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Special Event  |  Pappy Martin Jazz Society: A Tribute to John Coltrane

Thursday, September 24, 2015, 6–9 pm

Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium  

The Burchfield Penney Art Center in partnership with the Pappy Martin Jazz Society will present a screening and tribute concert remembering legendary jazz saxophonist John Coltrane at The Center Thursday, September 24. The evening kicks off at 6 PM with a screening of The World According to John Coltrane; a tribute concert featuring the Herbie Small quartet follows at 7:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public.
Over the past two decades the Love Supreme Jazz Ensemble, formerly led by the late James ‘Pappy’ Martin, annually marked the birthday of the patron saint of jazz and tenor saxophone born September 23, 1926. The Herbie Small jazz quartet will perform various selections and pieces from Love Supreme, arguably the best album John Coltrane ever recorded and consistently mentioned as the greatest album in jazz.

Born in Hamlet, North Carolina, the revolutionary saxophonist John Coltrane was among the most important, and most controversial, figures in jazz despite a relatively brief career. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, he played in nightclubs and on recordings with such musicians as Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Bostic and Johnny Hodges. Coltrane's first recorded solo can be heard on Gillespie's "We Love to Boogie" (1951). Coltrane came to prominence when he joined Miles Davis's quintet in 1955. He died from liver cancer on July 17, 1967, in Huntington, Long Island, New York.

Pappy Martin, the renowned local band leader and musician, passed away last year. The jazz icon played with such greats as Aretha Franklin, Ruth Brown, Johnny Griffin, Billy Taylor, Betty Carter and Al Hibbler. As a band leader and musician, he played in many famous area nightclubs, including Little Harlem, Pine Grill, Revilot, Royal Arms, Moon Glow, Shalimar, Town Casino, Ontario House, and Blue Note.

As a community activist, Martin founded the Love Supreme School of Music that focused on instrumental music lessons, music theory and the science of music. Love Supreme School launched careers of many local and national musicians. He co-founded the Masten Jazz Festival that continued under his sole leadership and remains a summer mainstay 21 years later. He also received many accolades and awards for his volunteer work from community and civic organizations.

Martin’s countless stories and the lives he touched through music are his gift to us all and live on through the Pappy Martin Legacy Society, an organization which honors his musical legacy by continuing and enhancing the awareness, appreciation and celebration of jazz as a viable art form.

This event is free and open to the public.