The fourth annual Coltrane Day, held to help raise money for the transformation of the historic former home of the late jazz great John Coltrane into a museum and cultural center, will be held Saturday at Heckscher Park in Huntington.
“There’ll be great music — jazz, rap, funk — all-day workshops,” Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said on Thursday. “It’ll be a great day for families and for people to come together and to celebrate his legacy.”
Ron Stein, president of the John & Alice Coltrane Home, an organization raising funds to restore the town-owned three-bedroom brick home in Dix Hills, said the free event is “as much of an awareness raiser as it is a fundraiser.” He said about $900,000 is needed to complete work on the house.
Stein noted that the Candlewood Path home is a state landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but it has been designated by the Washington, D.C.-based National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the most “endangered” properties in the country. The home was given special historic status because of the huge impact of Coltrane’s work, as well as that of his late wife, Alice, Stein said.
The couple lived there between 1964 and 1967, the last three years of John Coltrane’s life. He wrote his masterpiece “A Love Supreme” while living there, and Alice Coltrane made the first five of her albums in a studio built in the basement.
“He was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century,” Stein said. “There’s a list of musicians influenced by him,” including The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Carlos Santana, Kendrick Lamar and Common, Stein added. Santana is an honorary board member of the John & Alice Coltrane Home.
But the house fell into disrepair over the years, filled with mold and decay, and became home to rodents. Stein said plans call for retaining the current original exterior of the house, while changing parts of the interior to accommodate facilities for the public to record music and adding other interactive features that will appeal to all ages.
Other parts of the structure will be restored with furniture and artifacts such as items that were in the house when the Coltranes lived there.
The Coltranes’ daughter, Michelle Coltrane, 57, said the town purchased the house after she, her mother, and Michelle’s three siblings moved to California “around 1971 or 1972” and a couple of other families lived there. Michelle Coltrane now lives in Woodland Hills, California.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Michelle Coltrane said of Coltrane Day, at which she will be singing. “I look forward to seeing it completed,” she said of the restoration of her childhood home.
The event will be held from noon to 10:30 p.m. in the park at Prime Avenue and Route 25A.