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Lady Day, Coltrane House Fundraiser

Ron Scott | 10/10/2013, 3:07 p.m.

Recently, the Friends of the Coltrane Home in Dix Hills hosted their first major fundraiser at the En Japanese Brasserie in the West Village. An earlier benefit was held four years ago with Savion Glover, who was also present at this event. Jazz elder statesmen Roy Haynes, Jimmy Heath, Jimmy Cobb and Candido, photographer Chuck Stewart and composer–percussionist Ricky Gordon, as well as pop star Elvis Costello.

Heath noted, “Coltrane is one of the most humble geniuses to ever live.”

Guitarist, composer and activist Carlos Santana, the guest speaker, noted, “Morning, noon and night, his music should be heard. The more you invite youngsters to connect with John Coltrane, they will stop the carnage.”

The house that sits on 3.4 acres of land will be restored as it originally was, and one will be able to walk into Coltrane’s basement recording studio and see Alice Coltrane’s meditation room, which will consist of an outside meditation garden. A research and listening room will be created, along with a multimedia room for presentations to school children.

The family will be donating written music, records and other memorabilia, while Yasuhiro “Fugi” Fujioka, a founding member, will donate his 3,000 pieces of Coltrane collectibles.

This project is more than just Coltrane’s house at its completion, it will be a museum with archives and a research center. A primary focus will be on the arts and education component.

Coltrane shared his music with the world, noting, “I want to be the force that is truly good.”

Here his music will be shared with the world and, most of all, with young people. As Ron Stein, COO and board member, stated, “Arts education programs help children to become more positive and develop a sense of self-worth.”

The organization is hoping that some part of the Coltrane House will be open to the public in 2014, which will be the 50th anniversary of Coltrane’s album “A Love Supreme.” For the overall completion of the project, the Friends of Coltrane Home in Dix Hills will have to raise $1 million. This fundraiser demonstrates that the organization and many supporters are working diligently for this to happen. Dr. Cornel West, the guest speaker, noted, “Coltrane’s house represents the future of who we are as creatures on this planet.”

The charge to start the renovation of Coltrane’s house began with Dix Hils resident and historian Steve Fulgoni, founding member and vice president. Being a Coltrane fan, he went to see the house in its worst state but said, “When I walked through, I could feel a presence. I knew I was in a special place.” During his visit, he spoke with Alice and Ravi Coltrane, and now things are moving forward.

“If it wasn’t for Steve, two big McMansions would be on the Coltrane site,” said Stein.

For more information, contact info@thecoltraehome.org or call 631-860-9200.