Monday, February 3, 2014

Carl Chinn - November 29, 1957 - January 17, 2014

Tribute to Carl Chinn R.I.P.
(November 29, 1957  - January 17, 2014)

Photo: Phil Daum

Last Thursday afternoon the arts community came together with family - a "Celebration of Life" for Carl Chinn at Creekside Community Centre in the Athlete's Village. It was standing room only; the emotion and love in the room for our fallen comrade was palpable. We heard heart felt stories and tributes from a few folks that knew Carl well, including Wayne Stewart, Phil Daum, John Orysik, his sister Brenda, as well as other members of the family and myself.

Here's what I said:
Carl Chinn, a life long music lover, was one of the most committed members of our community to the vision that is Coastal Jazz, to jazz music of all eras and sensibilities, and to the musicians that make that music, that we have ever known. At Coastal Jazz we have profound respect for the love and dedication to the music that Carl brought to the table day-in and day-out throughout his lifetime. He was a detail man to a fault but we loved him for it. 

As Artistic Director of Coastal Jazz I worked closely with Carl Chinn  (as a volunteer at first and then as staff) for over 20 years. Carl was rightly recognized by many in the music business (and the arts), for his special abilities; he really was one of the best at tracking logistics and was always available to assist – other presenters, musicians, agents, fans, volunteers and basically everyone that he ever encountered. He lived for jazz during his Coastal years and clearly loved the music and the musicians; his huge heart coupled with a superhuman attention to detail (that word again) ensured that musicians had the best possible support to make their experience in Vancouver truly special. Nothing gave him more pleasure. Carl’s contribution to Coastal Jazz and the festival was enormous – always above and beyond the call of duty no matter what time of the day or night.  I was incredibly proud of him and his work. Time and time again, Vancouver was cited by musicians from around the world as one of their favourite places to perform and to hang. Carl had a lot to do with that – and even though he left Coastal Jazz a few years ago, musicians are still asking after him as you will see in the tributes that are flowing in from around the world, not to mention the love from our home community. I know I speak for everyone at Coastal Jazz and everyone in our extended jazz family in Vancouver and around the world when I say that this lovely man is sure to be missed by every person that ever spent any time with him. We send condolences to his family and friends. We love you Carl – now and forever. Rest in peace Carl Chinn.

With love -
Ken Pickering – Artistic Director (1/ 28/2014)

 In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Vancouver Independent Music Centre (The VIM), Coastal Jazz or a charity of your choice in lieu of flowers in Carl’s name.

Tributes to our dear Carl: 
** This is just a small sampling of the many tributes to Carl that are flowing in. For even more please check some of our Facebook feeds and the memorial link at the Vancouver Sun site:

I'm deeply saddened to find out today of Carl's passing. He was a wonderful, giving and caring human being. Carl made life so much better by simply being around him. I will miss his humour, sly and wry as it was, as well as his passion for music and the kind incredible support he gave to all that he could. I hope he passes away as peacefully as possible. It's funny, I almost kept assuming he was still at Coastal, contributing efficaciously and tirelessly as I often saw him do over his years of service at Coastal Jazz and Blues. If there's a heaven, Carl will be digging the celestial music there and making a lot of great friends. And later on, if the music community gets lucky and journeys to a high place when their time comes, we'll be even luckier to hook up with Carl. Hey Carl, I'm missing you already! May your soul have a peaceful journey ahead and forever!!
Love, Paul Plimley

Thanks for sending this to me. I am so terribly sad to hear of Carl's passing. He was always so helpful and funny and sweet to everyone.
The celebration of life is being held at a time that will not work for me (I teach at Cap on Thursdays), but I will make a donation somewhere in his name soon.
Love to all of you,
Kate Hammett - Vaughan

Very saddened to hear of Carl's passing. He was sweet, sweet man. Although I did not see him but once every few years I considered him a good friend. RIP from all of his friends in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  
Michael Moore – Amsterdam

