Yann Beaullan’s mother is Jewish; his father is Cambodian. He grew up listening to Buddhist chants. On Sunday he was worshiping in Wooster Square—to the strains of alto saxes offering Coltranesque riffs on the Christian hymn “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.”
Beaullan has joined what might be called a “happening” new phenomenon in the pews: a weekly jazz-style eucharist that is transforming St. James and St. Paul’s from one of the “frozen chosen” Episcopal churches in town to one of the coolest places to worship in New Haven.
Before the Theodicy Jazz Collective started playing at the historic stone church four months ago, its cozy wooden interiors at Olive and Chapel streets rang with pretty much the traditional sounds of the solo organ in the balcony.