September 29, 2022
Alice and John Coltrane are jazz royalty, and Penn Live Arts’ Coltrane Festival (October 14-23) honors the tremendous impact this iconic 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, the Festival showcases John’s bebop, free jazz and spiritual enlightenments alongside the more abstract sounds and Eastern influences of Alice’s compositions. An impressive line-up of artists brings new interpretations of the Coltranes’ music into the present day through world premieres and Penn Live Arts commissioned works, while films and discussions with Coltrane scholars round out the Festival’s thematic journey with these jazz icons.
"I wanted to honor both Alice and John Coltrane in my album, Pursuance: The Coltranes,” says Benjamin. “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.”
Alice & John: A Coltrane Festival is a major program within Penn Live Arts’ 50th anniversary celebration in the 2022-23 season. This milestone anniversary will be commemorated in a year of world and Philadelphia premieres, local debuts, commissioned works and some of the most celebrated artists from around the globe. Penn Live Arts is known for its renowned dance series, and the 2022-23 season stays true to tradition with 10 of the world’s greatest companies and most talented choreographers. Other major initiatives in the season include two significant residencies that elevate Black storytelling tradition: the legendary Negro Ensemble Company, featuring a one-act play festival and a world premiere multi-disciplinary theatrical work, and Philadelphia’s brilliant hip hop choreographer, Rennie Harris. A new series, entitled ListenHear, profiles important contemporary musical voices, and the Philadelphia Children’s Festival returns in spring 2023.
Subscriptions and single tickets, beginning at $29, are available now. Visit PennLiveArts.org for details.