I extend my sincere condolences to all of Carl's family and friends at this moment of sadness. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him. I met him in the late 90's at the Vancouver Jazz festival and looked forward to seeing him every year after that. We had some good times together. He was a special guy and it won't be the same when I return.
Brad Winter - Portland

To all Carl's family and friends- I'm one of many people very, very saddened by the news about Carl's death- I, and many other musicians who played over the years at the Vancouver Jazz Festival, will miss his help, kindness, and great sense of humor- Love always to you, Carl. 
Marilyn Crispell – Woodstock

I am very very sorry to hear this. Sad news indeed. Carl was a lovely man who brought warmth and good feeling to every encounter. My best wishes to all who loved Carl, and worked with him.
Ben Goldberg - SF

I'm in complete shock, Carl was a member of our extended jazz family; we met and worked together at the jazz fest back in 1986 where he bailed us out on the transportation crew by showing up with his dad's huge car to drive musicians around. He was never far from the action and always helping out.
Nou Dadoun - Vancouver

He was simply just a sweet dude…that's the kind of impression a man like that leaves. So sorry he left so soon. 
Jim Black - Brooklyn

Thanks Ken - I'm shocked and saddened by this news. Carl was rock solid - always there for the music and a hell of a nice guy... RIP
Ron Samworth – Vancouver

Real sad he was a sweet man and will be missed! RIP
Gordon Grdina – Vancouver

I loved working w/Carl, Ken. What a beautiful tribute you have given him. I'm sure his spirit will continue to be felt at Coastal and the festival. RIP
Alison Loerke – Seattle

Heartbreaking news... Oh no...Carl was our guardian angel - what a loss I can't believe it. Such a beautiful soul...
Benoit Delbecq – Paris

Oh man, another great soul leaving us. He'll be missed. Enormously...
Francois Houle – Vancouver

So very sad. Goodbye life long friend.
Don & Judie Chessa – Victoria

Oh Ken I remember Carl so well; all hanging out together, his warmth and grace, much love to you all. He was a really beautiful person , an essential part of your precious extended jazz family, Maggie xxxx
Maggie Nicols – London

So very sad to hear. Worked with Carl one year at Coastal, and appreciated seeing and learning from his very real and passionate dedication to the artists and the festival. RIP, Carl. Shocking news...
Armand Sebris – Toronto

So sorry to hear this! I really enjoyed working with Carl when I sang the D.D. Jackson's Opera about 10 years. So supportive and wonderful. I am very sad to hear this news.
Yoon Sun Choi – NYC

This breaks my heart. Carl was such a wonderful person and a great vibe. Many happy memories of hanging with him.
Michael Bates – NYC

What a sad news. Carl was such a good person, nice to work with playing the Vancouver Festival. And full of attention, also after he stopped working for the festival he was there. My condolences for all who were close to him.
Ig Henneman – Amsterdam

Heartbreaking news. Carl was one of my band's sweetest most bestest supporters on the planet! Always cracked me up w/ his quirky jolly ways when I swung on by the CJBS office too. Such a blessing... Jazz on Carl, we love ya!!!!
Amalia Townsend – Vancouver

Carl is missed so very dearly by his longtime friends: artists, music-lovers and presenters from all over the world. I had the pleasure of working with Carl at Coastal Jazz for 4 years. I will always remember his hardworking attention to detail and how deeply he loved the artists, the music, and the hang. Good-bye, Carl. May your body and soul rest in peace. 
Kristin Fung – Toronto

I am really sad that Carl Chinn has died. For 20 some odd years, Lynn and I I had the privilege of knowing Carl, via involvement with Coastal Jazz, and though our paths crossed only sporadically over the last several years, we are moved by many memories of his warmth, intelligence and wit
James Coverdale & Lynn Buhler – Vancouver

My condolences to all Carl's loved ones. I first knew him thru' multiple hilarious phone chats as I worked w/ Toronto Jazz Fest & he w/ Vancouver's. He was a lovely guy with a great sense of humour. Rest in peace, Carl. 
Gwen Kallio – Vancouver

