Kids for Coltrane

Archive for March 2009

A beautiful evening honoring exquiste music and gifted musicians John Coltrane and Miles Davis…pic with board members from The Friends of the Coltrane Home…the lovely lady at the far right is Kathleen Coltrane, the wife of saxophonist Ravi Coltrane. It was thrilling to meet her. She is proud of The Kids for Coltrane and supports my work in education. Thank you Kathleen!

After the show, I was invited backstage to meet some of the incredible musicians who performed in honor of John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Please see below. You can tell by everyone’s smiles that it was a joy to be part of this special and memorable event.

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 Backstage with Alto Saxophonist Sherman Irby, Singer Dave Thomas, Tenor and Soprano Saxophonist Walter Blanding, and Pianist Mulgrew Miller…and my daughter. I was also hoping to talk to the legend Jimmy Cobb who treated the audience to his powerful gift on the drums, but he had already left the building. I wanted to tell him all about The Kids for Coltrane.

Sonny Simmons talking to The Kids for Coltrane about the music in their lives.


Jazz legend Sonny Simmons performing for The Kids for Coltrane. “This is the best day of my life,” shouted one of students.  I want to thank Wendy Oxenhorn and her team at The Jazz Foundation of America for bringing this gift of music to our students.


Joining Sonny Simmons was the Michael Marcus Quartet. The musicians came back the next day to perform for the school. The students certainly enjoyed this enriching experience.

A.B. Spellman (author, poet, critic) , Dr. David Baker (Jazz Master), and Dr. Billy Taylor (Jazz Master) speaking about the future of jazz. I was in the audience and found the discussion illuminating and emotional. As an audience member, I had the opportunity to speak at the end…and I spoke about the importance of raising the profile of jazz in America and honoring the brilliant musicians who gave us “America’s music.”


Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts inviting the guests to participate in a lively conversation on the future of jazz, jazz education, and jazz audiences.

Langston Hughes Auditorium Oct. 2008
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, NY

This symposium launched the 2009 NEA Jazz Masters celebration,
taking place in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Ms. Christine Termini Passarella meeting saxophonist Ravi Coltrane at Birdland NYC. Ravi was proud of The Kids for Coltrane. We raised $1,500 for the non profit group Friends of the Coltrane Home…please check out their site and mission. The Kids for Coltrane dream of the day that John’s Long Island home is transformed into a learning museum!

The Kids for Coltrane with contributions from Jazz at Lincoln Center…Thank you Joanna Massey. Your support meant so much to us!

William holding his grand prize , an Eastwood guitar.

First prize winner Maya with her little sister holding a letter of support from the  Clinton Foundation and the book Giving. President Clinton donated an autographed copy of his book and dedicated it to Maya. She was thrilled to receive it, and be part of this philanthropic effort!! An extra special thank you goes out to saxophone player and former President of the United States of America William Jefferson Clinton.

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The Holliswood School children, friends and families  listening to gifted musician Louis Vignapiano performing at The Kids for Coltrane Event.  Throughout the year Mr. Vignapiano shares his original instrumental compositions with the Kids for Coltrane. The  students have discovered the wonderful world of songwriting.

I attended Harvard’s Project Zero 2006 Summer Institute.  The institute was led by Dr. Howard Gardner,  Dr. David Perkins and Dr. Steve Seidel. This experience changed my life. I highly recommend this professional development to all educators searching for transformative learning.  I plan on going back this summer to attend the Future of Learning Institute…I can’t wait!

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