The John Coltrane House - A Non-Profit Charitable Organization    501c3

Keeping the Heritage Alive -Aminta Gadson
 Co-founder of the John Coltrane House Philadelphia
 
On October 27, 2004, my father, Norman Gadson, became the proud owner of the John Coltrane House. My dad absolutely loved jazz. He kept a collection of several thousand records that covered all genres of jazz, and he was always playing his records. He constantly talked about the music, the musicians, who he saw perform, where, and in what year. He had seen Coltrane perform with the classic quartet.
 
 Like most local jazz fans, my father felt a sense of kinship with Coltrane as a fellow Philadelphian. For years, Coltrane had walked the same neighborhood streets, ate in the same restaurants, and had played the local bars and clubs. Everybody knew somebody who knew Trane or had met Trane or had seen him show up unexpectedly in the neighborhood after he moved to New York City. John Coltrane was homegrown and Philly’s own!
 
My father had rehabilitated many properties over the years. The winter of 2004-05 he lived at the Coltrane House, working on little repairs here and there. In the spring of 2005, he was discovered near death in the Coltrane House, in a diabetic coma.  After weeks of hospitalization, my dad was on his feet again, but he never completely recovered. He was in and out of the hospital for the next two years. He died December 26, 2007.
 
Even though he was seriously ill, my dad kept working on the Coltrane House. He also held meetings with supporters concerned about the future of the property who were interested in having it become a jazz or arts center or historic house, or all three. In 2006, he organized a Coltrane birthday tribute at the property, featuring saxophone player Odeon Pope. By 2007, my father had become too frail to put together another birthday celebration or do much work on the property.
 
My mother, Lenora Early, and I recently established The John Coltrane House organization, a 501c3.  Its mission is to raise money to restore the property and establish the house as a memorial that honors the life of John Coltrane and educates people about jazz.   
 
Below is a photo of my dad proudly holding the John Coltrane House National Historic Landmark commemorative plaque. The photo is from the 2006 Coltrane birthday celebration.