Robert Kerr and I are deeply saddened by the news of Carl's passing. He was a fierce and dedicated advocate for music and beloved by all of the artists he worked with. We both worked alongside Carl at Coastal Jazz for many years and have myriad memories of his passion and humour and hard work. Our sincere condolences to his family. 
Julie Dawn Smith - Toronto

I've known Carl for about 25 years and I'm shocked and deeply saddened by our loss. He was the most gentle soul, always supportive and helpful. 
Brian Harding – Vancouver

I had known Carl since 1985 and over the years enjoy a few beers, food, stimulating discussions and friendship with Carl. As many of us are shocked by his untimely passing, he will be remembered. RIP old buddy...I'll miss you. 
Gavin Walker - Vancouver
As you know I was very often in contact with him for some years, those times when we used to tour over there etc., but now I haven't talked to him so much, basically since he quit at your office.. and then I got ill and so on...
He was in any case always so helpful and enthusiastic, came to the gigs, and even to my b-day once. I remember that Leif and I visited him at his home very briefly too, once.
Jeanette Lindstrom

I'm so sorry and saddened to hear the news about Carl. I didn't know him well (we only met a few times), but he was always extremely generous, kind-hearted, and supportive, always happy to provide advice and to help other festivals (such as our own in Guelph) whenever we had questions for him. Please accept my sympathy. 
Ajay Heble – Guelph Festival

Sincere condolences to Carl's family & friends. Carl & I tackled many jazz fest logistical puzzles together, over the years. I always knew I could rely on his talent, sense of humour and perseverance in solving any challenge. He will be missed. RIP Carl. 
Patti Marshall – Toronto Jazz Festival

Thinking of Carl and his family on the day of his memorial service
we had so much fun with Carl at the jazz fest each 
year .... swapping stories and eating cookies we will miss you
rest in peace
Ginny and Rick McKenzie

From the first time we met it was always a pleasure to know you, to be around you, and to learn life together. Soul to soul, Babe, soul to soul. 
Lawrence Anthony 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Artistic Director's Report - December 2013

The Year End Artistic Director’s Report – December 2013
By: Ken Pickering

Hey jazz fans - the Christmas season is upon us once again - signifying that time of the year where we ought to be very thankful for all the good tidings bestowed upon us. It’s not only a time to celebrate it’s also a time to remember the less fortunate in our community by making that extra effort to bring some good cheer to each person that we come into contact with. That can mean giving to the food bank, contributing to toy drives or buying a hot chocolate for someone in need.

Colourful Christmas lights are up in full force all over town and this year it actually feels just right. For real - winter in Vancouver – who knew? We’ve already experienced a dusting of snow and some unseasonably cold weather to reinforce that warm holiday feeling (although we all know the monsoons are never more than a few days away). Maybe the eggnog, hot toddies and some hot jazz help with that too!

At the year end there’s a jazz tradition where critics and hard core fans list their top 10, 20 or 50 favourite releases of the year. With the holiday season fast approaching and that tradition in mind, I thought it might be nice to harken back to the summer and conjure up a few highlights from the festival. On a similar note, it’s also the perfect time to catch up with some of the great music that you might have missed over the past 12 months. The first lists are appearing and even with the huge number of releases that I check out from day to day, there’s a lot of music that I missed. Lots of great music to catch up on!

In keeping with festival tradition, 2013’s event was solidly balanced bringing Vancouver some of the best of today’s jazz, creative, improvised and related scenes from around the world.

The amazing crowd at Downtown Jazz - Georgia Stage

Only one Marquee show this year: Herbie Hancock wrapped out the festival with a strong performance at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

The Vogue Theatre Series was the strongest sales performance we’ve had in that storied venue in years. Although we did have a couple of shows that fell short of expectations we also had shows that far exceeded projections with sellouts - David Murray with Macy Gray and Dr John. We were thrilled that Esperanza Spalding finally played the festival and as expected, her show also sold out.

