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Students pay homage to John Coltrane

High school students pay tribute to jazz musician and High Point native, John Coltrane, at the 20th annual jazz workshop.

HIGH POINT, N.C. — For 20 years, the High Point Arts Council has hosted the John Coltrane Jazz Workshop to help keep Coltrane's legacy alive in his hometown, as well as expose the future generation of musicians to jazz.

Monday was day one of the five-day jazz workshop. Musically inclined teenagers from all across the Triad will be in High Point learning more about Coltrane, his legacy and jazz music as a whole. 

Wally West has been the artistic director for the John Coltrane Jazz Workshop since its inception.

Although last year and this year have been downsized a bit due to the pandemic, West's love for jazz and the kids has not.

"What don't I love about this? This is our 20th year, so for 20 years I've been teaching the gospel according to John Coltrane, who grew up here in High Point," West said.

This camp is where promising young musicians come to expand their jazz skills and knowledge. 

Alex Upton was once one of the students taking this workshop. Now, he's a music student at UNC Chapel Hill and he's back in the Triad sharing his love of music with kids with similar goals that he has.

"Largely, as a result of this workshop, I'm studying music in university. I'm halfway through my undergrad, and my plans after this are to go to grad school for music and then become a full-time jazz musician. And a lot of that inspiration and a lot of that ambition started right here at this camp."

Again this is a week-long camp. At the end of the week, the kids will perform together as a group for their family and friends and even members of the community are encouraged to come out. 

All the information for the performance is on the art council's website, all you have to do is click here.