John Coltrane Memorial Concert History

Established 1977

 Armsted Christian, Tim Tingles, Leonard Brown, Syd Smart @ Friends of Great Black Music Loft

Armsted Christian, Tim Tingles, Leonard Brown, Syd Smart @ Friends of Great Black Music Loft

 

The John Coltrane Memorial Concert (JCMC) is the world’s oldest annual performance tribute to the musical and spiritual legacy of John Coltrane. The first concert was performed in Boston on Sunday evening, July 17, 1977, in the Friends of Great Black Music Loft, a performance space for creative artistic expression established by master percussionist Syd Smart. The date was specifically selected to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Coltrane’s passing (7/17/67).

 

The concert developed through the collective efforts of Syd Smart, the late bassist Hayes Burnet, and saxophonist Leonard Brown is based on three principles:.

  1. African American musicians should exert leadership in defining, educating, creating, perpetuating, expanding, and enhancing the musical traditions of African American people in the USA and the global African Diaspora.

  2. John Coltrane was one of the most remarkable musicians in history and worthy of a memorial tribute.

  3. The community of both listeners and musicians has a continued deep and abiding interest in and love for John Coltrane’s music.

 Armsted Christian

Armsted Christian

 Leonard Brown

Leonard Brown

 Sa Davis

Sa Davis

 Herb King

Herb King

 Tim Ingles, Donald Brown

Tim Ingles, Donald Brown


These three musicians organized a concert honoring Coltrane that featured new, exciting, beautiful and moving renditions of his musical compositions.  The attendance and response was so overwhelming that a decision was made to hold the concert annually.  Since then, the John Coltrane Memorial Concert (JCMC) has developed into a greater Boston/Cambridge tradition featuring many outstanding musicians. To accommodate expanding audiences, the JCMC moved three times during the period 1979 to 1986: from the Loft to the Modern Theatre, on to Emmanuel Church and finally to New England Life Hall in 1985.  In 1986, the JCMC relocated to Northeastern University, which has served as its home base for the last thirty-one years.

 1992 JCMC Ensemble @ Blackman Auditorium - Northeastern University

1992 JCMC Ensemble @ Blackman Auditorium - Northeastern University

Along with outstanding area musicians, the JCMC has featured world class guest artists, including Kamau Adilifu, Ahmad Alaadeen, Amiri Baraka, Bill Barron, Gary Bartz, Edith and Alvin Batiste, De Ama Battle and the Art of Black Dance and Music, Brother Blue (aka Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill), Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra, Cecil Bridgewater, Terri Lyne Carrington, George Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, Carlos Cordova, Alan Dawson, Santi Debriano, Frank Foster, Michael Harper, Donald Harrison. Giovanni Hidalgo, Manenque Hidalgo, Yusef Lateef, Cecil McBee, Mulgrew Miller, New England Spiritual Ensemble, Nancy Ostrovsky, Danilo Perez, Ralph Peterson , Pharoah Sanders, Shirley Scott, Cecilia Smith and McCoy Tyner.


 
 17th Annual JCMC - Bill Pierce & Shirley Scott

17th Annual JCMC - Bill Pierce & Shirley Scott

 Bill Pierce, Yusef Lateef, Leonard Brown, Gary Valenete, Bill Lowe

Bill Pierce, Yusef Lateef, Leonard Brown, Gary Valenete, Bill Lowe

 Eric Jackson, Bill Pierce, Leonard Brown, Carl Atkins, Emmett Price, Amiri Baraka, Ravi Coltrane, Syd Smart, Bill Thompson  Copyright © Craig Bailey

Eric Jackson, Bill Pierce, Leonard Brown, Carl Atkins, Emmett Price, Amiri Baraka, Ravi Coltrane, Syd Smart, Bill Thompson

Copyright © Craig Bailey

 JCMC Ensemble f/ Alvin Batiste

JCMC Ensemble f/ Alvin Batiste

The John Coltrane Memorial Concert is now presented by Friends of  John Coltrane Memorial Concert, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization originally established as John Coltrane Memorial Concert in 1977 and incorporated in 2012. Going forward, Friends of John Coltrane Memorial Concert, Inc. intends to expand the John Coltrane Memorial Concert legacy through performances and educational programs for all ages.  For more information, go to www.friendsofjcmc.org.

 Leonard Brown, “Cousin Mary” Alexander, ?, Bill Lowe

Leonard Brown, “Cousin Mary” Alexander, ?, Bill Lowe

 Gary Bartz, Anthony Brown, Leonard Brown, Cousin Mary” Alexander, Tommy Lott, McCoy Tyner, Emmett Price

Gary Bartz, Anthony Brown, Leonard Brown, Cousin Mary” Alexander, Tommy Lott, McCoy Tyner, Emmett Price

 Copyright © Craig Bailey

Copyright © Craig Bailey

 
Eric Jackson and JCMC ensemble.JPG
 
 

Thank You.

To the audience, who have continued to support this annual tribute, we thank you for your continued support. It would not be possible without you.

FJCMC


 
 
 
img2003 Standing ovation.JPG
img2003 Clapping audience members.JPG