An upcoming fundraiser at a parish in Virginia will feature Black Catholic singer-songwriter ValLimar Jansen and her husband Frank, ahead of an engagement at historic Carnegie Hall next year in New York City.
Church of the Incarnation in Charlottesville will host “A Night of Jazz” on Saturday, September 10 at 7pm with the award-winning recording artists, followed by “An Afternoon Cabaret” on September 11 at 3pm.
A silent auction will also be held during the first night.
Both shows will feature Jansen and her husband Frank, an internationally recognized musical duo from California who have released or been featured on 10 albums since 2005. They received the UNITY Awards for Best Gospel Album and Best Gospel Song from the United Catholic Music and Video Association in 2008.
Jansen herself has sung professionally since childhood, including a recording career spanning more than two decades. She has collaborated with a number of popular Catholic artists, including Matt Maher, Dan Schutte, Bob Hurd, and Sarah Hart.
Her voice can also be heard on various Black Catholic gospel albums, including both entries in OCP’s “Psalms from the Soul” series and GIA’s 2003 anthology “Catholic Classics, Vol. 7: African American Sacred Songs”. On the latter, she was a featured soloist on James E. Moore Jr.’s perennial hymn “Taste and See.”
She is also a well-known public speaker and is active in the theater arts, including a one-woman show on the life of Servant of God Thea Bowman and another on the Catholic singer and actress Ethel Waters.
Following a hiatus brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Jansen has been active in events around the country, including an ongoing tour promoting the causes of the six African American Catholics on the path to sainthood.
The concerts at Incarnation will help fundraise for the Incarnation choir to perform at the concert in New York, where Jansen will join fellow Black Catholic musician W. Clifford Petty, alongside John Angotti, Meredith Augustin, and the event’s artistic director Steve Petrunak.
It is the latest iteration of the annual “Voices in the Hall” choral festival, featuring tours of the city and a rehearsal in historic St Patrick’s Cathedral.
This year’s event is themed “The Story of God: A Journey of Faith, Hope and Unity” and will be held from February 17-20, 2023, featuring singers from around the country led in song by Jansen and Angotti.
The culminating concert event will take place in Carnegie’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage on February 19 at 8pm ET, and all-inclusive ticket packages for choral participants are available for $1,599 per person.
Tickets for this weekend’s shows in Virginia are $25 and available for adults only, with hors d’oeuvres and one free drink included. Seating is limited and tickets are expected to be sold at the door.
Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger, a seminarian with the Josephites, and a ThM student with the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).