"My Favorite Things" : John Coltrane Memorial Concert celebrating the holiday spirit Coltrane-style -- Saturday, December 15, 2018

"My Favorite Things" : a special holiday celebration; the 41st John Coltrane Memorial Concert (JCMC) presented by the Friends of JCMC, Inc. Saturday December 15, 7:30 pm. Tickets in advance: premium reserved $35, general reserved $30, general reserved (student & senior) $25. [A $3/tix service charge applies to all purchases; an additional $5/tix on day of concert for walk-up sales.] Blackman Auditorium, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston. For tickets:, 617-373-4700; further information:, 617-671-0789.

The Friends of John Coltrane Memorial Concert, Inc. (fJCMC), in collaboration with Northeastern University's Office of Student Affairs and the College of Social Sciences & Humanities, presents "My Favorite Things" celebrating the holiday spirit Coltrane-style, bestowing musical good will to all people.

This year's holiday concert will also honor two master JCMC alumni, Bill Pierce and Stan Strickland, both of whom have made indelible musical contributions to Boston and well beyond. "My Favorite Things" is a tribute to these two musicians, planned as an evening of joyous celebration, as well as reflection.

This 41st John Coltrane Memorial Concert features a 14-piece JCMC Ensemble under the musical direction of Dr. Carl Atkins, who has created a performance repertoire that will re-animate Coltrane's compositions, legacy, and philosophy. The concert includes the evening's theme "My Favorite Things, " along with such masterpieces as "Greensleeves" (arranged by Leonard Brown and Emmett Price), "Afro Blue" (featuring Stan Strickland and arranged by Atkins), "Like Sonny" by Coltrane (featuring Bill Pierce), among other compositions composed or performed by 'Trane.

These Coltrane works will be presented in new arrangements showcasing the 2018 JCMC Ensemble's great musicianship, prowess and flexibility. This year's ensemble, many who have made multiple annual JCMC appearances, will feature Carl Atkins (alto & soprano sax), Tyler Bonilla (trombone), Leonard Brown (soprano & tenor sax), Billy Buss (trumpet), Laszlo Gardony (piano), Yoron Israel (drums), Charles Lewis (trumpet), John Lockwood (bass), Bill Lowe (bass trombone & tuba), Dorsey Minns (trombone), Michael Peipman (trumpet), Bill Pierce (soprano & tenor sax), Stan Strickland (soprano & tenor sax, bass clarinet, flutes, vocals), and Bobby Tynes (alto & tenor sax and flute). They will be joined by host Eric Jackson.

"'Favorite Things' is my favorite piece
of all those I have recorded."
(John Coltrane, Jazz Hot, Jan. 1962)

Further background information:

Recognized as one of the world's greatest saxophonists, Bill Pierce has created a legacy that is second to none. He has played with such greats as Stevie Wonder, Art Blakey, Tony Williams and Kevin Eubanks. Pierce has appeared on over 80 recordings and for over a quarter of a century, he served as the head of woodwinds at Berklee College of Music, where his legacy as a teacher and mentor is legendary. He recently retired in 2017 and was named emeritus chair of woodwinds. Pierce has been a consistent contributor to the JCMC over the years. His unique, powerful and robust sound has been featured many times and his solos have always been highlights of the performances.

"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)

Stan Strickland is recognized as one of the greatest artists of our times. He is a master musician, performing on various reeds and woodwinds and vocals in multiple formats for over five decades. Strickland is also an accomplished dancer and actor, having performed and collaborated with choreographers including Alvin Ailey, José Limón and Bill T. Jones and appearing at the Vineyard Playhouse Productions and the Sundance Film Festival. From the first JCMC in 1977 through today, Strickland has been performed on every concert. With all his unique and full sound on reeds, woodwinds and vocals, his spirit has been essential in establishing the outstanding legacy of the JCMC. He has contributed some of the most memorable arrangements and performances in the JCMC history, all exhibiting a deep understanding of Coltrane's music and the ability to recreate and express it in innovative and captivating approaches and formats.

"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)

Eric Jackson is an internationally recognized jazz radio personality and active promoter of jazz music throughout New England and across the country. WGBH recently celebrated Jackson's 40 years as the "dean of jazz radio in Boston."

John Coltrane Memorial Concert originated in 1977, at the Friends of Great Black Music Loft near Boston's Chinatown area, to honor the 10th anniversary of Coltrane's death. Over the last 41 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. This year, the annual "rite" falls into the holiday season, with a renewed hope for peace on earth.

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 thousands of 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 Concert has grown to be one of the hallmark musical events in the Greater Boston area.

"My music is the spiritual expression of
what I am; my faith, my knowledge, my being."
(John Coltrane, Newsweek
("The New Jazz"), Dec. 1966)

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

write your comments about the article :: © 2018 Jazz News :: home page