The 39th Annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert’s “An Evening of Ballads & Blues” | Oct. 29, 2016

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“An Evening of Ballads & Blues”: the 39th Annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert. Presented by the Friends of John Coltrane Memorial Concert (fJCMC) and featuring the John Coltrane Memorial Concert Ensemble with host Eric Jackson.

BOSTON – Sept. 23, 2016 – PRLog — “An Evening of Ballads & Blues” : the 39th Annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert. Saturday October 29, 7:30 pm. Blackman Auditorium, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. Tickets: $30 general admission, $25 students/seniors, $40 VIP [all ticket prices include service charge]. For tickets and further information, visit (

This year’s annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert (est. July 17, 1977) provides an exploration of some of the ballads and blues compositions of Coltrane, whose accomplishments as a composer are oftentimes overshadowed due to his tremendous legacy as an acclaimed, explosive and brilliant improviser. “An Evening of Ballads & Blues” timing couldn’t be better, with this year’s tribute providing an opportunity for performers to come together and breathe new life into some of the signature songs and melodies of Coltrane’s majestic legacy. It is also significant that September 23, 2016 marks the 90th anniversary of the great musician’s birth and this year’s JCMC at Northeastern University is the 30th anniversary of this unique collaboration between creative performing artists and a major institution of higher education.

The 2016 JCMC ensemble is composed of master musicians, most of whom are based in the Boston-area, with many having made multiple annual concert appearances. Featured will be Carl Atkins (reeds and woodwinds), Billy Buss (trumpet), Consuelo Candelaria (piano), Jeff Galindo (trombone), Jason Palmer (trumpet), Bill Pierce (reeds and woodwinds), Ron Savage (percussion), Avery Sharpe (acoustic bass), Rick Stepton (trombone), Stan Strickland (reeds, woodwinds and voice), and Bobby Tynes (reeds and woodwinds).

The performance repertoire will feature ballad compositions chosen from such masterpieces as “Naima”, “Crescent”, “Lonnie’s Lament,” and “Dear Lord.” Blues compositions will include “Blues Minor,” “Mr. Day” and “Blue Train.” All these Coltrane works will be presented in new arrangements showcasing the ensemble’s great musicianship, prowess and flexibility.

Eric Jackson, hailed as the”dean of Boston jazz radio”and recognized nationally, will serve as host for the evening, which this year is being co-presented by Friends of John Coltrane Memorial Concert (fJCMC) in collaboration with the following divisionsat Northeastern University: Center for the Arts, Office of City & Community Affairs, Music Department, and Global Studies Department.

The John Coltrane Memorial Concert is co-produced by Leonard Brown and Emmett G. Price III. Further information on this year’s concert, as well as a detailed history of the JCMC, can be found at (

Brief historical background:
John Coltrane Memorial Concert originated in 1977 at the Friends of Great Black Music Loft near Boston’s Chinatown area. Over the last 39 years, the JCMC has earned its reputation as being Boston’s annual “rite of fall,” by keeping true to Coltrane’s desire to be “a force for good” and using his musical gifts to make the world a better place for all people.

The JCMC has maintained its commitment to Coltrane’s musical and spiritual legacy in the following ways:
— Consistently presenting “all star ensembles” composed of the leading musicians in the Boston and New England area;
— Featured numerous world premiere arrangements;
— Guest appearances by great world renowned musicians including McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders, Yusef Lateef, Gary Bartz, Alvin Batiste, Frank Foster, Shirley Scott, Guru, Danilo Perez, Bill Barron, Cecil McBee, Ravi Coltrane and Terri Lyn Carrington;
— Providing free musical exposure and education to elementary and secondary public school students through the John Coltrane Memorial Concert Educational Outreach Program.

Since its inception, the JCMC has reached over 30,000 audience members, many of whom return every year. It is common knowledge that the JCMC audience is one of the most diverse of any of the major cultural performance events in the New England area and the John Coltrane Memorial Concerthas grown to be one of the hallmark musical events in the Greater Boston area.

“I want to be a force for real good.
In other words, I know there are bad forces,
forces put here that bring suffering to others
and misery to the world, but I want to be the force
that is truly for good.”
(John Coltrane, 1966)

John Coltrane Memorial Concert; photo credit Hakim Raquib

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