The Fifth Annual John Coltrane Festival is schedule for Labor Day weekend September 5-6 in Oak Hollow Festival Park. Some of the artists appearing at this year’s festival are Lalah Hathaway, daughter of the late Donnie Hathaway, David Sanborn and guitarist Earl Klugh all well-known artists to jazz enthusiasts.
Coltrane was born in Hamlet, N.C., but grew up in High Point, graduating from William Penn High School at 16. While in high school, he started listening to Lester Young, and Johnny Hodges who inspired him to start playing the alto saxophone. He moved to Philadelphia, Pa., and eventually joined the Navy.
He performed with many musical legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Hodges, Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk before forming his own quartet of pianist McCoy Tyner, drummer Elvin Jones, and bassist Jimmy Garrison. Theyrecorded some of the classic vinyl in jazz history like “My Favorite Things”, “Africa Brass”, “Impressions”, and “Giant Steps”.
Coltrane, who converted to Islam, recorded the legendary albums “Love Supreme”, as a spiritual meditation. And, the classic album “Kind of Blue” that he recorded with Miles Davis that some jazz critics called the greatest album in modern jazz history.