Chasing Trane

Chasing Trane
October 10, 2017 paperlesslion

Catch “Chasing Trane” — a new, compelling documentary on the life of jazz giant, John Coltrane — Wednesday at the University of Michigan – Dearborn. The film screens at 7 p.m. The program is free and open to the public, but requires reservations via email to

“Chasing Trane” (2017) is the definitive documentary on the legendary John Coltrane, an extraordinary talent whose boundary-shattering music continues to impact and influence people around the world.

This thought-provoking and uplifting film is being shown at a screening – open to the public – sponsored by the Journalism and Screen Studies and the African & African American Studies departments at University of Michigan-Dearborn, in partnership with Detroit Public Television and Independent Lens, the weekly documentary showcase on PBS.

The screening will take place at the Kochoff Hall in the University Center (4901 Evergreen Rd.) on the U-M-Dearborn campus. It is free and open to the public, but please RSPV to

Set against the social, political and cultural landscape of the times, “Chasing Trane” brings the musician to life as a fully dimensional being, inviting the audience to engage with Coltrane, the man and the artist.

Written and directed by critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld (“The U.S. vs. John Lennon” and “Who Is Harry Nilsson…?”), it features never-before-seen footage of the artist’s band, family, life experiences, challenges and passions. It also explores the importance of Coltrane’s music and how he revolutionized the sound of jazz.

Although Coltrane did not do any television interviews during his lifetime … and only a handful of radio interviews, he has a vibrant presence in the film — beyond performance clips – through thoughts he expressed during print interviews – spoken by Academy Award winner Denzel Washington.

“Chasing Trane” also includes interviews from musicians he worked with, such as Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner and Benny Golson, as well as admirers like Cornel West and former Pres. Bill Clinton.

After the film, a panel of distinguished music authorities will contribute their own thoughts on John Coltrane’s life and legacy:

  • Wendell Harrison, illustrious jazz saxophonist
  • W. Kim Heron, long-time jazz scholar and journalist
  • Njia Kai, curator of a 3-dimensional tribute, entitled the Temple of John Coltrane

“Chasing Trane” will receive its Independent Lens premiere on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 11 p.m. on WTVS (DPTV).

It is being shown at U-M-Dearborn as part of the Indie Lens Pop-Up neighborhood series, which seeks to bring people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations.

The other documentaries in the series are:

  • “I Am Not Your Negro” (Raoul Peck)
  • “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities” (Stanley Nelson and Marco Williams)
  • “Dolores” (Peter Bratt)
  • “Look & See: Wendell Berry’s Kentucky” (Laura Dunn)

For more information on the series, visit: