Coltrane Home Reaches Transformational Milestone: Things are Moving!!!
John Coltrane was an extraordinary musician – sometimes compared to the genius of Einstein, other times considered on a plane all his own. He wrote what most consider to be his masterwork, “A Love Supreme” in his Dix Hills home. Musicians I have encountered since learning more about this local, international, perhaps even cosmic treasure, have gotten me to appreciate his wife, Alice even more deeply.
Transcending music alone, both sought to be forces for good and were deeply, deeply spiritual.
Saving the Dix Hills Home
About 20 years ago, now, a Coltrane fan named Steve Fulgoni realized where the Coltrane house was, just as it was being scheduled for demolition. He partnered with all who were willing – family, fellow musicians, fans, local historians and more – to save it from destruction.
Spared the bulldozer, this group of ardent volunteers realized they now had a much bigger job on their hands. In the decades since they have done tremendous work – both on the home and in building awareness and appreciation of these legends.
A Transformative Milestone
Now, it seems, the project has reached a transformational milestone. It was a delight to hear about a recent $1.75M “JumpSMART” GRANT from Suffolk County. This, together with a $1M grant from the Mellon Foundation and countless other gifts is making the restoration of this National Treasure a reality.
You may find daughter Michelle Coltrane’s heartfelt thanks and see some images of ongoing work in this recent newsletter.
Fulgoni’s speech at the press conference about the recent grant is here:
I am grateful to a motley crew of dedicated volunteers, including Friends of the Coltrane Home in Dix Hills Board Members and Coltane COLTRANE family members who help each other stay apprised of news coverage. Here’s the latest:
• You can learn a little bit about other milestones in getting this home formally recognized and revitalized, as well as about the Suffolk County JumpSMART program in the Long Island Times article “Coltrane Home gets $1.75M from Suffolk County”
• News 12 had a piece on the grant that features video of the interior of the home: “Suffolk County expected to announce over $1.7 million in funding for John and Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills”
• There’s more detail in this article by John Valenti for Newsday (subscription required – or visit your local library~!), “Jazz legacy: John & Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills to get $1.75M grant for upgrades”
• More recently, also in Newsday, Robert Brodsky published this beautiful, in depth article, complete with video of the home: “John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane home on Long Island undergoes renovation in effort to preserve history”
• This article from Clive Young for Mix Online tells more about the Coltranes and the significance of the home, as well as plans for its future, “John Coltrane House Awarded $1.75M to Renovate Home Studio, More”
• Here’s a little more about the JumpSMART grant from in Long Island.com: “Suffolk County Executive Bellone To Announce Nearly $2 Million In Jumpsmart Funding To The John & Alice Coltrane Home”
Learn More About the Coltranes
– Here’s a beautiful, recent article from Jeff MacGregor in The Smithsonian magazine, “How John Coltrane’s ‘My Favorite Things’ Changed American Music”
– Here’s a 2018 Synchronicity Article entitled, “Notes From Joe” with older clippings collected by Coltrane Volunteer Joe Natter that we published some years ago. Worth a re-read! “Notes from Joe”
Some Good Books
One book on John Coltrane that I think musicians, especially may appreciate is Ascension by Eric Nisenson,
“Nice choice!” said Noah, the salesman in a local bookstore, when I brought it to the counter. He then promptly recommended, . “Coltrane on Coltrane” by Chris DeVito and asked me if I knew that the Coltranes had lived around here.
I went home happily and shared my finds with some Coltrane Board Members.
“Chris DeVito’s book, Coltrane on Coltrane is a text version of every Coltrane interview out there,” said Steve, “There are some online audio versions of those interviews where you can hear John talking and really get a feel for who he is.”
A YouTube search reveals a fascinating set of interviews with and about Coltrane
Another board member offered a few of their favorite biographies: Ashley Kahn’s A Love Supreme and what they felt was the best scholarly biography, Lewis Porter’s John Coltrane: His Life and Music. We learned Lewis also has amazing lectures available online in his Deep Dives.
We also refer you to the Half Hollow Hills Library where Coltrane volunteer Ellen Druda, a wonderful, retired librarian has helped create a ‘Coltrane Computer’ with hundreds of images.
It’s all quite enlightening…Enjoy. <3