Leonard Brown writes about the 41st John Coltrane Memorial Concert
Music infused with celebration, reflection, and hope
To our dear JazzBoston friends and supporters, The Friends of John Coltrane Memorial Concert, Inc. (fJCMC, Inc.), in collaboration with Northeastern University’s Office of Student Affairs and the College of Social Sciences & Humanities, offers this invitation to attend “MY FAVORITE THINGS’, a special holiday celebration of the musical and spiritual legacy of the majestic John Coltrane. The 41st Annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert happens on Saturday, December 15, 2018, at 7:30pm in Blackman Auditorium at Northeastern University, Boston.
The world’s oldest annual tribute to the great master, this year’s JCMC honors two of greater Boston and Cambridge’s world renowned musicians, Bill Pierce and Stan Strickland, both of whom have made indelible contributions to the JCMC.
When asked about the significance of Mr. Coltrane and the JCMC on their lives, Mr. Pierce and Mr. Strickland had these insightful comments.
“The Coltrane Concert has been a touchstone of my career. It remains a wonderful celebration of friendship and shared love for the music of the great John Coltrane. No musician has impacted me as much as Mr. Coltrane. It has been a beautiful experience to play his music with the community of musicians that has done this for many years. Long live the legacy of John William Coltrane.” (Bill Pierce, 2018)
“The annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert continues to be one of my most rewarding musical experiences. The camaraderie among the musicians is extraordinary. The joyous feeling of having another opportunity to make music together is palpable. Each year it is a special treat to hear what new and creative arrangements of Coltrane’s music will be presented by the various band members. The love and support of the audience throughout the years is a true testament of the power and spirit of John’s music and the ability of music to build and sustain community. It feels like a love fest for all of us. I am extremely grateful for the good fortune to be part of this beautiful, spiritual, musical family.” (Stan Strickland, 2018)
Under the musical direction of Dr. Carl Atkins, the 41st John Coltrane Memorial Concert will feature a performance repertoire that re-animates some of Coltrane’s compositions, legacy, and philosophy. The repertoire will include new arrangements of the evening’s theme song, “My Favorite Things,” plus contemporary interpretations of “Like Sonny”, “Wise One”, “Compassion”, “Greensleeves”, “Afro-Blue” and others.
This year’s 14-piece all-star ensemble features some of the area’s most accomplished and recognized musicians . Many have made multiple annual JCMC appearances, and there will be a few new faces too. A complete listing of the ensemble members can be found at www.friendsofjcmc.org
The 2018 John Coltrane Memorial Concert is planned as an evening of joyous celebration, reflection and HOPE for a better future. John Coltrane said he wanted to use his music as “a force for good.” The JCMC has that same intent. In today’s society, what could be more important in our country as we struggle with issues of equality and fairness for all…to truly be a democracy. Come and join us for an evening of music that is good and enriching and full of the spirit of the season. Music that has lasting value.
Peace, Leonard Brown
President, FJCMC, Inc.