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WRTI Spotlight

Coltrane at 90: WRTI Proudly Partners in this Citywide Celebration

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John Coltrane expanded how we hear music. He took the light and airy Broadway show tune, “My Favorite Things,” and turned it (with soprano saxophone) into a dark, driving, melodic, polyrhythmic tour de force.

Many traditional jazz listeners were unable to follow the path his musical trajectory left toward the end of his life, as his sonic palette kept expanding. But 50 years later we can hear more, and we stand amazed at the depth and sophistication of Coltrane’s music.

The Philadelphia Jazz Project, WRTI, and almost two dozen partners, bring you COLTRANE AT 90, nine days of free events from September 17th to the 25th, in celebration of John Coltrane's 90th birthday.

Coltrane, whose career began in Philadelphia, had a tremendous impact on generations of musicians, but even more significantly, his music influenced culture. “Alabama” and “A Love Supreme” delivered potent social messages about race and spirituality. Writers looked to him, directors used his music in countless films, and artists painted and sculpted to his music. Businesses study his improvisations in team-building and creativity exercises.

John William Coltrane would have been 90 years old on September 23rd. Philadelphia Jazz Project, in collaboration with WRTI, Temple University Libraries, PhillyCAM, Jazz Near You and many other partners* present a celebration of Coltrane’s 90th birthday with 9 days of FREE events in Philadelphia.

These events will take place between September 17th to 25th, 2016. All events are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is necessary at EVENTBRITE.

Here is the complete event schedule with registration links.

Highlights of this huge collaboration include a Jazz Walk in Fairmount Park on Saturday the 17th, a six-hour(!) solo saxophone tribute with more than 20 saxophonists on Friday the 23rd, and A Jam Supreme at the Piazza on Saturday the 24th.

Jazz programming on WRTI will feature Trane recordings from throughout his career. Also, beginning Monday Sept. 19th, each of the Arts Desk features heard daily on WRTI will explore one aspect of the legacy of John Coltrane.

*Coltrane at 90 partners:
Philadelphia Jazz Project, WRTI, Temple University Libraries, Charles L. Blockson Collection, PhillyCAM, State Senator Vincent Hughes, Free Library of Philadelphia, Jazz Near You, Tri-State Indie, Boom Room Studios/Worldtown Sound System, City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, The Church of the Advocate, The Piazza At Schmidt’s Commons, The Fire, Brewerytown Beats, Cratebeats Entertainment, Strawberry Mansion NAC, Fairmount Park Conservancy, East Fairmount Park Coalition, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Painted Bride Art Center.