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“We Always Swing” brings acclaimed Coltrane to Columbia

The jazz series has been steadily growing since its inception in 1995 and now hosts local jazz education as well as concerts.

By Matthew Flores | Jan. 20, 2012

Tags: Music

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Critically acclaimed jazz saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, son of legendary musician John Coltrane, will be performing in front of a sold-out crowd at Murry’s on Sunday, Jan. 22, as a part of the “We Always Swing” Jazz Series.

This is Coltrane’s fourth performance in the area with the jazz series. He last appeared in Columbia as a member of the Blue Note 7 in 2009.

“The interesting thing about Ravi now is that he’s got full command of his instrument,” Jazz Series Executive Producer Jon Poses says. “It should be an exciting show. Obviously when you talk about the name Coltrane, his father being John Coltrane, his mother being Alice Coltrane, for lack of a better term you’re certainly talking about icons. In a sense, you’re talking about jazz royalty."

In the 17 years since its creation, the jazz series has brought a multitude of renowned and eminent names in the world of jazz to Columbia, including Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock and Danilo Perez. Wynton Marsalis and John Scofield, among others, both swung through central Missouri last semester to perform as part of the jazz series.

The jazz series has grown tremendously since its 1995 start. That first season, the program had only 13 season ticket holders for all of its six shows. This year, the jazz series sold more than 220 season tickets for 10 shows total.

Poses said there are a number of reasons why shows like the Jan. 22 Coltrane performance sell out.

“More people know about the jazz series today than knew about the jazz series yesterday,” he says. “We’ve been doing shows at Murray’s for quite some time and it’s an enjoyable experience. Murry's does a great job with the food and the service. It's a very intimate space for jazz."

In addition to sponsoring jazz concerts in the area, the jazz series now also offers a schedule of jazz educational events, including underwriting concert performances, demonstrations and lectures at local schools.

“I've been here for two years, and both years we've sold more season tickets than ever before,” We Always Sing spokesman Josh Chittum says. “We'll continue to work with community groups to expand knowledge and appreciation of jazz.”

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