The Year of Alice Initiative Celebrates a Coltrane Family Legacy

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​The Year of Alice initiative, celebrating the life work of Alice Coltrane, runs from 2024 to 2025.

(Photo: Courtesy of the Coltrane Family )

The John & Alice Coltrane Home and the Coltrane Family, in partnership with Impulse! Records, Detroit Jazz Festival, Hammer Museum, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, The New York Historical Society and others, have declared 2024–2025 to be The Year of Alice, celebrating the extensive life work of spiritual leader, composer and musician Alice Coltrane.

Alice Coltrane forged masterful works, created music that beamed with universal love and spirituality and laid the groundwork for musicians for years to come to do the same. She was prolific in her creation, with iconic works that include Journey In Satchidananda, A Monastic Trio, Universal Consciousness, Ptah, the El Daoud. She continued creating music when she started her ashram in California; music from that time would later be released to critical acclaim. Beyond her recorded output, Coltrane was a beloved and wise spiritual leader, a pragmatic person with a keen eye for business and a deeply giving human who emphasized the importance of charitable giving, education and spiritual guidance.

To honor her legacy, this year and next will see a slew of tributary music events, programming, concert series, music releases and more.

“Alice was ahead of her time, one of the first people to move outside the mainstream, and certainly one of the first female, Black, American jazz musicians to record her own music in her own studio, and to release music on her own terms,” said her son, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane. “There is something to be said about timing. It can take a moment for people to recognize where the energies are, where the weight is. … But now, people across all generations are finding their way to Alice’s music in a myriad of different ways. It’s hard to pinpoint what makes her music so powerful, but there’s something in her spirit, in her intention, that is very clear — and people can feel that immediately.”

The Year of Alice presents a series of initiatives.

On March 22, Impulse! released Alice Coltrane–The Carnegie Hall Concert, a captivating performance recorded in 1971, which marked Coltrane’s first show as a leader at Carnegie Hall. It features an all-star lineup including Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Jimmy Garrison, Cecil McBee and Ed Blackwell, among others.

In June, UMe/Verve will re-release A Monastic Trio, the first solo album from Alice Coltrane originally released and recorded in 1968. A third Impulse! release will be announced later this year, for release during the holiday season.

Michelle Coltrane, vocalist and daughter of Alice Coltrane, and rising star harpist Brandee Younger have joined forces for An Oral History of Alice Coltrane. This program is part panel and performance, and will feature oral histories and biographical stories about Alice Coltrane from her daughter, interweaved with performance and demonstrations from Brandee to bring the stories to life. An Oral History of Alice Coltrane will be presented at universities, colleges and museums across the country.

Dates are currently being set at the Center for Women’s History at the New York Historical Society, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Oberlin, University of Michigan and more to follow.

“It is my honor to be a part of The Year Of Alice and to pay tribute to the pianist, organist, harpist, vocalist, composer and author Alice Coltrane, also known as Swamini Turiyasangitananda,” Younger said. “Her musical and spiritual journey helped define and shape a life and an entire musical genre. Spiritual, meditative, cathartic, exciting, transformative, transcendental, soulful and Black.”

In 1967, John Coltrane gifted a harp to Alice, which arrived at her doorstep shortly after his passing. This was Alice’s first harp — she had never played the instrument before — and the harp on which she recorded her seminal works, including Journey In Satchidananda, A Monastic Trio and numerous others.

This year, Chicago-based instrument manufacturer Lyon & Healy is restoring Alice’s harp to peak-performance condition, after which it will be on loan to Brandee Younger from the Coltrane Family. Special performances will feature Brandee and Alice’s harp throughout the year.

Detroit, New York and Los Angeles are three cities that have deep importance and historical relevance in the life of Alice Coltrane — marking her early life surrounded by the gospel churches of Detroit, her New York life with John Coltrane and start of her musical career, and her time in California when she founded her ashram and continued her spiritual journey.

On Labor Day weekend, the Detroit Jazz Festival will present an ambitious musical event on opening nightcurated by Ravi Coltrane, featuring some of Ravi’s closest musical associates, as well as string players culled from local orchestras including the Detroit Symphony. This is a world premiere performance and the first time Ravi Coltrane has undertaken a project of this magnitude, in service to his mother’s work, and will be the first concert of The Year of Alice. For more information, visit detroitjazzfest.org.

In New York and Los Angeles, large-scale concerts curated by Ravi Coltrane are being developed for 2025. More details to be announced.

During its 2024–2025 season, the famed Alonzo King LINES Ballet company of San Francisco will present two world premiere dance works choreographed by famed founder Alonzo King. The first is to Coltrane’s 1971 iconic album Journey In Satchidananda, and the second will be choreographed to a new world premiere work by Ravi Coltrane, inspired by his mother. For more information, visit linesballet.org.

This year, The John & Alice Coltrane Home will present its first-ever community programming in Brooklyn, New York, bringing lectures, performances and more — in addition to the Dix Hills on Long Island programming — to ShapeShifter Plus, in partnership with the School For Improvisational Music. For more information, visit shapeshifterplus.org.

In early 2025, the Hammer Museum at UCLA will host an Alice Coltrane-inspired exhibit featuring 10,000 square feet of multimedia artistic contributions, including architectural installations and works from new artists, all inspired by Coltrane’s creative legacy. For more information, visit hammer.ucla.edu.

In 1977, Alice Coltrane-Turiyasangitananda published Monument Eternal, a devotional text and autobiography that traced and chronicled her spiritual evolution and philosophies of wisdom. There are plans in the works for a re-release of Monument Eternal.

Additionally, a yet unreleased devotional literary work from Coltrane entitled Endless Wisdom III will see the light of day. DB



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