Tuesday, August 25, 2009


The music and life of legendary jazz saxophonist John Coltrane is being celebrated in Boston next month at the 32nd annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert. This annual gathering of Boston’s jazz musicians, artists, African-American leaders and music lovers showcases Coltrane’s musical genius as well as his spiritual wisdom and optimism about transforming society through music and culture.

This year's John Coltrane Memorial Concert includes two concerts taking place on September 26 and 27 (see details below), featuring a host of world-class musicians who will reflect upon the rich musical and spiritual legacy of 'Trane through contemporary interpretations of his works.

The inspiration for this year’s weekend of events is drawn from John Coltrane’s early solo album entitled “The Believer” which was recorded in the late 1950’s while he was still a member of the Miles Davis sextet.

The John Coltrane Memorial Concert was started in 1977 in Boston and since 1986 has been run by the Department of African American Studies at Northeastern University, thanks to the efforts of saxophonist Leonard Brown, co-founder of the JCMC and a faculty member in the department.

The master of ceremonies at both concerts is Eric Jackson, host of one of the nation's premier jazz radio programs, "Eric in the Evening" on WGBH-FM radio in Boston.

At the opening concert on Saturday at Blackman Theater, organizers are using the occasion to honor Edmund Barry Gaiter, Executive Director of the National Center of Afro-American Artists and Museum for his 40 years of leadership, advocacy and vision.

Also affiliated with this year’s activities is the Ascension art installation created by artists of the African American Master Artists in Residence Program (AAMARP) at Northeastern’s Ryder Hall at 11 Leon Street. The exhibit runs from September 1-28 and is open from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.


September 26/ Saturday
John Coltrane Memorial Concert:
The Believer, Concert 1
Blackman Theater @ Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue, Boston

Starring the 14 piece all-start John Coltrane Memorial Ensemble, featuring Carl Atkins (sax), Leonard Brown (sax), Sa Davis (percussion), Mark Harvey (trumpet), Tim Ingles (bass), John Lockwood (bass), Bill Lowe (tuba), Jason Palmer (trumpet), Bill Pierce (sax), George W. Russell Jr. (keys), Syd Smart (percussion), Stan Strickland (sax/flute), Alvin Terry (percussion) & Gary Valente (trombone). Click here for samples of the Ensemble’s previous work.

September 27/ Sunday
John Coltrane Memorial Concert:
The Believer, Concert 2ACT/Roxbury Hibernian Hall
184 Dudley Street, Roxbury

Starring master instrumentalist and vocalist Stan Strickland (sax/flute), who will perform a unique tribute to ‘Trane’s legacy with his ensemble including John Lockwood (bass), Laslzo Gardony (keys), & Yoron Israel (drums), along with appearances by members of The John Coltrane Memorial Ensemble (Bill Lowe on tuba, Syd Smart on percussion, Jason Palmer on trumpet & Leonard Brown on sax).

Ticket: $20 general admission; $17 NU faculty & staff, WGBH Members, non-NU students, seniors; $15 NU students.For advance tickets and information: 617-373-4700 (TTY 617-373-2184), www.gonu.com/tickets; for tickets day of show, cash only at the door.

The sponsors of this year’s John Coltrane Memorial Concert include Northeastern University WGBH, ACT Roxbury and the National Center of Afro-American Artists.

For updates on sponsors and other pertinent information, log onto www.jcmc.neu.edu or call 617-373-8700.

For press information, please contact Mary Curtin at 617-241-9664, 617-470-5867 (cell), marycurtin@comcast.net

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