Temple Students Celebrate Jazz Giant, City’s Roll In His Pioneering Career

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jazz great Bootsie Barnes, as well as faculty and students of Temple University’s Boyer School of Music, performed at a pop-up concert in the shadow of Temple’s bell tower Wednesday afternoon. It’s part of a nine-day celebration marking John Coltrane’s 90th birthday.

The free festival celebrating Coltrane’s life and legacy as a musical pioneer and spiritual seeker is a collaboration of The Philadelphia Jazz Project and Temple’s libraries. The North Carolina-born Coltrane came to Philly in his teens. Jazz Project director Homer Jackson says that’s when got his first saxophone and came into his own.

“He became a man here. He decided to be a musician here,” Jackson said. “He found a community that supported his vision, and whom he mentored, as well.”

Jackson says Coltrane at 90 is as much a celebration of the city as it is of the man.

“Great people come from this place, and continue to do so, and we need to believe and accept that ourselves,” he said. “So this celebration of John Coltrane is a celebration of us. ”

Coltrane at 90 events continue through Sunday. 


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