A Book Release Party for Come as a Stranger, Leave as a Friend: A Brief History of Green Pastures by Howard C. Coleman, Sr. with Christine E. Atkins will take place on Sunday, May 18, at the 205 Club, 200 West 5th Street in Elmira, N.Y. Ronnie Leigh, a jazz vocalist from Syracuse, N.Y., and the Dino Losito Trio will perform from 6-9 p.m. $10 cover charge includes a free drink chip. Books will be available for purchase starting at 5:30 p.m.
While a young man working at the Green Pastures jazz club, Coleman witnessed the evolution of jazz in America. As the owner of the club from the 1970s until shortly before his death in 2012, he was a beloved member of the African-American community and a lifelong promoter of jazz in the Southern Tier. In this book, which is based on extensive interviews with Coleman, Corning Community College Professor Christine E. Atkins captures the voice and spirit of the man who was known as the grand-daddy of jazz in the region. The book features photographs of Coleman and his friends and family along with poems by local poets Kaye C. Newbury and Vicie Rolling and a portrait of Coleman by local painter Vani Akula.