This year’s Homecoming week has been one based in the present, with an MTV show gracing campus as well as a world record being broken, however it is not without its mentions to the past.
The Bell Tower Plaza and Buery Beach were ringing with the soulful sounds of old school jazz in celebration of the late famed Philadelphian John Coltrane’s upcoming birthday on Friday. Although he grew up in North Carolina, he moved to Philadelphia at age 16 and started playing alto saxophone at a high school in the city. After he served in the Navy, Coltrane moved back to Philly and became a freelance musician before befriending fellow jazz great, Miles Davis. After that, he rose to the top of the jazz world and remained there until his untimely death due to liver cancer at age 40 in 1967.
Temple Libraries and the Boyer School of Music teamed up to honor this legend and put on a pop-up concert for homecoming week featuring the music of “Trane” himself. From 3:00 pm until 7:00 pm, a crowd of about 50 students and community members congregated just to the right of the entrance of the Paley Library to observe and enjoy the stylings of The Chris Lewis Group, The Bootsie Barnes Group, The Tim Warfield Group, and The Ben Schachter Group – all student or alumni groups from Temple University.
The relaxing waves of jazz and blues that washed over the crowd seamlessly lapped at the shores of Buery Beach made it a prime location to study for the afternoon and into the evening. The temperature throughout the day seemed non-existent and was kept comfortable through the lack of great humidity and a gentle breeze that almost made it seem as if the music was making its presence known in more ways than one. Summed up in one word, the Coltrane Festival at the Bell Tower was swingin’.