUEST
Frank Wess SPECIAL GUEST
Jimmy Heath SPECIAL GUEST
Candido BAND
Arturo O’Farrill SPECIAL GUEST
Steve Turre KING
Terell Stafford SPECIAL GUEST
Ingrid Jensen QUING
Dave Valentin KING
Byron Stripling KING
Jerry Dodgion BAND
Benny Powell KING
Gene Bertoncini BAND
Benny Wallace SPECIAL GUEST
Ursula Dudziak SPECIAL GUEST
Toots Thielemans SPECIAL GUEST
Bill Charlap BAND
Adam Makowicz SPECIAL GUEST
Milt Grayson SHEPHARD
Sweets Edison SPECIAL GUEST
Cookie Cook KING
Harold Nicholas KING
Lew Soloff KING & BAND
Ron Carter BAND
Helen Merrill MARY
Tommy Flanagan BAND
Marvin Stamm BAND
Scott Robinson BAND
Anton Denner BAND
Lewis Nash BAND
Marcus Printup BAND
Ted Nash BAND
Terrence McNight HOST
Sheila Anderson HOST
Houston Person KING
Stanley Turrentine KING
Phil Woods KING & SHEPHERD
Chris Brubeck SPECIAL GUEST
Jon Gordon BAND
George Mraz BAND
Jon Hendricks KING & SPECIAL GUEST
Charlie Caranicus BAND
Brenda Feliciano ANGEL
Doc Cheatham KING
Honi Coles KING
Karrin Allyson MARY
Gail Wynters MARY
Warren Vache SPECIAL GUEST
Wycliffe Gordon KING
Royal Bopsters VOCAL GROUP
Amy London MARY
Bobby Sanabria SPECIAL GUEST
Maurice Chestnut KING
Max Pollak KING
Tim Horner BAND
Dean Johnson BAND
Art Baron KING & BAND
Charles Osgood HOST
Dr. Billy Taylor HOST
Michael Mossman BAND
Chembo Carniel BAND
Enrique Sanchez SPECIAL GUEST
Ray Vega KING
David de Jesus SPECIAL GUEST
Claudia Acunia MARY
Bob Kindred BAND
Mel Lewis BAND
Will Anderson SHEPHERD
Eddie Montiero SPECIAL GUEST
The Foreman Twins SPECIAL GUESTS
Christine Jensen SPECIAL GUEST
Peter Anderson SPECIAL GUEST
Bobby Sanabria SPECIAL GUEST
Dr. Billy Taylor HOST & SPECIAL GUEST
Stephanie McGuire SINGER
Dee Daniels MARY
Hilary Kole MARY
Kirk Nurock SPECIAL GUEST
Alan Harris SINGER
Leonarda Priore SINGER

Past Performances

GREENSBORO NC
every year for 25 years
ALTON, IL
CHICAGO, IL
Orchestra Hall
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL
NEW YORK, NY
St. Peters Church
St. Bartholomews Church
Stephen Wise Free Synagogue
Symphony Space – Lincoln Center
Lambs Club Theater
Birdland
B.B. Kings
Christ & St. Stephen’s Church
NYACK, NY
HARRISBURG. PA
COLORADO SPRINGS
Lutheran Church
Colorado Springs Conservatory
UTICA, NY
Mt. Carmel Church

“If you ever have the chance to present “Bending Towards the Light” in your community, your audience will be enthralled.” Andrew Tecson, Chicago, IL