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In 1971 a young saxophonist led his first jazz vespers service while in college. Throughout the next four decades he has continued to explore the adventurous intersection of spirit and jazz developing a unique liturgy inspired by jazz legend John Coltrane.
Today, the Rev. Clifford Aerie leads jazz worship services around the country with The Oîkos Ensemble. Cliff’s collaborator is pianist, composer and ethnomusicologist, Dr. Christopher Bakriges. During the past few years they’ve performed in almost 200 settings, from intimate sanctuaries to arena crowds of 10,000.
In addition to inspiring faith communities, they have performed at festivals, concerts and regional events around the country. At each venue they collaborate with some of the best musicians from that area. The constant interplay with new musicians brings creative freshness to both original compositions and jazz standards.
Oîkos is the Greek New Testament word translated as “dwelling place,” “house,” “abode” -- essentially a spiritual dwelling place where all humanity can live together in peace.
Transcending stylistic musical boundaries, The Oîkos Ensemble paints vibrant soundscapes with the brush stroke of jazz improvisation affirming the human family as one global ensemble.