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Articles by Christine Passarella

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Beauty, Love and Justice: Living A Coltranian Life

Tony Bennett: A Hero's Journey in Authenticity

Read "Tony Bennett: A Hero's Journey in Authenticity" reviewed by Christine Passarella


This article was first published on All About Jazz on April 19, 2021. The Bennett Effect Jazz singer Tony Bennett always looms large in my mind because of the elegant way he artistically embraces humanity. Awareness of Tony Bennett came my way when his music greeted me as a child, especially on Sunday during Italian American family dinners. With the delicious sauce covered ravioli and crisp Italian bread, we also had the vital ingredient of great music. The ...

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Beauty, Love and Justice: Living A Coltranian Life

Harry Belafonte: Humanitarian, Social Justice Leader and Artist Extraordinaire

Read "Harry Belafonte: Humanitarian, Social Justice Leader and Artist Extraordinaire" reviewed by Christine Passarella


Destiny Not many people from my old neighborhood of Old Mill Basin, Brooklyn get to go to the movies with Harry Belafonte, but I did. It was a September evening in 2015 and I went to see The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution at the Film Forum with philosopher Dr. Cornel West, and his friends Harry and Pam Belafonte. We dined with Mr. Belafonte on a number of occasions prior, went to his office, and visited his beautiful Upper ...

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Beauty, Love and Justice: Living A Coltranian Life

The Gift: Motown Unwrapped

Read "The Gift: Motown Unwrapped" reviewed by Christine Passarella


The Children Are Listening “What are you listening to Christy?" my mother asked. “Cousin Ray gave me this album, it is the group the Temptations," I replied. It was around 1968 and I was continuing to build my record collection at eleven years old. 'I Wish it Would Rain' was spinning on my record player. The cover was a photo of five black men, members of the incredible Temptations. My mother smiled when I was enjoying music as she too ...

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Beauty, Love and Justice: Living A Coltranian Life

Javon Jackson: Finding Uplift in the Guiding Tradition of Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane

Read "Javon Jackson: Finding Uplift in the Guiding Tradition of Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane" reviewed by Christine Passarella


It was a bitterly cold day in January 2013, I had endured a move from Long Beach, Long Island in October 2012 having to leave my beach house for good after the unsettling nature of Super Storm Sandy came down hard on the barrier island. I longed to get back into the city as the new year began, yearning for normalcy which includes listening to great live jazz. I decided to traverse into Manhattan, the traffic was heavy due to ...

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Beauty, Love and Justice: Living A Coltranian Life

The Legacy of Mario Cuomo: A Force for Good

Read "The Legacy of Mario Cuomo: A Force for Good" reviewed by Christine Passarella


I have been guided by the light of two world-renowned men in my lifetime, one I connected with through his music and spirit, the extraordinary John Coltrane. The other through his example as a man who served the people, the majestic Mario Cuomo. I did not know these men personally, but I learned about them through the lives they lived. The values they held close to their hearts matched my own in many ways. As an educator for almost two ...

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Beauty, Love and Justice: Living A Coltranian Life

Frank Sinatra: A Son of Immigrants Sings America's Heart

Read "Frank Sinatra: A Son of Immigrants Sings America's Heart" reviewed by Christine Passarella


Roots Sitting in my dining room, going through my childhood photos and mementos was like viewing a dream. I opened an envelope and pulled out a yellowed note in my father's sort of wild handwriting. The envelope said, written in my mother's exquisitely perfect handwriting, “Dad saved this, it's Frank Sinatra's dentist." On the card was the name of the dentist and a phone number. My mind immediately started to reflect on Sinatra's impact on my emotions throughout the stages ...

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Beauty, Love and Justice: Living A Coltranian Life

Celebrating John Coltrane with Cultural Documentarian Steve Rowland

Read "Celebrating John Coltrane with Cultural Documentarian Steve Rowland" reviewed by Christine Passarella


Steve Rowland is a documentarian, educator, lover of music and humanity. Discussing his journey for this article was enjoyable, thought-provoking and informative. Steve is a humble man, and he wanted the focus of this article to be on the music, but I hope also to shed light on what goes into the development of a good man who lives a life of integrity. Our initial discussion for the interview took place last year and the discussions grew with a lasting ...

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Beauty, Love and Justice: Living A Coltranian Life

Barry Mayo Reframed: From Radio Mogul to Photographer and Award Winning Filmmaker Chasing Light

Read "Barry Mayo Reframed:  From Radio Mogul to Photographer and Award Winning Filmmaker Chasing Light" reviewed by Christine Passarella


“Innovators always seek to revitalize, extend and reconstruct the status quo in their given fields, wherever it is needed...they are forever guided by the great and eternal constant—the creative urge. Let us cherish it and give all praise to God." —John Coltrane My friend Barry Mayo, former radio industry mogul and innovator, now an artistic photographer and award-winning documentarian once told me, there are no coincidences in the impactful moments which alter our trajectories. He calls these times ...

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Beauty, Love and Justice: Living A Coltranian Life

American Descendants of Slavery Empowered Through the Arts, Social Media #ADOS, and Activist Preaching

Read "American Descendants of Slavery Empowered Through the Arts, Social Media #ADOS, and Activist Preaching" reviewed by Christine Passarella


The Arts, social media and activist preaching offer platforms for the American descendants of slavery in our times. Where some traditional societal structures have failed African Americans, these ever-evolving creative areas of empowerment and enlightenment can have a tremendous impact. This past December I arrived at New York City Center while waiting for the curtain to rise on the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater—I focused on a particular performance entitled “Members Don't Get Weary." The program included this quote ...

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Beauty, Love and Justice: Living A Coltranian Life

Terence Blanchard: Music, Social Justice and Raising Awareness About Violence Against Black People

Read "Terence Blanchard: Music, Social Justice and Raising Awareness About Violence Against Black People" reviewed by Christine Passarella


A few years ago, I was applauding as the cast of Motown was taking their bows on Broadway when I recognized a mother's face sitting across my row. Without question or trepidation, I felt compelled to say something, hopefully comforting, to Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin. In addition to my heartfelt condolences for the tragic violent death of her son, I told her about my Kids for Coltrane work, and she smiled with warmth and an appreciation hearing ...


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