(Long Island, N.Y.) On Friday, May 23rd the second graders at the Holliswood School in Jamaica Estates will  be honoring a jazz legend. The second graders in Ms. Passarella's class have been learning about different genres of music for the past two years, but have been most impressed with the work of saxophonist John Coltrane. There will be many activities that children will be organizing to raise the profile of the legend.  All of this stands on a foundation of teaching children the joy of philanthropy.  The program is a kick off fundraiser to help in the effort to save the home of John Coltrane. The home is a landmark in Dix Hills, Long Island waiting to be transformed into a historic home, but funds are sorely needed to continue this effort!  “

Our task is to restore the home to the way it was when the Coltrane family lived there and open it to the public as a historic home to educate children and all people about John and Alice Coltrane and their life’s mission to be a force for good through their music,” said Steve Fulgoni the Director of the nonprofit The Friends of the Coltrane Home. For further information on saving the home of John Coltrane go to www.dixhills.com. The press is welcome on May 23rd at 1:00pm in the Holliswood School auditorium, located at 189-10 Radnor Road, Jamaica Estates, Queens. 

The children will be singing original lyrics that they wrote to the sounds of jazz musician Lou Vig, who will be present playing guitar. The children have been working with his music since first grade in a multiple intelligences learning environment. The class has been together for two years in a looped classroom and now will apply all of their learning in this wonderful project. They also choreographed dances for the event. First working with ballroom dance teacher Michael Pagan, the students then interpreted what they learned to create their own dances in honor of John Coltrane.

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Dancing In The Streets  Podcast #3 [08-04-06]
In this third episode we interview local R & B and Motown music mainstay Gary Martin. We discuss the early days of rhythm and blues on the Chicago music scene, the halcyon days of the Toronto music scene, and the new Funk Brothers Jr. music program. We also review a couple cool tunes.3.

Click here to stream the entire show without waiting for download(34 MB - 75:07 running time)
Click to download an MP3 of Lou Vig's "Can You Feel It" which includes a review of the track and his guitar style

Download an MP3 sampler of Gary Martin & The Heavenly Blues

m3u StreamRSS 2.0 Feed

Besides being a genuine R&B original, Gary Martin plays some of the snappiest rhythm guitar I've ever heard. His band, "The Heavenly Blues" plays all those favorite R&B classics such as Mustang Sally, etc. but with their own high energy signature infused into the arrangements. If you like to dance, this is definitely the band for you. Next weekend, check out the Heavenly Blues!

Catch Gary Martin and The Heavenly Blues band every Saturday and Sunday at the Bowness Hotel as well as Sunday night at Kitt's on 16th. Check local listings for additional dates, including their upcoming appearance at the Calgary Blues Festival featuring blues legend Johnny Winter.

Gary's Links (Check 'em out!)
People and places mentioned in this podcast include:
The Funk Brothers, Joe Hunter, Eddie Kendricks, Motown Records, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Dawkins, Albert Collins, Cheebacabra, Lou Vig, Sugar Blue, Kid's Help Line, Hubert Sumlin, Rick James, Bootsy Collins, James Jamerson, Blood Sweat and Tears, Anne Murray, Lenny Breau, Martha Reeves, The Emotions, Jackson 5, The Regal Theater, David Clayton Thomas, Aretha Franklin, The Squeeze, Vertigo Theater, The Olive Grove, The Rose and Crown, Kitt's on 16th, The Bowness Hotel.

This show was written and produced by Corey Milner for Music Calgary. The music used in this podcast as well for the song reviews, is "podsafe" audio licensed under a Creative Commons agreement. Click here for more on Creative Commons licensing. Click here to visit podsafeaudio.com. Here are individual credits for the artists and songs which appear on this weeks podcast. Please support them and buy a CD if you can. Because more music = better world. :)

Mark Scott LaMountain - Blue Thunder Boogie
The Cheebacabra - The Player's Rendezvous link]
Lou Vig - Can You Feel It?
Punam Verma - The Sweetest Nectar

Creative Commons License

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Civil Rights Hero Ruby Bridges Visits our Kids and Teaches a Powerful Lesson

Posted by: christineforcoltrane on: March 20, 2011

Painting by Norman Rockwell

Ruby Bridges visits the Holliswood School. In this photo happy students stand with Principal Mrs. Ambert, Assistant Principal Mr. Chin, Parent Coordinator Mrs. Corley, and Ms. Ruby Bridges. Photo by their teacher, Ms. Passarella who felt it was an honor and a privilege to hear Ms. Bridges tell her incredible story of courage and determination to the children first hand. The Kids for Coltrane students gave Ms. Bridges a gift of song when they presented her with a CD of their precious voices singing an original song written in her honor. (For more on learning through music, see the songwriting page.)

