Dr. Michael White to lead annual jazz service on Sunday

St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church will present its 26th annual Jazz Service, an Uptown Mardi Gras tradition led by Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Jazz Band, at 9 a.m. on Sunday (Feb. 23). Dr. White, renowned New Orleans clarinetist, and the Original Liberty Jazz Band have led the Jazz Service since it began in 1994. The Jazz Service always packs the church on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday as it presents a festival of hymns and spirituals in the New Orleans jazz style.

Wellness center in Scandinavian Jazz Church approved by City Planning Commission

Plans for a wellness center in the former Norwegian Seamen’s Church on Prytania Street won the approval of the City Planning Commission last week, despite a recommendation from the staff planners to deny a required zoning change. The center is the brainchild of Diana Fisher, Deborah Peters and Kendall Wininger, three sisters who live in the Lower Garden District. “The idea was born out of one sister’s need during a serious illness,” Peters told the City Planning Commission. “Her treatment required her to drive around town seeking help from different practitioners.”

They came up with a plan to bring medical practitioners and wellness activities together in one place to better promote healing. When the church, renamed the Scandinavian Jazz Church and Cultural Center after it lost its funding from the Norwegian government, closed at the end of 2018 and the property went on the market, the sisters decided it was the perfect spot for their venture.

Broadmoor Community Church to ‘party in the park’ this Sunday

Broadmoor Community Church will host an event this Sunday, April 14, that will feature free food, music, games for kids, an easter egg hunt, and more. This “Party in the Park” takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Broadmoor Play Spot, 2021 S. Dupre. The free event is open to the public and will also include a gift card raffle and clothing giveaway. For more information, call (504) 822-7229.

Scandinavian Jazz Church building set for redevelopment as wellness center

By Nicholas Reimann, Uptown Messenger

One-hundred and twelve years as a religious hub for the Norwegian community makes a space on Prytania Street ideal for yoga classes, meditation and water aerobics, its new owners told residents of the Lower Garden District on Wednesday. If all goes as planned, the site of the former Scandinavian Jazz Church — previously called the Norwegian Seamen’s Church — will be transformed into a wellness center called the Santosa Center for Healthy Living by the fall of 2020. The property’s owners say the development will be a unique, all-inclusive wellness center not found anywhere else in New Orleans. “We feel there’s no better place to do this than in this church,” said Diana Fisher, who owns the property along with her sisters Deborah Peters and Kendall Winingder. Fisher said most of the existing buildings on the property wouldn’t be altered.

Where to find St. Joseph’s altars Uptown

The St. Joseph’s altar is one of those Catholic traditions, in this case a Sicilian Catholic tradition, that, through some very creative adaption, south Louisiana has made its own. Among all the breads and cakes shaped into religious symbols — a monstrance, chalice, cross, heart, dove, Bible — it’s not unusual to find an alligator. A Lenten symbol, perhaps. The fava bean is also ubiquitous at New Orleans altars.

Irish Channel Parade set to roll on Saturday

It seems like the Carnival parades just passed by, and it’s time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Irish Channel Parade. On Saturday, March 16, cabbages, kisses and green bling will be flying along the parade route. The parade is scheduled for 1 p.m., starting after a noon Mass at St. Mary’s Assumption Church.

Where to find Friday fish fries Uptown

Lenten fish frys at Catholic churches and schools start today and continue throughout Lent. Here’s some local Friday fish fries from a list compiled by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. If you know of a fish fry in the Uptown area that’s not on this list, we invite you to leave the information in the comment section. KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, De La Salle Council 3411
Mother Pauline Center, 4219 Constance St. March 8, 15, 29; April 5, 12; after 6 p.m.
Menu: fish and fries or crawfish pasta, coleslaw, vegetable, dessert, drink.

To make the season bright, go to a free holiday concert

Celebrating Christmas doesn’t have to involve opening your wallet. You can fill your ears and your spirit with sweet yuletide sounds, and enjoy a respite from holiday frenzy, at free concerts throughout the city during December. Gospel choirs, jazz bands, classical artists and more perform in historic church settings during December. Here’s a list below — and if you know of others, please put the information in the comments section below or email uptown@nolamessenger.com. All of these concerts are free and open to the public – although donations, of course, are always welcome.