Sunday, Sept. 20th – 2 pm
Book event!
The Coltrane Church: Apostles of Sound, Agents of Social Justice
A talk by author Nicholas Baham III

Nick Baham at 2011 Strike

Nick Baham, 2012

Nicholas Baham III, Ph.D., professor of Ethnic Studies at CalState East Bay, presents his new book on the John Coltrane Church. ┬áSubtitled Apostles of Sound, Agents of Social Justice, Dr. Baham’s book looks at the church’s role in the community, its focus on John Coltrane’s music as spiritual text, its view of Coltrane as a saint and the complexities woven from those levels of meaning, intention and action.

St John ColtraneThe Coltrane Church began in 1965, when Franzo and Marina King attended a performance of the John Coltrane Quartet at San Francisco’s Jazz Workshop and saw a vision of the Holy Ghost as Coltrane took the bandstand. Celebrating the spirituality of the late jazz innovator and his music, the storefront church emerged during the demise of black-owned jazz clubs in San Francisco, and at a time of growing disillusionment with counter-culture spirituality following the 1978 Jonestown tragedy.


Archbishop Franzo King of the John Coltrane Church

For 50 years, the church has effectively fought redevelopment, environmental racism, police brutality, mortgage foreclosures, religious intolerance, gender disparity and the corporatization of jazz. This critical history is the first book-length treatment of an extraordinary African-American church and community institution.

The John Coltrane Church at its 1990s Divisadero Street location (between Oak and Page)

The John Coltrane Church at its 1990s Divisadero Street location (between Oak and Page)