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:
Wednesday, August 7, 7pm
- Contextualizing Jazz in Philadelphia: An Evening of Documentaries featuring Coltrane’s Philadelphia and Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise
International House Philadelphia, Ibrahim Theater, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
- Coltrane’s Philadelphia: A Documentary (US, 2013, digital, 25 min.)
Musician and former Inquirer columnist Tom Moon and other members of the Coltrane’s Philadelphia production team will be available for question and answers after the screening.
- Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise (dir. Robert Mugge, US, 1980, digital, 60 min.)
This 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 the band.
Thursday, September 19, 6pm
- Coltrane’s Philadelphia: A Documentary
Plus a performance by Warren Oree and the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble
WHYY Studios, 150 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA