Music enthusiasts in the City of Brotherly Love are looking to rekindle a love supreme for the deteriorating John Coltrane House, a preservation effort that mirrors a broader mission to reclaim and promote Philadelphia’s rich jazz heritage.
Cultural officials gathered more than 100 local jazz musicians on Friday for a group photo in front of the rowhouse where Coltrane, a renowned saxophonist, lived from 1952 to 1958. It became a national historic landmark in 1999.
“We are serious about our music here in Philadelphia, and jazz has meant a lot to this city,” Mayor Michael Nutter said.
He and other city officials hope jazz lovers will donate money to save the brick house in the tough Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. Unoccupied for the past several years, the Coltrane home has fallen into severe disrepair; homes on either side are boarded up.
The run-down property is an apt symbol of Philadelphia’s jazz history, “a legacy that has certainly been too often neglected and not celebrated,” said Gary Steuer, the city’s chief cultural officer.
Philadelphia claims jazz greats including Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner and Grover Washington Jr. Last year, musicians and club owners formed the Philadelphia Jazz Coalition to promote the current scene and the city’s musical legacy.
Coltrane played with the Miles Davis Quintet for part of the time he lived here on 33rd Street. He later became known for a pioneering jazz style that incorporated Indian and African influences. Seminal recordings include “A Love Supreme,” ”My Favorite Things” and, with Davis, “‘Round Midnight.”
Coltrane eventually moved to New York but continued to own the Philadelphia house until his death in 1967. It remained in the family, and a cousin lived there until several years ago; she sold it to devoted fan Norman Gadson in 2004.
However, Gadson died before he was able to rehabilitate the property. His family recently created a nonprofit organization to spearhead a revival. Local and national preservation groups are supporting the effort and hope to raise $50,000 for immediate repairs and stabilization.
Ideally, future plans for the home will include programming and neighborhood engagement, said Walter Gallas, director of the northeast field office for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Gallas, who attended Friday’s event, said historic homes-turned-museums often struggle with attendance and finances because they fail to take on interactive, broader roles in the community.
“They have to become more relevant to what’s going on right now,” Gallas said.
Friday’s events were part of National Jazz Month. The mayor declared it “Jazz Appreciation Day” in Philadelphia and presented a proclamation to 92-year-old drummer Charlie Rice, who still plays in local clubs. Coltrane was among many notable musicians with whom Rice has performed.
“John Coltrane was one of the nicest human beings you ever wanted to meet,” Rice said. “He really (rose) from the bottom on up to the top.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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