Valencia Christian Center to host first Jazz & Comedy Concert

Pastor Swanzi Saunders at Bella Vida in preparation for the Christmas at Valencia Christian Center: A Gospel Jazz & Comedy Concert Experience which will take place on December 15, 2019 at 5PM at Bella Vida. Dan Watson/The Signal

The Valencia Christian Center hopes to bring the one-two holiday combo of comfort and joy to the Bella Vida senior center this month with an offering of Christmas music and comedy.

On Dec. 15, the Valencia Christian Center (VCC) will host their first Jazz & Comedy Concert Experience at the senior center. The night will open with performances of jazz gospel music performed by a variety of artists including violinist Karen Briggs, drummer Laval Belle and pianist Myron McKinley, who also works as the musical director for Earth Wind & Fire. The second half of the night will be devoted to a comedy show by Broderick E. Rice, who will also emcee the evening.

“Gospel jazz combines two styles of music that really speak to the soul of who we are and, combining that with comedy, we’re looking to have a fun and relaxing night,” said senior pastor Swanzi Saunders. “Music is a big part of what we do at our church and we also believe in looking at the light side of life. I think a lot of times we don’t laugh enough. Both jazz and gospel come out of very emotional and personal experiences so I think that combining them and integrating that with the season we are celebrating is an ideal pair.”

Bella Vida is a brand new venue for the 11-year-old nondenominational church, which held its first service at the senior center on Nov. 30 after previously being headquartered at The Canyon.

“This partnership means the world to us and see it as a door that God has opened for us,” Saunders said. “This is a positive next step for us as a church and we want to partner with the senior center in every way possible to create more opportunities for the community at large.”

Though the show will primarily be tailored to a Christian audience, there will also be performances of secular Christmas music, and Saunders said that though Rice’s comedy does tend to focus on church life, it is still universal enough to be appreciated by non-Christians. 

Saunders said that as a church, the VCC’s main focus is their religion, but they also see the value of the festivity of the season. 

“We embrace the festive aspects of Christmas as well because it brings out a spirit of giving and good will in people regardless of whether they’re religious or not,” Saunders said. “This event complements the other activities we have going on in Santa Clarita during this time of year and it just gives people another option for entertainment. We want to make this an annual event that amidst all the craziness of the season people in the community can look forward to attending and having a good time.”

The Valencia Christian Center’s Jazz & Comedy Concert Experience is scheduled 5-7 p.m. on Dec. 15 at the Bella Vida senior center, 27180 Golden Valley Road, Santa Clarita. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $20 for students and seniors and $15 for children under 12 and can be purchased at valenciachristiancenter.org/concert or at the door for cash. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the church’s scholarship fund. 

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