Kids For Coltrane

The Kids for Coltrane Project is a program that uses jazz to teach children about American history, equality, character education and the arts. By doing this children become invested in literacy, creativity, compassion and curiosity.



On June 9, 2010, the Kids for Coltrane and their Jazz Friends celebrated creativity and education. Our fabulous Gift of Song Concert at the Holliswood School in Jamaica Estates, New York helped raise the profile of jazz! The children, musicians, and school community also raised funds to support the Friends of the Coltrane Home non profit. Our dream is to one day see John Coltrane’s Long Island home turned into a place of learning for everyone to experience and learn about jazz and the history of the artists who created America’s music. Funds also went to the Kids for Coltrane Music Library CD/DVD collection at the Holliswood School.

The Kids for Coltrane dancing to Joey Leone’s blues song The Girl from the Flower Shop. It was a joy to see the children smiling with glee as they did the West Coast Swing.

The children beamed as the room was filled with Buddy Guy’s voice singing Nobody Understands Me But My Guitar. Jazz stands on the foundation of the blues. This music was created through pain and suffering which was transformed into triumphant music. The Kids for Coltrane did a wonderful job dancing the West Coast Swing. It was a joy for me to watch the children teach each other the dance and choreograph new steps during the year…just priceless!

The Kids for Coltrane singing an original song entitled For the Children. Music by Louis Vignapiano and lyrics by their teacher…that’s me Ms. Christine Termini Passarella. Lou and I dedicate this song to children all over the world! You can hear the song and read the lyrics on the Songwriting page on this site.

Jazz legend Sonny Simmons and the Cosmosamatics playing incredible John Coltrane songs for the children.

Brilliance flowed through the auditorium!

The Kids for Coltrane students listening to magnificent jazz music performed by the best!

Michael Marcus proud of his band and telling the audience to “Give Peace a Chance!” During the evening the Kids for Coltrane also honored another music legend Mr. John Lennon.

Sonny Simmons filled with uplifting and encouraging emotions during The Gift of Song Concert.

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 Vignpiano 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.

The children sang throughout the evening like precious angels. Included in our original lyrics is a song we wrote in honor of John Coltrane’s birthday. It was set to his great song Equinox. We call it Hamlet’s Child.

The Manhattan jazz scene comes to the Holliswood School! Sean Harkness and his Quartet perform during our Gift of Song Concert. The children, their friends, family and the whole community yelled for an encore!

Gifted jazz saxophone player Rich Williams and gifted jazz guitarist Sean Harkness have the room swinging. The Kids for Coltrane heard the colors flow through the room. Outstanding performances!

A great drummer Darro “Sparkie” Sandler has the joint jumpin’ with his expertise on his instrument. Just incredible!

Freddie Simpson performs on the bass with the Sean Harkness Quartet to treat us to Naima and Mr. PC. and it didn’t stop there. Wow!!

The Kids for Coltrane honored one of my heroes in music Mr. John Lennon and sang his song IMAGINE with warmth and love for the world. They created an Imagine tree and posted their wishes for the world on it. Yoko Ono sent over her Onochord lights for the children and the whole audience. During the evening while the children sang IMAGINE we lowered the house lights and the Onochord lights filled the room with love and peace…just so beautiful! The blues, and jazz have influenced many musicians and many different genres of music. I am certain John Lennon would agree. Creating loving learning environments in which all children are appreciated for their uniqueness would have made John Lennon smile…this I am certain of!

Our Dancing Classroom students joined us for a tribute to the blues and jazz. They danced with joy and ease to Fever a

nd Hit the Road Jack. They were fantastic!

Children and audience viewing our Kids for Coltrane Power Point which highlighted our work together over the last four years. The Kids for Coltrane enrichment groups are growing. This show brought together second, third, fourth and fifth grade students learning through the Arts. The slide above shows me, Ms. Passarella, the day I first went into the Coltrane Home. One day I hope to visit the Coltrane Home with the children when it becomes a learning museum.

Teacher, Ms. Christine Termini Passarella (that’s me), reminding the audience about Dr. Ma

rtin Luther King’s words on the importance of jazz with our principal Mrs. Ambert and assistant principal Mr.Klocek looking on. Both administrators said the show was great! They were certainly proud of The Kids for Coltrane and so pleased that all the brilliant jazz musicans joined us for this “Gift of Song.”

“Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life’s difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. This is triumphant music.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


3 comments on “Kids For Coltrane

  1. This is absolutely wonderful. Our childrens influences should be positive and enlightening and it appears Miss Christine Termini Passerella is opening doors to intice the imagination of our children’s future. Thank you Christine for you creativity, hard work and sincere efforts to introducing our young to such beautiful music. We certainly need more teachers of your caliber and compassion. Sincerely, Rick Calif.

  2. Hello. I submitted a letter last night regarding assistance through student performance for the purpose of fundraising for the Coltrane house . I am, however, unable to backtrack in order to check as to whether my letter has been received by your establishment. It was written in a “comments” box . I am hoping that it has been emailed through the proper channels. Please advise as soon as you are able. Information is as shown below:

    Sue Kleiner, Band and Jazz Band Director/ Instrumental Teacher
    West Side Elementary School
    Cold Spring Harbor CSD
    Syosset, NY 11791

    Thank you so much for your time.

    Sue Kleiner

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