Coltrane Home Update – Grateful to Hear: This is Getting Real

Dignitaries gathered at the press conference where a $1.75M Suffolk County JumpSMART grant to Friends of the Coltrane Home was announced.

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.

You can read about the home, the Coltrane legacy and more on the website dedicated to this project.

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:

Press Coverage

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

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2024: To Reflect and Serve

Photo of MLK Monument in Washington DC

The third Monday in January is reserved to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whose 95th birthday would be this year. It is the only federal holiday formally recognized as a national day of service, “a day on, not a day off.” In the spirit of listening and thinking first, people are warmly encouraged to study the works of King, and to devote time to serious reflection on how we will endeavor toward a healthier, more just world for all. Here are a few resources.

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Arts Matter: LIAA Releases Numbers Detailing $330M Impact on LI

LIAA Board Member Marc Wong, David Okorn and Melissa Greenberger of LICF, and Lauren Wagner of LIAA show off key stats from a recent comprehensive study of the economic impace of Arts and Cultural organizations on LI

Share this with anyone involved in securing investment in the arts. We know the value is clearly deeper than economics. Still, that impact is profound and now we have numbers to clearly illustrate it!

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Shop Local! 2023 Northport Leg Lamp Lighting

How one village gets lit, including a Shopping Guide starring the merchants who light the Northport Leg Lamp!

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NHS Paint & Sip to Focus on The Leg Lamp!

Flyer for Northport Historical Society Paint & Sip Nite: The Leg Lamp

The Northport Historical Society offers fantastic programming, We are EXTRA excited about this event!

Northport Historical Society & The Firefly Artists invite you to take a painting journey of a Holiday Icon! Join us at the Museum as Executive Director (and Firefly!) Caitlyn Shea gives you step-by-step instructions to help you paint The Leg Lamp. Adult beverages will be served while A Christmas Story plays in the background to inspire your creativity. (And rumor has it, a Fra-Gee-Lay delivery will be at the Museum days before it makes it’s official debut!) 
 
What: “Paint & Sip Nite featuring The Northport Leg Lamp!
When: Thursday, November 16th at 6pm.
Limited Space Available! Ages 21+ Only!
Cost: $45 Society Member | $55 Non-Members.
To Register: visit the NHS website

 

We at The Firefly are absolutely delighted to join in this celebration of relatively recent history, and will be clearing our Darcy Arts Center special exhibition space to host a POP-UP SHOW OF WORKS by willing participants, together with on-theme pieces by our Fireflies!  This will be on view the weekend of 11/17-11/19.

Follow The Firefly’s Facebook and Instagram stories for more on what our Fireflies are up to. They light up everywhere!!!

We also love following their Northport Historical Society on Facebook, They do a great job of keeping us up to date with their events, while teaching us something new about our past all the time!

Hope to see you next Thursday!

Heroes Among Us: “Hey, I Know That Guy…”

Photos of firemen responding to September 11th

Heroes Among Us. You may recall that we hosted a show of previously unshared works by Photojournalist Peter Foley. Soon after it opened, Firefly Steve Walker came in and saw his neighbor.

“What a story,” said Steve, when he told me, “9/11, yeah, but not for why you think. This guy’s a regular hero. You’ve got to meet him.”
 
I am so glad I did. His wife, too.
 
More soon…
 

Peter Foley’s website is here. You may find Synchronicity’s own tribute to 9/11 here.

Night at the Museum with John Lazzaro

Flyer for the 2nd Annual Nite at the Museum Halloween Costume Party

Join Firefly John Lazzaro at the Northport Historical Society on Thursday, October 19th at 6pm. 

At this Second Annual “Nite at the Museum Halloween Costume Party” there will be food, drink, music, prizes, and more! John will discuss his beautiful coffee table book: “A Vanishing New York.” Related works will be on view in the Museums’ October Pop-up Exhibit Space.

Costumes highly recommended! For more info and to register:  Visit the NHS website

Follow The Firefly’s Facebook and Instagram stories for more on what our Fireflies are up to. They light up everywhere!!!

The Northport Historical Society also has tons of stuff going on. We love following their Facebook page, which keeps us up to date with their events, while teaching us something new about our past all the time.