On March 16, 2011 the Holliswood School had a special guest speak with the students. Civil rights hero Ruby Bridges came in from New Orleans to present her life story to the children. Students in grades two through five were present at this unique assembly in which Ms. Bridges asked critical thinking questions engaging the audience filled with students, teachers and administrators All of the classes prepared themselves by learning the story of her journey, and read the books she had written. Meeting Ms. Bridges was a personal dream of mine. Every year as I teach another group of children about Ms. Bridges, I have learned something more about her life, and my understanding has grown deeper. I always connect the history lessons learned in her story to our character education lessons. This year I decided to write a song in honor of Ms. Bridges and her teacher Ms. Henry. My students were able to express the emotions of what they were learning about Ruby by singing what she has meant to our country. I asked musician Louis Vignapiano who is a champion of the Kids for Coltrane Project in Education to write a tune for us. After studying her life, he was moved on a deep level and wrote a touching tune that resembled the sounds in a music box. He called it "A Child of Ours". It was perfect for what we were feeling about Ruby and her teacher Ms. Henry. I proceeded to write the lyrics which were connected to the lessons I taught the children about little Ruby.

In 1960, when Ruby was six years old her actions helped change the world. There was still segregation in some states in the country, and although the law had been changed through the case Brown v Board of Education there were still some people who did not want desegregation. With the help of the Supreme Court, President Kennedy, and determined American citizens, change did in fact occur. Ruby was one of the first African American students put into this position of change in her community. Her family had the incredible courage to send little Ruby into a situation which was very dangerous, but they knew change must happen for justice and liberty for all. For many months this little girl was escorted into the school building with armed United States marshals for her protection. Ms. Bridges told the audience a white mob would scream at her every day for a year. They even had a real child's coffin with a doll in it, and one woman showed her a rope to represent hanging. It was very hard to hear. I could not hold back the tears as she presented the story. But it was also a story of amazing hope. Her Caucasian teacher Ms. Henry stood by her. She made learning fun, and loving each day, even though for many months Ruby was alone in the school building. Eventually the white children came back to school, and the mob went away. Some of the white families had wanted to send their children earlier but were threatened by the mob.

Today the schools in this country are desegregated and offer children equal opportunities. Ms. Bridges told the children to give each other a chance. She connected her words to those of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who wanted people to judge one another by the content of their character. Ms. Bridges spoke for two hours and told her story in details that shone a light on the harshness of racism. And she brought us to a place of hope by example. One of my students Kennedy gave her a bouquet of flowers. Kennedy who is a Haitian American, told her dad if it wasn't for Ruby her class which is made of many races couldn't have been together. Her dad told me she picked out her outfit a month before so she could look just right for meeting such a special lady. We also gave her a CD of my students who are nicknamed "the Kids for Coltrane" singing "A Child of Ours". Kids for Coltrane are… Kids for caring, curiosity, and creativity. It was wonderful to hear that Ms. Bridges and Ms. Henry are still great friends. They were brought back together on the Oprah Winfrey show after many years and remain very close. I want to thank my principal Mrs. Ambert for valuing my request to bring Mrs. Bridges to our school. With the support of the administration, parents, teachers and students this incredible learning experience was realized at the Holliswood School. We know that the children will always keep in mind Ruby's words to give one another a chance. We are grateful to Ms. Ruby Bridges for making her way to our school to help our children learn a lesson that they will never forget. For more on Ruby go to my links section and click on her official page.

By Ms. Passarella

Drawing by Louis Vignapiano

The House unanimously passsed H.Res. 894, honoring the 50th anniversay of the Miles Davis recording Kind of Blue and reaffirmed jazz as a national treasure. Leading this effort was Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan. This album brought jazz into the mainstream and influenced musicians all over the world. Miles Davis recorded this masterpiece with his sextet which consisted of John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, and Jimmy Cobb. I called Representative Conyers office to thank him for his dedication to jazz and tell him about the Kids for Coltrane. To help celebrate this special honor, I plan on going to see and hear Jimmy Cobb at the Iridium in New York City this weekend. I will certainly share Kind of Blue with my young students.

Louis Vig and the Debut Band playing John Coltrane songs for the children. The children were treated to an exquisite jazz performance.

The Kids for Coltrane and the Holliswood school community enjoying the sweet sounds of jazz.

It was such a treat for me and the Kids for Coltrane to hear master guitarist Louis Vignapiano perform live on this spectacular evening. During the year the children and I write lyrics to his instrumental songs as we explore different ways to write a story.