“Hallelujah Train” Rolls into Fairfield

FAIRFIELD—On Sunday, September 30, the Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University will welcome the “Hallelujah Train” as it rolls onto campus, featuring Pastor Brady Blade Sr., Daniel Lanois, Brian Blade, and Brady Blade Jr., with the Zion Baptist Church Choir. The day will begin when the “Hallelujah Train” musicians perform at the 11 am Mass in Fairfield University’s Egan Chapel. Following the worship service, the Quick will host a 12 pm brunch with the artists, to be followed by a 3 pm “Hallelujah Train” concert that will have toes tapping and hands clapping.

A devout man and natural musician, 80-year-old Pastor Blade first preached a sermon in 1953. He elevated his praise with song after becoming pastor of Shreveport’s Zion Baptist Church in 1961. Pastor Blade’s unique style of worship came to be known as the “Hallelujah Train” and was launched as a public service broadcast of song and faith over the region’s airwaves throughout the 1970s. At the behest of Pastor Blade’s son, famed jazz drummer Brian Blade, a live “Hallelujah Train” revival debuted in 2009, after it was discovered that recordings from the original 70s show had been erased.

Brian and his brother, Brady Jr., also a renowned drummer, convinced their father to take the new “Hallelujah Train” up to Connecticut for a featured performance at the Quick. The September 30 concert will feature Pastor Blade’s booming, soulful voice, backed by an ensemble that includes the congregational choir and an all-star band whose deft rhythms round out the music with some of the best percussive skill in the world.

This performance marks a return to Fairfield’s campus for jazz drummer Brian Blade, who most recently performed at the Quick with Children of the Light. This time around, he’ll be joined by his brother and fellow drummer Brady Blade Jr., who has played with Emmylou Harris, Dave Matthews & Friends, and others.

Grammy Award-winner Daniel Lanois, a longtime friend and collaborator of Pastor Blade, is also a featured band member. Lanois is best known as a guitarist and producer of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, and Willie Nelson, as well as for co-producing two U2 albums with Brian Eno (The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby).

The “Hallelujah Train” ensemble’s uplifting message is carried aloft by a unique blend of traditions fostered by Pastor Blade in his Louisiana church. Expect supple funk and jazz-wise flexibility. Whether you are a person of faith or you consider music to be your church, you won’t want to miss the “Hallelujah Train.” All aboard!

    This event is sponsored by Abbey Tent, Bridgeport Holiday Inn, Laurel Road Bank, TV Eyes, Moffly Media, WPKN, and the Chelsea. Tickets for Concert are $25. For more information or to reserve your seat, visit the Quick Center or call the box office at 203.254.4010 or toll free at 1.877.ARTS.396.


    Fairfield University is a modern Jesuit Catholic university rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and across the globe are pursuing degrees in the University’s five schools. Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values. The University is located on a stunning 200-acre campus on the scenic Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.