By Steve Bryant
Greetings, culture fans and mavens! It’s been a long two years with this pandemic and the resultant shutdown of all cultural venues, nightclubs, and concert halls. However, things have finally opened up, so all the presenters of music, theater, dance, and the visual arts now have filled their calendars with all types of exciting programming. This also means I’ve returned to keep you posted on the must-see events coming up in the not-too-distant future.
October 14-28, 2022
ALICE & JOHN: A COLTRANE FESTIVAL
Penn Live Arts has decided to highlight its fall season with a commemoration and celebration of probably Philadelphia’s most seminal and influential jazz musician, John Coltrane. There is no way to understate the vast impact that John and his wife and partner, Alice, had on modern American music during the past 50-plus years.
While John will be honored throughout the festival, there will also be a long-deserved emphasis on the underrepresented musical contributions of Alice Coltrane, who single-handedly transformed the harp into an essential and influential instrument.
The festival will feature all facets of John Coltrane’s music, from bop to free jazz, as well as the depth of his spiritual exploration, while the program itself will be under the direction of up and coming sax star Lakecia Benjamin. This exciting event commences October 14 and 15 with The Pam Tanowitz Dance Troupe, which will perform their own creative interpretations of Coltrane’s music.
Lakecia Benjamin will perform on October 16 with her Ensemble Pursuance, featuring Gary Bartz, vocalist DeeDee Bridgewater, and the last surviving member of Coltrane’s ensembles, the legendary Philadelphia bassist Reggie Workman. While John and Alice’s son and musical heir Ravi Coltrane will perform his parent’s music with his own distinctive Quintet.
Concluding this historic festival will be the young harpist Brandee Younger, who will be performing her own distinctive interpretation of Alice Coltrane’s classic and seminal recording, “Ptah The El Daoud.”
This one-of-a kind celebration of the music of John and Alice Coltrane is a must-see event. Not only for veteran Coltrane followers and acolytes, but also a more than satisfying introduction of the Coltrane legacy to young jazz fans.
ALICE & JOHN:
A COLTRANE FESTIVAL
Presented by PennLive Arts Annenberg Center
3680 Walnut Street
Ticket prices start at $29