The work is written for orchestra, choir, five jazz soloists, bass, and drums.
Guest soloists include vocalist Dianne Reeves, pianist Billy Childs, oboist Paul McCandless, flutist Hubert Laws, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, the Paul Smith Singers, and the Northridge Singers of Cal State Northridge.
The work, a celebration of womanhood commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has been three years in the making. The Argentinean composer explained that the work "recognizes the equality of the sexes while condemning the misogynistic actions of men throughout history. In that sense, this is a Misa Justa, a 'Just Mass.'"
This is achieved, according to the composer, through a contrast of styles: the traditional forms of the Mass and liturgy, provided by the orchestra and choir, with improvisational jazz forms provided by the soloists. Each part of the Mass includes a poem written by poet Patsy Moore and sung by Reeves.
Del Barrio founded the jazz fusion group Caldera with Jorge Strunz, and has had a long musical relationship with Dianne Reeves. He has collaborated with Herb Alpert, Stan Getz, and the band Earth, Wind, and Fire.
The concert opens with a selection of jazz standards performed by Reeves and her band.