Jazz and poetry return to First Baptist

Demetrius Steinmetz

Jazz and poetry have a lot in common. Both art forms can be free-flowing, innovative and challenging to understand, and both are created from imaginative, spontaneous psyches. 

In response to many requests from last year's appreciative audience, the Music and Fine Arts ministry of the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland is bringing back its Jazz & Poetry Night on Friday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. 

The evening will start with a Jazz Prelude by the Demetrius Steinmetz Jazz Ensemble, featuring Steinmetz on bass, Brian Kozak on guitar, and Eileen Burns on vocals. Steinmetz spent four years as Artist-in-Residence at the Cleveland School of the Arts and has been an instructor for the instrumental music after-school program for the 21st Century Community Learning Center. He has taught saxophone and bass at The Fine Arts Association in Willoughby and Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood. He has performed professionally in Greater Cleveland and has been recorded on Cadence Records. 

The Jazz Prelude will be followed by two or three poetry readers, among the 14 readers scheduled to participate in the program. Last year, poems by Marie Oliver, Langston Hughes, Drew Dellinger, Louisa May Alcott and H. W. Longfellow, among others, as well as some original compositions, alternated with jazz interludes featuring music selections that often were related to the subject of the poetry. 

The evening, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Spahr Center of the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland at 3630 Fairmount Blvd. (at Eaton Road). Refreshments will be available during the program. 

G. Michael Skerritt

G. Michael Skerritt is a retired engineer and a member of First Baptist Church. Music and theater are his avocations.

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 4:50 PM, 01.31.2020