It’s been a long, cold, snowy winter, but, in the words of
the poet, “if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind.” For many of us in the
East and Midwest, after punishing weeks of arctic
cold, repeated snow, and grueling power outages; the (bleakly) hopeful,
ostensibly rhetorical, words of the poet become more fully comprehensible. We
know that cyclically spring must roll around, but is its arrival, as a season
of renewal and rebirth, truly guaranteed? There have been ice ages, and, right
now, we feel like we are in one.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day falls on January 20, this year. Had the national observance never been approved by Congress, Dr. King’s birthday on January 15 would still receive more than a routine nod, but the federal holiday brings his legacy to the forefront of national consciousness every 3Monday of January. Consequently, at least one day a year is dedicated to consideration of higher ideals and contemplation of concepts such as “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
John Coltrane, while not a leader of a mass political or social movement like Dr.
Peace on Earth and Good Will to All
When you begin to seethe possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people–John Coltrane
The John Coltrane House Philadelphia has chosen this well known statement of John Coltrane as a motto and guide.The desire to do good through music was the devotion of Coltrane’s career. And his music has certainly done that. I have heard and read numerous testimonies of how listening to Coltrane has brought people through rough patches in life, when otherwise they might not have made it or when hearing his music encouraged hope, inner strength, tranquility, revitalization, or illumination.
My Favorite Things
It’s the holiday season and the time for everyone’s favorite things. Biographers report that one of John Coltrane’s notoriously (because he ate so much of it) favorite things was sweet potato pie, especially the pie his mother made. Anyone who has had real, down home sweet potato pie knows that it’s hard not to reach for another piece, and that was the kind Coltrane’s mother made at the Coltrane House, 1511 N. 33Street.
An ante bellum black heritage treat, sweet potato pie, at its best, is a sublime creation, so it’s easy to understand and sympathize with Coltrane’s fondness for his mother’s pie.
It’s been a great summer for jazz in Philadelphia. There were weekly outdoor jazz festivals and concerts, real music performed by skilled musicians. This summer highlighted Philadelphias a town with a deep jazz heritage, strong jazz appreciation, and a host of current expert practitioners.
As part of a summer of non stop live jazz, the Coltrane House presented the Abdur Rashid Group July 27. This free outdoor concert was given in front of the House with Coltrane fans, friends, neighbors, and passersby enjoying performance by five master musicians.
What a difference a day makes! Philadelphia Jazz Day 2012 at the John
Coltrane House has made an enormous difference for our organization – giving us
a huge boost in visibility and support. We thank the jazz musicians, jazz
organizations, and the officials from the city of Philadelphia who made the Jazz Day event
possible and successful.
Since April 13, activity on our website has zoomed. The John
Coltrane House has had numerous inquiries, offers of support, some donations
and a number of people pledging to donate when their finances permit.
NOW, THIS IS A
A few weeks ago I took a friend through the John Coltrane
House. Like most everyone else, once inside the residence, she was enchanted.
It is a very beautiful place. She noted the antique tile floor and walls of the
entrance way, glass door knobs on all the doors, kitchen pantry, back
staircase, large built in wooden wardrobes in the front bedrooms, ten foot
ceilings. The house has an aspect and dignity of an earlier, more formal time
and exudes “atmosphere.” There are six bedrooms, four large and two smaller,
and two full baths.