Though he was a native of North Carolina, the formative
years in the career and development of jazz giant John Coltrane, where in Philadelphia.
In 1943, Coltrane moved to that city and, with the
exception of a year’s stint in the Navy from 1945-46, he remained there for many
years, even buying a modest row house on North 33rd Street in the Strawberry Mansion section of North Philadelphia, in 1952
He stayed there until 1958 when Coltrane left Philly for
good to rejoin Miles Davis’ group
which he had been a member of a few years earlier.
But it was Philadelphia where Coltrane “honed
his craft becoming identifiably the legendary ‘Trane.’”
And now the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia
has announced that it will hold two premiere screenings of the new short documentary Coltrane’s Philadelphia, on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 7PM, at International House Philadelphia, and again
on Thursday, September 19, at 6PM, at WHYY Studios.
Both events are free and open to the public.
The film explores John Coltrane’s “remarkable Philadelphia years
and features interviews as well, including those with renowned saxophonist and
Coltrane peer Odean Pope and The Roots’ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, jazz
historian Dr. Diane Turner, author and editor of “Feeding the Soul: Black Music
Black Thought,” jazz singer and Strawberry Mansion resident Dorothy “Dottie”
Smith and Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler of Philadelphia’s Historic Mother Bethel A.M.E.
Church, as well as historic footage of Philadelphia illustrating the urban
context in which Coltrane moved his music forward.”
The screening is part of the Preservation Alliance’s Coltrane Planning Project, which aims to
devise a revitalization strategy for the Philadelphia home of Coltrane.
Here are the details for the screenings:
August 7, 7pm
Jazz in Philadelphia: An Evening of Documentaries featuring Coltrane’s
Philadelphia and Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise
House Philadelphia, Ibrahim Theater, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia: A Documentary (US, 2013, digital, 25 min.)
and former Inquirer columnist Tom Moon and other members of the Coltrane’s
Philadelphia production team will be available for question and answers after
Ra: A Joyful Noise (dir. Robert Mugge, US, 1980, digital, 60 min.)
1980 film documents performances by the Sun Ra Arkestra features performances
on the roof of the International House as well as interviews with Sun Ra and
September 19, 6pm
Philadelphia: A Documentary
a performance by Warren Oree and the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble
Studios, 150 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA