JAZZ DAY 2012
April 13- A Great Day at the John Coltrane House !!!
It was a morning of jubilation and reunion as jazz musicians,
some of whom had not seen each other for years, hugged, exchanged joyful
greetings, and retold favorite stories.
More than one hundred fifty strong, they had come from all
over the Philadelphia region and beyond to meet
at the John Coltrane House and be part of a group photo entitled “A Great Day
organizations that brought the musicians together for the photo sought to put
the spotlight on the John Coltrane House on Jazz Day. With the participation of the city’s Arts and
Culture office and the mayor, jazz musicians and organizations hoped to
galvanize local, national, and international support to raise money to make immediately
needed repairs at John Coltrane’s National Historic Landmark residence. The
property, though currently unoccupied, retains an exceptionally high degree of
interior integrity and is completely authentic to the time that John Coltrane
John Coltrane House music consultant, Alfie Pollit, arranged with Lovett Hines,
education director at the Philadelphia Clef Club, for Barry Harris, the man who
taught Alfie piano, to conduct 3 master classes there this past Saturday. For a
mere ten dollars participants were able to avail themselves of the vast musical
knowledge and teaching experience of this sage old timer. Both novices and experts
were in attendance and many were made to acknowledge shortcomings as Harris
took participants through exercises he considered indispensable at a basic
level that quite a few were having to stretch to reach. He refused to dumb down
his expectations, and he urged participants to be “intelligent.” In fact,
Harris pronounced dumbed down musicians to not be musicians at all. He
conducted his classes with wit and style, and the event was a great success. In
discussion now at the Clef Club is the possibility of having Barry Harris Workshops
Oct. 24 - Article
Article on TJCH in Temple University’s
Oct. 4-to date
Through contact information supplied to him by
Tegnell, music scholar, has been corresponding with the TJCH. Tegnell is
curator of the Coltrane exhibit at the High Point
Museum in North Carolina. He is providing a great deal
of information on the genealogy of Coltrane’s family.
Sept. 28- Surprise visit by Yasuhiro, “Fuji” Fujioka!
A surprise visit to the John
Coltrane House Philadelphia office on Fitzwater
Street by Yasuhiro, “Fuji” Fujioka. Fuji is a renowned authority on John Coltrane
and a collector of Coltrane memorabilia. He is one of the authors of the
compendium The John Coltrane Reference
Fuji had come down from New York and was in Philly for a few hours.
He had stopped by the John Coltrane House and was disappointed that the
Historic Landmark plaque from the National Park Service was no longer on
front of the building. He was only slightly bolstered by the presence of
the Pennsylvania State curbside historical marker. Fuji was pleased to
that the plaque is being stored in our office. It had been removed
brickwork in which it was set had loosened. Fuji was brought by the
office by Alfie
Pollit. Alfie is a local jazz pianist and a member of the John Coltrane
Sept 23- John Coltrane 85th Birthday Tribute!
The September 23
John Coltrane birthday tribute at the Philadelphia Ethical Society sponsored by
the Producers Guild was a triumph of virtuoso performance by bass master Reggie
Workman. For the modest ticket price of $30.00, that barely covered costs,
audience members were privileged to witness a priceless performance. Early in
his career as a bassist Workman played with John Coltrane. From the start, he
was considered a jazz bassist against whom others were measured, a position he
maintained throughout his long career. Workman played with a strength, vitality,
precision, and enthusiasm that belied his seventy-four years. Also, though the
venue and turnout were modest, he performed with the same energy, integrity,
and care as though before a sellout crowd at Lincoln Center.
Philly’s own Carl Grubbs’ sax performance was
equally outstanding, giving more than fitting tribute to the legendary
achievements in music of John Coltrane. Like Workman, Grubbs had played with
Coltrane as a young man. Coltrane fans had the rare opportunity to hear two of
his associates and younger contemporaries playing together forty five years
after Coltrane’s death. Their performance demonstrated the sensitivity,
understanding, and skill that are the culmination of decades of dedication and
continued reach and growth in their art. It was a night to be remembered by
lovers John Coltrane and of authentic music and authentic performance.
Among the audience was
Sayeeda Coltrane (also known as Antonia
Anderson) As a young child, Sayeeda moved to the Coltrane House when her
mother, Naima, married John Coltrane. In conversation, Sayeeda spoke briefly
about living in the House, saying she had many fond memories and proclaimed the
back staircase to have been her favorite hangout.
The John Coltrane House set
up an information table, the first public announcement of our organization.