Visitors to High Point’s uptown neighborhood will be greeted by an enormous new mural featuring one of the city’s most famous native sons: jazz saxophonist legend John Coltrane.
The black and white painting by muralist Brian Lewis takes up the entire side of the Fowler & Fowler Realtors building along North Main Street. It’s the latest in a flurry of citywide tributes to Coltrane, from the life-sized bronze statue downtown and annual jazz festival in his name, to the recent Guilford County historic landmark designation of his childhood home.
He was born in September of 1926, attended William Penn High School, and went on to influence generations of jazz performers around the world — including Fowler & Fowler founder B.C. Fowler.
Granddaughter Amy Hedgecock, who currently runs the family business, says the mural is a personal tribute to Coltrane and his legacy.
"My grandfather had a big band, the B.C. Fowler Rhythm Masters Orchestra in the 1930s, and I grew up with him, and we listened to John Coltrane," she says. "And this is sort of a testament to him as well because I keep a lot of memorabilia from his time. It’s a good warm feeling for me to also have this as part of the city’s culture as well."
Coltrane’s childhood home restoration project was awarded $250,000 by the North Carolina General Assembly with completion slated for June 2023.