Alice & John: A Coltrane Festival

Alice & John photo

October 12-23

Alice and John Coltrane are jazz royalty. Our Coltrane Festival explores the immense impact this duo had on American music, with an exciting emphasis on Alice’s significant and often underrepresented contributions. With rising star saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin serving as Artistic Advisor, we showcase John’s bebop, free jazz and spiritual enlightenments alongside the more abstract sounds and Eastern influences of Alice’s compositions. World premieres, Penn Live Arts commissions and an impressive line-up of artists bring the timeless music of the Coltranes into the present day.

A prolific star of the dance world, choreographer Pam Tanowitz’ company performs our world premiere commissioned work set to Alice’s music and played live by Lakecia Benjamin and her band, Pursuance. Benjamin remains in the spotlight in an all-Coltrane inspired program featuring a Penn Live Arts commissioned piece and some very special guests. Ravi Coltrane brings a personal connection in a grand exploration of his parents’ musical legacy, and jazz harpist Brandee Younger continues her years-long dedication to Alice’s music, highlighting her earlier works. Films and discussions with Coltrane scholars round out our thematic journey with these jazz icons.

Coltrane Festival Events

Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary promotional graphic

Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary
Oct 12

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Film still from Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes
Oct 13

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Pam Tanowitz Dance photo

Pam Tanowitz Dance
Lakecia Benjamin & Pursuance
Oct 14-15

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Lakecia Benjamin photo

Lakecia Benjamin & Pursuance
Dee Dee Bridgewater & Gary Bartz

Oct 16

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Ravi Coltrane photo

Ravi Coltrane Quintet
The Music of John & Alice Coltrane

Oct 22

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Brandee Younger photo

Brandee Younger
Ptah the El Daoud

Oct 23

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A NOTE FROM Artistic Advisor Lakecia Benjamin

Lakecia Benjamin photo "I wanted to honor both Alice and John Coltrane in my album, Pursuance: The Coltranes. Even though I am a saxophonist, I was familiar with Alice Coltrane's music before I became familiar with John Coltrane and his music. I was drawn to Alice Coltrane's spirituality and how she reflected that in her music. After I became familiar with John Coltrane, I devoured his music, both as a musician and composer but also because of the obvious spirituality in his music. I think of them as a real power couple and I could not imagine honoring one without the other.

I am very pleased to be included in the celebration of Alice and John Coltrane during the festival. My quartet will perform many of the songs on my album as well as a selection from John Coltrane's Blue World album. In addition, we will perform John Coltrane's music live for Pam Tanowitz Dance's performance. I love performing with dancers and this is a very special opportunity for me."

– Lakecia Benjamin

The Coltrane Festival is supported in part by The Sylvia and Randle Kauders Foundation.

Media support for the Coltrane Festival provided by WRTI.