Advocacy works! In 2014, Pennrose Company demolished the “Tribute to John Coltrane” mural that was located at 33rd and Diamond Streets, a short walk from Coltrane’s former residence in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.
It took a little prodding, but Pennrose stepped up and made a significant contribution to Mural Arts Philadelphia for a new Coltrane mural.
The “Why We Love Coltrane” mural , located at 29th and Diamond Streets, will be dedicated at a public event on Sunday, September 24, 2017, from 1pm to 3pm. All That Philly Jazz is a co-host of the free event.
For background information, listen to WRTI’s interview with Mural Arts Executive Director Jane Golden and visual artist Ernel Martinez, “A New Mural Rising to Honor John Coltrane.”
September 23rd marks the 90th anniversary of the birth of legendary saxophonist John Coltrane. It’s hard to believe but Coltrane has been dead longer than he was alive.
Trane’s life and legacy will be celebrated during nine days of free events, including film screenings, concerts, lectures and exhibitions. The festivities are organized by the Philadelphia Jazz Project in collaboration with Temple University Libraries, WRTI, PhillyCAM, Jazz Near You, among other partners.
The highlights include:
- A six-hour saxophone marathon presenting national, regional and local saxophonists
- A jazz walk in Fairmount Park with three stages of live music
- A special Equinox concert
- An Afro-Cuban influenced interpretation of Coltrane’s “Kulu Sé Mama”
For more information, visit Philadelphia Jazz Project.
On June 30, 2016, Saxophonist and composer Benny Golson held forth at the Parkway Central Library.
In conversation with WRTI host Jeff Duperon, the Philly native and NEA Jazz Master shared stories about John Coltrane, missed gigs and the persona behind “Killer Joe.”
A podcast of the event is available here.
Opened in 1950 as the Flamingo Hotel, it was one of the few large apartment complexes where African Americans could live. The hotel was one block from the Blue Horizon/Mercantile Hall which played host to jazz legends, including Cliff Brown and Fats Navarro. The hotel is now housing for Temple University students.
In an interview with All About Jazz, WRTI Jazz Host Bob Perkins recalled:
A year ago, I did a short documentary on Bird (Charlie Parker), and found out about the apartment he lived in at Broad and Stiles near Girard Avenue.
Curiously, I lived in the same building 30 years later. Bird was there in 1952 to 1953. I lived there in 1980, between marriages. And, believe it or not, Dave Brubeck also lived there! He told me that, personally. It was called the Flamingo apartments—a hot place to live at the time. Arthur Prysock lived there.
Yasuhiro Fujioka, founder of the John Coltrane House of Osaka, uncovered the long lost audiotape of John Coltrane’s last performance in Philadelphia. The November 11, 1966 concert was aired live on WRTI, Temple University’s then-student run radio station.
To purchase the album, go here.
Directed by Steven Berry, the documentary “Jazz in Philadelphia” came about as a result of conversations Berry had with WRTI Jazz Host Harrison “Yes Indeedy” Ridley, Jr.
A jazz educator and historian, Ridley had a lifelong dedication to what he called “the positive music.” He hosted a Sunday night show on WRTI for more than 30 years. Jazz in Philadelphia? Yes indeedy!