Jazz Weekend soloist: Gayle Bisesi

News | July 1, 2015

Gayle Bisesi first set her sights on music at the young age of 3 – when her stage was her living room couch and her microphone a vacuum cleaner hose.

“My earliest memories of music were in my home and at church, growing up in Decatur, Illinois. My mom would sing and play music all the time. If you were talking to her and said lyrics to a song she liked, she would start singing before you could finish your sentence. Music just flowed from her!”

Gayle will be the featured soloist at Jazz Weekend, July 25-26, at St. Paul.

Throughout her childhood, Gayle was exposed to singing many kinds of music, including classical, musical theater, pop, and folk. Then, her passion for jazz was uncovered.

“I remember auditioning for the MacArthur Jazz Band and something inside me just sat up and a strong connection was made. This music was so powerful and exciting to me,” she said.

She earned her degree in vocal performance and music education from Elmhurst College in 1996.

“To me, singing jazz is a soulful release – an opportunity to unveil, expose, and bare my true self. Am I vulnerable? Yes, but what’s music without revealing your heart?”

She has been singing professionally for over 20 years and has had the honor of sharing the stage with such musical greats as: Patti Austin, New York Voices, Howard Levy, Clark Terry, Louie Bellson, Denis DiBlasio,Mark Whitfield, Conte Candoli, Hank Marr, Frank Mantooth, and Kevin Mahogany, among others.

She also has performed internationally. Gayle now resides in the Chicago area while pursuing her musical career full time. She performs regularly, and is a voice teacher, clinician, and mentor.

“As a music educator, I teach people how to deepen the musical passion within themselves through self-exploration – emotionally, physically and spiritually – the holistic approach to singing.”

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Malachi 3:1-4

The Coming Messenger 3 See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.[a] 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Hebrews 2:14-18

14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters[a] in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Luke 2:22-40

Jesus Is Presented in the Temple 22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon;[a] this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.[b] 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon[c] came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon[d] took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 “Master, now you are dismissing your servant[e] in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” 33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon[f] blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” 36 There was also a prophet, Anna[g] the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child[h] to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. The Return to Nazareth 39 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.