In the spirit of the season, Mount Zion AME Church warmly presents the 4th Annual Gospel Meets Jazz Christmas concert, featuring Charlton Singleton and the Lowcountry Voices at the historic Church on 5 Glebe Street in Charleston at 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 14th. Mt. Zion’s long tradition of music in Charleston and its focus to impact unity creates an especially strong bond with the Lowcountry Voices’ and its commitment to community unity and social justice. Rev. Dr. Kylon Jerome Middleton, Mt. Zion senior pastor, delights in music’s timeless gift to bring people together.
The Lowcountry Voices Founder and Director Nathan Nelson’s passion for preserving the cultural legacy of African-American music and using it as a way to connect inspires the multicultural and ethnically diverse choral group. Lowcountry Voices presents a powerful musical experience to engage every audience. The combination of gospel and jazz makes this a Christmas concert unlike any in the region.
The Concert Manager of Lowcountry Voices Linda Malcolm said, audiences will be treated to Christmas favorites, as well as pieces not commonly heard. Without giving away the entire program, Malcolm shared that the choir will sing the spiritual hymn Behold the Star, as well as the gospels Holy is the Lamb and Holy Though Art God. The spontaneity between Singleton and Nelson on stage makes for an exciting concert experience, just like the unexpected Christmas package. “They keep us on our toes; and just as in the style of jazz, we have to be attuned to the spirit that moves them,” said Malcolm, as she explained that what is performed during the concert could be differ from what is rehearsed.
True to the season, audiences can expect love, peace, and joy to shine through at this concert. This impact is of course from the music, as well as the intimate connection the musicians and vocalists feel about one another and performing at Mt. Zion AME Church. The Lowcountry Voices’ first concert took place at Mt. Zion AME, and this, explained Malcolm, “Always makes it feel like we’re coming home for the holidays when we perform this concert.”
Touring throughout the U.S. and the world with his band Ranky Tanky, Singleton said, “Anytime I can play in a church, especially when the music combines gospel and jazz, I am all in.” Playing this concert at Mt. Zion AME takes him back to his musical beginning and especially touches his heart. He explained that his first performance, at the age of three, was at his father’s church, Mount Zion AME in Summerton, South Carolina.
Singleton said he looks forward to this concert and playing with Lowcountry Voices. This year he’s especially excited to be singing Created for Worship with them. Though he started by playing the piano, and studied organ and violin, by the time he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from South Carolina State University his instrument was unequivocally the trumpet. Singleton enthralls not only audiences but shares his love of music in the classroom. Since then, he has taught music at all educational levels, including as an adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston. His jazz solo CD Soul Cavern highlights the range of his work. He has performed in France, Great Britain, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, The Netherlands, as well as many great cities throughout the United States. He has also shared the stage with and/or worked with some of most talented entertainers in the world.
Tickets for the Saturday, December 14th Gospel Meets Jazz Christmas Concert are $25 and can be purchased by calling Mt. Zion AME Church at 803.422.1900 or visiting Eventbrite. The doors will open at 4 p.m. and the concert begins at 5 p.m. at Mt. Zion AME Church, 5 Glebe Street, Charleston, 29401. Parking is available at the nearby City garages on St. Phillip near the CVS and at 69 Wentworth. All are welcome to attend this annual holiday tradition.