RALEIGH — Guilford County’s delegation to the North Carolina House of Representatives filed a bill Tuesday to provide $500,000 each of the next two years to the John Coltrane International Jazz & Blues Festival in High Point.
The annual festival honors the late, great jazz saxophonist who grew up in High Point and became one of the world’s most influential musicians.
The bipartisan list of sponsors included state representatives Cecil Brockman, D-High Point, and John-Faircloth, R-High Point; Greensboro Democrats Ashton Clemmons, Amos Quick and Pricey Harrison; and Jon Hardister, R-Whitsett.
Coltrane, who grew up in High Point and attended William Penn High School, went on to become a master musician whose posthumous awards included a Pulitzer Prize in 2007.
The annual festival has been held in his honor at Oak Hollow Festival Park since 2011, drawing visitors from at least 20 states and adding an estimated $4 million per year to the regional economy.
The event has become “an important cultural event for High Point and the state of North Carolina,” Brockman said Tuesday in a news release.
“The festival allows for High Point citizens and tourists to enjoy great music from a wide array of current artists,” Brockman said. “It is an important event to our local economy, and it is crucial that our community and the state support the festival and embrace its potential.”
This year, the two-day event starts Aug. 31 at the park located along on Eastechester Drive.