St. Joseph Cathedral Basilica in San Jose will feature jazz Masses on Saturday, Aug. 11, and Sunday, Aug. 12, according to the cathedral’s website.

The Masses are part of the Aug. 10-12 San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, billed by its promoters as “the hottest event of the summer featuring a stellar lineup of international stars, emerging artists and regional favorites playing straight-ahead jazz, blues, salsa, Latin, R&B, and more!” and as “the biggest live music event in Silicon Valley.”

Under the heading “Jazz Masses with
Frank and ValLimar Jansen,” an item on the cathedral website notes the Masses are scheduled for “August 11th at 4:30 mass” and “August 12th at 11:30 mass.”

Later on Aug. 12, the Jansens will perform a musical homage to Ethel Waters in a program entitled “Sweet Mama Stringbean” at the San Pedro Square Theater. The cathedral website offers the following details about the show:

“Ethel Waters (1896-1977) was the daughter of a 12-year-old rape victim. Ethel grew up unsupervised on the streets of Philadelphia. She sang and danced at church functions and made her way into Black vaudeville in 1917.

Appearing first in Harlem nightclubs and then crossing over into the “white time” vaudeville circuit, she became a celebrated blues singer and starred in 12 Broadway productions, ultimately becoming one of the highest paid entertainers in America. Harold Arlen wrote the song “Stormy Weather” specifically for her. She became the first African-American female to star on a national radio show and a TV series, and was nominated for an Oscar and an Emmy. Ms. Waters became a born again Christian and toured with the Billy Graham Crusade in the last decades of her life.

“ValLimar Jansen portrays Ethel Waters in the show. Jansen is herself noted for her vocal performances of jazz, pop, gospel and contemporary Christian music. She holds degrees from California State University San Bernardino and University of California Santa Barbara.”

“Maybe you’re familiar with her from one of the many liturgical and pastoral conferences she attends throughout the country,” says the website of ValLimar Jansen. “She has been the cantor for several jazz liturgies and closing liturgies at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. She has served as a cantor, principal vocalist, lector and workshop presenter at the San Jose Jazz Festival, the Sacramento Jazz Festival, NPM conferences, the National Encuentro Conference, the National Jubilee Justice Conference, the Los Angeles Liturgy Conference, the East Coast Conference, and many other major events.”

“Please join other Catholic Young Adults for the San Jose Jazz Festival and the Jazz Mass (at 4:30 pm in St. Joseph Cathedral),” says an entry on the San Jose diocesan homepage. “You can meet us at the Cathedral at 1 p.m. if you want to attend the Festival and Mass or at 4 pm if you just want to attend the Mass.”

“The many natures of jazz, both spiritual and spirited, are brought out in special musical liturgies in San Jose’s gorgeously-restored Cathedral,” notes an entry on the Jazz Festival’s website. “Held for the first time over 10 years ago, this celebration will be an inspiring part of your day, and illustrates the power of live music to build community.”

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph
is located at 80 South Market St. in San Jose.