Documenting the American South

Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    John Coltrane Statue, High Point

  • Type


  • Subjects

    Historic Cultural Figures

    Historic African American Figures

    African American Monuments

  • Creator

    Thomas J. Warren, Oregon, Sculptor

  • City

    High Point

  • County


  • Description

    The eight foot tall bronze statue depicts jazz musician John Coltrane, one of High Point’s most distinguished citizens. He is holding his saxophone with his head tilted slightly down and to the right. The sculptor strove in this work to embody the strong, contemplative man whose music was said to move people to tears. The statue stands on a low black marble base with JOHN COLTRANE incised with white lettering.

  • Inscription


  • Custodian

    City of High Point

  • Dedication Date

    September 20, 2006

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.955750 , -80.002530 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "History of John Coltrane." Friends of John Coltrane,, (accessed December 15, 2015) Link

      “For Coltrane Fan Statue Is Big Payoff,” News And Record (Greensboro, NC), September 22, 2006), (accessed December 11, 2015) Link

      “Friends of John Coltrane,” Friends of John Coltrane,, (accessed December 11, 2015) Link

      “Jazz Legend John Coltrane,” High Point Museum,, (accessed December 11, 2015) Link

      “Statue Honors Jazz Great Coltrane,” The Dispatch (Lexington, NC), September 21, 2006, 2 (accessed December 11, 2015) Link

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze statue, marble base

  • Sponsors

    The Downtown Improvement Committee with the High Point Museum

  • Monument Cost

    Over $100,000

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    The September 20, 2006 unveiling date was in honor of Coltrane’s 80th birthday, three days prior. The ceremony included reading from an emailed note sent by musician Carlos Santana on how much Coltrane had influenced his own music. The unveiling was also featured with spots on CNN and “Good Morning America.’’ “I think we have just begun,” said committee member and music lover Joanna Easter. “This is, in my mind, is just the beginning of what we can do in the name of John Coltrane.” The news reports noted those in attendance included one of Coltrane’s cousins representing the family and one of the world’s biggest collectors of Coltrane memorabilia who flew in from Japan. A blind UNC-Chapel Hill student, who was writing his dissertation on Coltrane, also came to hear the presentation and touch the bronze saxophone.

  • Subject Notes

    Coltrane performed and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Hodges, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and other jazz legends and is considered the greatest jazz saxophonist to ever live. In 1965, he was named Down Beat magazine’s “Jazzman of the Year.” He died of liver cancer at age 40 on July 17, 1967 at the prime of his musical career.

    The John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival, held annually in High Point, was as an outgrowth of the efforts to erect the statue to Coltrane.

  • Location

    The statue is located on the northeast corner of High Point City Hall property at Commerce Avenue and South Hamilton Street.

  • Landscape

    The statue stands between the side walk and a parking lot, surrounded by trees, with benches on both sides.

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