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Coltrane: The Philadelphia Years

John Coltrane lived in a rowhome at 1511 North 33rd Street in the Strawberry Mansion section of North Philadelphia from 1952 to 1958.

Jazz giant John Coltrane was born and raised in North Carolina, died in New York, and in between he spent 15 years in Philadelphia. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the role the city played in the career of this master sax player and composer, who would have turned 91 on September 23rd.

Details coming soon about a feast of John Coltrane 2017 celebratory events in Philadelphia starting the week of September 18th, including the Blue Trane Jazz Jam at South Jazz Café on September 19th, the  John Coltrane Jazz Walk on September 23rd, and a new, 5-part audio documentary, How Long Has Trane Been Gone, airing on WRTI from September 20th to 24th from 8 to 9 pm each night.

Listen to Susan's interview with music journalist Tom Moon and historian Rob Armstrong, co-directors of the documentary film Coltrane's Philadelphia.

The film is part of the Coltrane Planning Project of The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.


Coltrane’s house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1999.  Efforts to preserve the house are ongoing.

Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and contributes weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.