The Friends of John Coltrane, the non-profit that organizes the festival each year, bring together internationally renowned jazz musicians with a diverse community of business and civic leaders, entrepreneurs and artists. The best local and regional musicians, as well as student jazz bands showcase Coltrane’s timeless compositions and recordings.
THE FRIENDS OF JOHN COLTRANE
The 3rd Annual John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival is hosted by the Friends of John Coltrane. The mission of the Friends of John Coltrane, a charitable 501(c)3 organization, is to preserve and celebrate the life and music of John Coltrane and to enrich the lives of others through the introduction of jazz and other musical genres.
The objectives of the Festival are to: 1. Bring a signature event to the city of High Point that demonstrates the significance of High Point in the life of John Coltrane and the cultural and economic vitality of the city; and 2. Help educate and promote jazz and other musical genres to the youth of our communities.
For more information, go to www.friendsofjohncoltrane.com or email us at email@example.com.
John William Coltrane (also known as “Trane”) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and later was at the forefront of free jazz.
John Coltrane was born in Hamlet, North Carolina on September 23, 1926, and grew up in High Point, North Carolina, attending William Penn High School (now Penn-Griffin School for the Arts). In the winter of 1938-39 Coltrane’s father and grandfather died within a few months of each other, leaving John to be raised by his mother and his aunt. He would turn to music for consolation. Coltrane played the clarinet and the alto horn in a community band before taking up the alto saxophone during high school.
Coltrane was born and raised in a Christian home, and was influenced by religion and spirituality from childhood. His maternal grandfather, the Reverend William Blair, was a preacher at an African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in High Point, NC and John’s paternal grandfather, the Reverend William H. Coltrane, was an A.M.E. Zion minister in Hamlet, NC.
After WWII, Coltrane began playing tenor saxophone with the Eddie “Clean Head” Vinson Band. He played in the bands of Jimmy Heath, Dizzy Gillespie and the Miles Davis Quintet. It was his work with Davis that led to Coltrane’s own musical evolution.
In 1960 Coltrane formed his first group, a quartet, which included McCoy Tyner on piano, Steve Davis on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums. Coltrane began playing soprano saxophone, an unconventional move considering the instrument’s near obsolescence in jazz at the time.
The influence John Coltrane has had on music spans many different genres and generations of musicians. Coltrane’s massive influence on jazz, both mainstream and avant-garde, began during his lifetime and continued to grow after his death. He is one of the most dominant influences on post-1960 jazz saxophonists and has inspired generations of jazz musicians. In 1965, he was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame. In 1972, A Love Supreme was certified gold by the RIAA for selling over half a million copies in Japan. This album, as well as My Favorite Things, was certified gold in the United States in 2001. In 1982 Coltrane was awarded a posthumous Grammy for “Best Jazz Solo Performance” on the album Bye Bye Blackbird, and in 1997, was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.