Jazz in a church? Why not? Especially when the performer is pianist Deanna Witkowski. Witkowski has been a guest on Marian McPartland's "Piano Jazz" and performed in a duo series at New York's Jazz Gallery with another one-of-a-kind talent, Fred Hirsch. She also led her quintet at the Kennedy Center's Mary Lou Williams Festival.
But she has spiritual inclinations, too. For two years, Witkowski served as music director of All Angels' Episcopal Church in New York. She has written two jazz masses and is an authority on Mary Lou Williams, another pianist with sacred leanings. Witkowski also writes music for people to sing, and some of her hymns have been published in a new jazz hymnal: "Swing a New Song."
Obviously, Witkowski isn't easy to describe or pigeonhole. Catch her for yourself. She'll be performing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Central Presbyterian Church, 15 Jewett Parkway, joined by Clay Jenkins on trumpet, Dave Ambrosio on bass and Scott Latzky on drums. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for students. For information, call 833-6408.