Labor Day Weekend is for getting together with friends and family, hosting barbecues, and taking time to enjoy a relaxing three-day weekend. In High Point, John Coltrane is celebrated each year at the Annual John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival at Oak Hollow Festival Park. This year marks the 10th Year Anniversary, and we are ready to celebrate as we invite you to make yourself at home.
Friday, September 3rd
As a tribute to the 10th Anniversary of the festival, Gallery on Main, downtown High Point is highlighting the historical journey with “Catch the Coltrane Photography Exhibit.” Also featured will be art from Rhonda “Rhen” Neal’s Coltrane Collection. The gallery will be open from 12pm to 6pm. You may even catch local artist Sabrina Tillman McGowens painting Coltrane, outside the gallery on Main Street.
Coltrane’s childhood was spent mostly living at 118 Underhill Street in High Point. Living with his extended family and musically talented parents, Coltrane began his musical journey in his home. The house will be open for tours on Friday from 3pm to 5pm. Nearby on Washington Street, is Penn Griffin School of the Arts, formerly William Penn High School where Coltrane graduated.
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere! Hit up The Brewer’s Kettle between 4pm and 7pm to celebrate National Chianti Day! Enjoy a flight of 4 different styles of Chianti for $12. Next stop, High Point Museum for the Opening Weekend of A Love Supreme: The Jazz of John Coltrane through the Eyes of Chuck Stewart. Curated by the GRAMMY Museum, featuring photographs of John Coltrane by photographer Chuck Stewart. The opening event will be held 5:30pm to 7pm. While there, be sure to check out the existing exhibit featuring Coltrane’s family piano from his childhood home. Look closely and see where Coltrane wrote on the keys to note if they were flat or too sharp.
After a day of exploring Coltrane, satisfy your appetite with a local favorite, 98 Asian Bistro. I must recommend the dumplings and edamame for appetizers and the Ground Chicken Basil or Lettuce Wraps for dinner. You will not be disappointed.
Saturday, September 4th
Today’s the day! The 10th Annual John Coltrane Jazz and Blues Festival is finally here. But before heading to Oak Hollow Festival Park, you’ll want to check out some cool things do in High Point! Start with breakfast at Tom’s Place, a local favorite offering the traditional breakfast options including waffles, pancakes, and omelets. The quiche is a big hit too. If you didn’t get the chance to tour Coltrane’s childhood home, you can head over to 118 Underhill Street from 10am to 12pm and see where he spent most of his time growing up. An 8 foot bronzed sculpture of Coltrane can be found at the corner of Hamilton Street and Commerce Avenue. Enjoy some tunes from the late Coltrane and take a deeper dive into his history on the interactive kiosk. Gallery on Main will also be open from 12pm to 6pm with its photography exhibit and Sabrina Tillman McGowens putting the finishing touches on her Coltrane piece outside the gallery.
Are you hungry yet? Make a pitstop at Penny Path Café, offering the best crepes around. Choose between sweet and savory and be sure to get a coffee to go so you can recharge for your full day ahead! If you weren’t able to make it to A Love Supreme: The Jazz of John Coltrane through the Eyes of Chuck Stewart on Friday, stop by the museum between 10am and 4:30pm. There’s always enough time in the day to “Celebrate 12 Years of The Kettle with an all-Import Beer Fest.” Head over to the Brewer’s Kettle from 1pm-4pm, where $20 gets you an anniversary goblet plus 10 drink tickets for tasting delicious, imported brews! Final stop is the John Coltrane Jazz & Blues Festival at Oak Hollow Festival Park. Dozens of renowned artists have performed at this festival and this year is no different as The Friends of John Coltrane bring artists including Galactic, a New Orleans funk band, bassist Julian Vaughn, singer, songwriter Kenny Lattimore, Grammy and Stellar Award nominated artists Marcus Anderson and the Coltrane All Star Band. Enjoy vendors, food trucks and more as you embrace the backdrop of Oak Hollow Lake and the sounds of smooth jazz into the evening.
Sunday, September 5th
Get that extra hour of sleep because you know it’s going to be another late night tonight with day two of the Coltrane Jazz Fest. You may have even made some new friends. A great place to connect with them would be at Magnolia Blue for their infamous brunch. Personal favorites are the Ultimate Bloody Mary, (which could totally serve as a meal with Absolut Peppar vodka, andouille sausage, picked okra, poached shrimp, bacon, lime, with a chili salt rim) and the Waking Up Crabby, a split biscuit, lump crab cakes, sautéed spinach, poached egg, tomato chive relish with hollandaise. Last chance to see A Love Supreme: The Jazz of John Coltrane through the Eyes of Chuck Stewart will be from 1pm–4pm. After Labor Day Weekend the museum will be back open during its regular hours, Tuesday through Saturday 10am–4:30pm, with the exhibit running through December 5.
After Labor Day Weekend the museum will be back open during its regular hours, Tuesday through Saturday 10am–4:30pm, with the exhibit running through December 5. The second day of the festival should prove to be as energetic and electrifying as the first day with Tito Puente, Jr. and special guest Melina Almodovar playing Latin Jazz, Lakecia Benjamin, an alto saxophonist, composer, and bandleader, blues artist Christone “KINGFISH” Ingram, and featured performer Kurt Elling, winner of the 2021 GRAMMY Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Tag Visit High Point when posting to social media and use #VisitHP so we can see how you spent your weekend in High Point!
Monday, September 5th
Let Monday be your day rest with family and friends, hosting barbecues and relaxing before heading back to work on Tuesday. Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend in High Point!