Photo by Paul Goyette

“I didn’t know what to expect from Jazz Prayer. It turned out to be what I didn’t know I needed – a respite from the hustle and bustle of my daily life. The peaceful atmosphere in a beautiful contemporary space with phenomenally talented musicians gave me the space to reflect on what’s important to me.” – Dyan

In its 9th season, Jazz Prayer is an evening of relaxation, meditation, and music.  It is a welcoming environment to enjoy world-class jazz and let your week melt away. Held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Oak Park, it is a spiritual experience, providing an introspective and relaxing end to the week—a place to reset before starting your weekend. 

Photo by Paul Goyette

The musicians are from the talented UIC Jazz Faculty and are led by Michael Stryker, Director of Jazz Studies at UIC. Each performance includes 3-4 musicians and a vocalist to bring the chosen music to life. For each service, Dr. Stryker looks at song titles that might have some connection to the evening’s theme. He designs the program to integrate meditation, readings, and jazz music in a way that complements jazz’s dynamic and improvisational nature. Each performance takes you on a journey through readings and music.

It’s always my hope that each Jazz Prayer service brings people together, combining music and readings (whether from scripture or other sources) to create a spiritual community enveloped by music, and lifted up with life insights. We hope the environment brings a sense of community that you might find at a jazz club” – Dr. Stryker

Photo by Paul Goyette

The evening starts at 7:10, with refreshments and time to socialize, connect with new and old friends, and experience community with others seeking a similar restorative experience. The hour-long service starts at 7:30.

Join an upcoming gathering:

February 17, 2023: Re-Late – Restoring our relationships with others.

April 21, 2023 – Re-Create -Recreating

Everyone is invited to participate – Good Shepherd welcomes all people regardless of race, nationality, marital status, family composition, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status or physical ability. In embracing diversity, Good Shepherd seeks to bridge understanding among people, to live in the creative tension of differences, and to be a blessing to a community and a world where dialogue, understanding and collaboration among diverse people are needed.

Photo by Paul Goyette

Good Shepherd is located at 611 Randolph Street, Oak Park, IL. Visit for more information.

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