Sunday, June 27, at 7 p.m. in the Amphitheater

2021 marked the first time in over 20 years that St. John’s scrubbed its annual Shrove Tuesday pancake supper and Dixieland jazz concert. Now, with the onset of warm weather and the nation’s gradual return to business-as-usual, the musicians of the Occasional Jazz Ensemble are itchy to play again – and what better excuse could there be than a ‘makeup’ Fat Tuesday concert al fresco?

On Sunday evening, June 27, at 7:00 p.m. in St. John’s outdoor amphitheater, the Occasional Jazz Ensemble will swing downtown Essex with its traditional mélange of Chicago-style Dixieland, Great American Songbook standards, and classic gospel fare. The Ensemble, a pickup group of seasoned jazz musicians including parishioners Phred Mileski (vocalist), Ed Birch (trombone), Scott Konrad (leader and pianist) and recruits from Southington to Norwich, has entertained at charitable and community functions throughout Southern New England.

Konrad notes, “Since the band lineup’s a little different each year depending on the players’ availability for Shrove Tuesday, we’re a little like the line from [the film] Forest Gump comparing life to a box of chocolates: ‘You never know what you’re gonna get.’” A toe-tapping evening of family-friendly fun open to the entire community is guaranteed in any event.

This year, as in all preceding ones, a freewill offering will be collected to support a charitable organization of the rector’s choosing.

Although there’s not a bad seat in the house, capacity is limited – so arrive early for the best pick. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will take place in the church. Bring your friends and neighbors…and laissez les bon temps rouler!