[JPL] High Point Museum hopes to buy Coltrane's piano

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Thu Apr 28 07:15:09 EDT 2005


http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--coltranespiano0427a
pr27,0,2491735.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork

High Point Museum hopes to buy Coltrane's piano
  

 April 27, 2005, 2:05 PM EDT

 HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) _ The High Point Museum is asking locals to help it
purchase a piano owned and played by jazz legend John Coltrane, who spent
his youth in High Point.

The museum is looking for 88 contributors to purchase each of the piano's
keys for $162.50 in an effort to raise the $14,300 needed to bring the piano
home. 

The piano then would be displayed in the museum alongside other Coltrane
memorabilia. 

"When someone of that caliber, who should be a household name in jazz,
having something like that coming back to the community is very exciting,"
said Wally West, the musical director of the John Coltrane Jazz Workshop, a
weeklong music camp the High Point Area Arts Council created about three
years ago. "This will put High Point on the map much more than for just its
furniture." 

In February, the piano sold at Guernsey's, a New York auction house, for
$10,000, said Chuck Alt, chairman of the High Point Museum and Historical
Society board of directors.

When that deal fell through, the museum was offered the chance to buy the
piano at the same price, he said. In addition to the price of the piano, the
museum needs $1,800 for the buyer's premium, $1,500 for shipping and $1,000
to redesign a space in the museum.

The piano once sat in Coltrane's family home in High Point. The piano left
High Point for Philadelphia when Coltrane's jazz career took off.

Coltrane's cousin Mary Alexander, who lived with the jazz musician for a
time in Philadelphia, gave the piano to the Guernsey's.

Museum officials hope to raise the money needed to purchase the piano by May
16. But if they can't raise enough money through contributions, museum
officials plan to borrow from reserves to buy it.

"The (museum) board is committed to making it happen," Taylor said. "We're
sitting on money raised for collections. We don't spend the money lightly,
but we thought we might not be able to purchase some of the items belonging
to Coltrane again."

Coltrane grew up in High Point and got his musical start at the William Penn
High School. 

A noted jazz saxophonist in the late '40s, '50s and '60s, he fathered some
of the most innovative styles and techniques in jazz music. But when
Coltrane left the community, much of his early history here went with him.

A small sign along Centennial Street in High Point claims the furniture city
as Coltrane's hometown and is one of the few public tributes to Coltrane's
ties to the area. 

"We have so very few items belonging to John Coltrane in High Point," said
Barbara Taylor, director of the High Point Museum. "This may be one of the
most significant items we can purchase to represent Coltrane's life in High
Point." 

Two months ago, the museum spent $19,558 to buy three pieces of John
Coltrane history _ a fifth-grade report written by Coltrane; three pieces of
sheet music with composition notes from the musician; and a 1961 award from
the magazine Down Beat.

The museum added these items to its Coltrane exhibit last week.

___ 

Information from: High Point Enterprise, http://www.hpe.com


Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.

High Point Museum hopes to buy Coltrane's piano
  

 April 27, 2005, 2:05 PM EDT

 HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) _ The High Point Museum is asking locals to help it
purchase a piano owned and played by jazz legend John Coltrane, who spent
his youth in High Point.

The museum is looking for 88 contributors to purchase each of the piano's
keys for $162.50 in an effort to raise the $14,300 needed to bring the piano
home. 

The piano then would be displayed in the museum alongside other Coltrane
memorabilia. 

"When someone of that caliber, who should be a household name in jazz,
having something like that coming back to the community is very exciting,"
said Wally West, the musical director of the John Coltrane Jazz Workshop, a
weeklong music camp the High Point Area Arts Council created about three
years ago. "This will put High Point on the map much more than for just its
furniture." 

In February, the piano sold at Guernsey's, a New York auction house, for
$10,000, said Chuck Alt, chairman of the High Point Museum and Historical
Society board of directors.

When that deal fell through, the museum was offered the chance to buy the
piano at the same price, he said. In addition to the price of the piano, the
museum needs $1,800 for the buyer's premium, $1,500 for shipping and $1,000
to redesign a space in the museum.

The piano once sat in Coltrane's family home in High Point. The piano left
High Point for Philadelphia when Coltrane's jazz career took off.

Coltrane's cousin Mary Alexander, who lived with the jazz musician for a
time in Philadelphia, gave the piano to the Guernsey's.

Museum officials hope to raise the money needed to purchase the piano by May
16. But if they can't raise enough money through contributions, museum
officials plan to borrow from reserves to buy it.

"The (museum) board is committed to making it happen," Taylor said. "We're
sitting on money raised for collections. We don't spend the money lightly,
but we thought we might not be able to purchase some of the items belonging
to Coltrane again."

Coltrane grew up in High Point and got his musical start at the William Penn
High School. 

A noted jazz saxophonist in the late '40s, '50s and '60s, he fathered some
of the most innovative styles and techniques in jazz music. But when
Coltrane left the community, much of his early history here went with him.

A small sign along Centennial Street in High Point claims the furniture city
as Coltrane's hometown and is one of the few public tributes to Coltrane's
ties to the area. 

"We have so very few items belonging to John Coltrane in High Point," said
Barbara Taylor, director of the High Point Museum. "This may be one of the
most significant items we can purchase to represent Coltrane's life in High
Point." 

Two months ago, the museum spent $19,558 to buy three pieces of John
Coltrane history _ a fifth-grade report written by Coltrane; three pieces of
sheet music with composition notes from the musician; and a 1961 award from
the magazine Down Beat.

The museum added these items to its Coltrane exhibit last week.

___ 

Information from: High Point Enterprise, http://www.hpe.com


Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.


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