As a kick off to the new John Coltrane mural to be installed starting the end of the month, Mural Arts has partnered with Strawberry Mansion Civic Association to present a series of workshops for residents to come together to celebrate the rich history and accomplishments of people from Strawberry Mansion such as John Coltrane, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Dox Thrash, and others. The workshops are designed to not only preserve the legacies of these icons but to also share practical skills that can lead to entrepreneurial opportunities such as sewing, learning about jazz and how Coltrane created his music merging jazz and African rhythms, and Dox Thrash, and how he became a pioneer of printmaking.
John Coltrane workshop with Robert Kenyatta. Part of Coltrane’s evolution as a composer was his embracing the world and becoming a global citizen through deeper knowledge of the spiritual and cultural traditions of the world, and that included Africa and the African diaspora. Robert Kenyatta was among a group of African Drummers practicing at the Church of the Advocate when Coltrane came and asked if he could play with them. The drummers shared their knowledge of basic rhythms that Coltrane used as a basis for the compositions he created in the last year of his life. Mr. Kenyatta joined Coltrane on stage at Temple University for his last Philadelphia performance. This workshop will be interactive and participants will learn and play traditional African rhythms on instruments provided.