A music festival will fill the historic Episcopal Church of Christ in Covington this weekend | St. Tammany Community News

A long weekend of music and special masses will take over Christ’s Episcopal Church from January 21-23 as the historic downtown Covington church presents its seventh annual Jazz Festival in January, sponsored by private donors and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

There will be three ticketed musical acts on Friday night and three more on Saturday night, plus three special “Shower the People” musical masses on January 23 featuring the 70s sounds of James Taylor, Paul Simon, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and more.

Masses, of course, are free. Advance concert tickets for Friday or Saturday are $40 a night or a weekend package for $75; more at the door. Buy them online at www.jazzinjanuary.org or in person weekdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Church Administration Building, 129 N. New Hampshire Ave., near downtown Covington.

The festival was started seven years ago by the Reverend Bill Miller, the church’s former rector.

This year, award-winning artist Nellie McKay, Baton Rouge band Minos the Saint and local singer/songwriter Aaron Maras kick off the festival with performances on Friday night. McKay mixes several genres, including vintage jazz, vocal pop and hip-hop, to create his signature eclectic sound.

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Minos the Saint is not a “traditional” band from South Louisiana. Instead, the ensemble plays mostly original music, reflecting a variety of influences that produce experimental, yet accessible, original folk-rock that uniquely represents Louisiana and the world.

Saturday night’s triple draft includes Abita Springs’ Cactus Thief and Jazz-in-January returning artists Handmade Moments and Jon Cleary and The Absolute Monster Gentlemen.

Grammy-winning Cleary has released numerous albums over the years and performed with some of the city’s most legendary R&B artists, including Earl “Trick Bag” King and Snooks Eaglin. Cleary and his band, The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, will bring their unique brand of funk and R&B to the audience.

Cactus Thief was formed in 2016 around the songs of bandleader Aaron Maras. The group mixes rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, country and traditional Cajun music to create folk music with a modern sound.

New Orleans band Handmade Moments features multi-instrumentalist duo Anna Moss and Joel Ludford who bring rock, jazz, folk and Southern roots together in one big pot of musical stew that is their latest record, Paw Paw Tree.

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