The Abyssinian Mass
The Abyssinian Mass

The Abyssinian Mass

Regular price $12.99 Sale



In 2008, nine-time GRAMMY Award winner Wynton Marsalis was commissioned to write a piece commemorating the 200th anniversary of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church. The result was a sacred celebration: a sweeping composition for a big band and 70-piece gospel choir. In 2013, award-winning recording artist Damien Sneed and his choir, Chorale Le Chateau, joined the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis on a 16-city, 19-show tour across the American south and into deep dialogue with the black tradition. Now, The Abyssinian Mass—Marsalis’s first original recorded composition in six years—documents this piece’s immense power to make audiences clap their hands and sing along to its joyous spirituality, its profound swing, and its bluesy swagger.

This landmark double album also includes a new essay from renowned public intellectual Leon Wieseltier and a bonus DVD documentary that features performances, interviews, and insights into the process behind The Abyssinian Mass. The album’s exploration of the African American experience places it in the tradition of Marsalis's Pulitzer Prize-winning composition and record Blood on the Fields.  As The Abyssinian Mass reminds us, “In this great land of ours, everyone has a place.”  No matter your faith or background, The Abyssinian Mass is a sprawling, soulful triumph and a swinging affirmation of just how good being human can feel.

Every purchase of this album includes a digital download that will be emailed to you.

Track Listing:


  • Devotional
  • Call to Worship
  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • Processional: “We Are On Our Way”
  • Invocation and Chant
  • Responsive Reading, Matthew 5:3-12 The Beatitudes
  • Gloria Patri
  • Prayer: “Pastoral Prayer”
  • Choral Response: “Through Him I’ve Come To See”
  • Anthem: “Glory To God In The Highest”


  • Scripture: Isaiah 56:7
  • Meditation: “Lord Have Mercy”
  • Sermon: “The Unifying Power of Prayer” – Part I: “This House is God’s House”
  • Sermon: “The Unifying Power of Prayer” – Part II: “The Power of Prayer”
  • Sermon: “The Unifying Power of Prayer” – Part III: “Everyone Has a Place”
  • Invitation: “Come and Join The Army”
  • Offertory: The Father
  • Offertory: The Son
  • Offertory: (You Gotta Watch) The Holy Ghost
  • Doxology
  • Recessional: “The Glory Train”
  • Benediction
  • Amen



Sherman Irby – alto & soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet

Ted Nash – alto & soprano saxophones, flute, piccolo, clarinet

Victor Goines – tenor & soprano saxophones, flute, Bb & Eb clarinets, bass clarinet

Walter Blanding – tenor & soprano saxophones, clarinet

Paul Nedzela – baritone saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet


Ryan Kisor

Kenny Rampton

Marcus Printup

Wynton Marsalis


Vincent Gardner

Chris Crenshaw

Elliot Mason


Dan Nimmer – piano

Carlos Henriquez – bass

Ali Jackson – drums


Rasul A-Salaam, Justin Michael Austin, Martin Bakari, Derrick Baskin, Jeanette Blakeney, Clayton Brown, Quinn Brown, Chenee Campbell, Joe Caruncho Jr., Rafael Clark, Emily Dankworth, Tynan Davis, Josh Adam Dawson, Lauren Dawson, George Dowdy, Sequina Dubose, Patrice Eaton, Patricia Pates Eaton, Stephanie Estep, Christine Fanuel, Eustacia Foster, Shani Foster, Ayana George, Maryvel Gonzalez, Jamal Green, Amber Harris, Kaleb Alexander Hopkins, Candice Hoyes, Clinton Ingram, Arielle Jacobs, Michael Jahlil, Edward Jordan, Jonathan Kirkland, Tesia Kwarteng, Latoya Lewis, Marvin Lowe, Maria Marsalis, Ann McCormack, Richard McMichael, Lynette Rhett McNeil, Lauren Michelle, Jamal Moore, Belinda Munro, Djore Nance, Darnell Norman, Jonathan Owens, Nicole Phifer, Marquita Raley, John Rawlins Ill, Brittany Robinson, Cameron James Ross, Timothy Springs, Quiana Smith, Travis Smith, Karyn Stevenson, Sharol Stone, Gabrielle Stravelli, Elaine Sturkey, Brandie Sutton, Jennalyn Thomas, Nathaniel Thompson, Tonya Thompson, Bobby W. Walker, Joanna Wallfisch, Matia Washington, Montavius Wells, Kortland Whalum, Kali Wilder, Jorell Williams, Allyson Wilson


Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III