Personal highlights at the Vogue were the David Murray / Macy Gray show, John Scofield’s Uberjam Band and the unsung veteran soul belter Betty LaVette.

Performance Works was a busy venue  – 2 performances on most days – plus a full slate of free to the public programming on Canada Day.

Michael Blake's Variety Hour on Canada Day at Performance Works

The evening series was our strongest box office showing ever at PW with a very solid program of mostly jazz programming over 9 nights.

Highlights included the Vijay Iyer Trio – one of the great piano trios on today’s jazz scene. Vijay also treated a curated selection of Vancouver’s best jazz musicians to a master class funded by CMHC through the Masters of the Island program.

Rapidly rising soul/jazz singer - Gregory Porter’s first festival performance was very impressive - as was the duo magic of Korean vocalist Youn Sun Nah & the great Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius – the last guitarist in Oscar Peterson’s quartet.  The duo attracted an expanded diverse audience that built on her triumphant 2010 Roundhouse show.

The flagship afternoon free to the public “jazz” program at PW was very successful – personally I think it was one of our best ever. The concept behind this series is to showcase some of the finest jazz talent this country has to offer – mixed with some local greats and spiced with some international talent.

We heard standout performances by Montreal pianist – Marianne Trudel, Alberta’s Hutchinson Andrew Trio, ex-Winnipegger now Brooklyn-ite saxophonist Curtis Macdonald as well as Juno award winning Pugs and Crows with Tony Wilson, Vancouver’s Peggy Lee Band (who toured the Canadian festival circuit for the 1st time) and Amsterdam’s Boi Akih. This is one program that we’re very proud of.

Canada Day at Performance Works continued in the same vein – surely the most powerful Canada Day run we’ve ever had at that venue. Highlights included:
Sharon Minemoto’s moving Tribute to Ross Taggart, great trio performances by Rémi Pannosian from France and Rafael Zaldivar from Montreal – expat Vancouverite – Michael Blake now living in Brooklyn (for over 25 years!) took the festival out in grand style with a powerful performance by his Vancouver band – “Variety Hour”. Recent discussions with the Anders Eriksson, the new director of the Molde Festival in Norway have resulted in an invitation to Michael to perform at the 2014 edition of that storied festival. Exciting news!

The Ironworks at the edge of the downtown east side was shining bright throughout the festival. The new afternoon series – 5 shows - all free to the public was designed to bring jazz to that community – a piano / keyboard series where each show was prefaced by an artist talk.

Chicago vibes master Jason Adasiewicz brought Sun Rooms - a great trio that expanded to a quartet for their last set with Francois Houle.

Paul Plimley and Tommy Babin at The Ironworks

The series was packed each afternoon – a beautiful example of impactful outreach – we heard Cat Toren, Chris Gestrin and Paul Plimley among others.

Ironworks Innovation – the evening series – was also successful. The box office was the strongest to date. We increased the ticket price to $25 and it helped us edge a little closer to a positive bottom line on that series. UK / Scandinavian trio Phronesis, Alan Jones All Star Canadian Sextet, Norway’s Christian Wallumrod Ensemble, Brooklyn’s Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook Up, Berlin's Silke Eberhard Trio and Tim Berne’s Snakeoil were among the stand outs.

Mary Halvorson at the Roundhouse

The 3rd series at Ironworks was the Late Night –
also put together with outreach in mind – to reach the younger street level creatives – a series of mixing media, new music, improvised music – a punk DIY aesthetic– epitomized by shows like Destroy Vancouver – a sampling of the experimental music series created by Vivo Media and Arts – drummer John Brennan. Colin Stetson was also back to collaborate with local hero Gordon Grdina. Alfred 23 Harth performed at the fest for the first time in probably 20 years - a detailed and nuanced set with Torsten Müller's Distant Relatives. We wrapped out the festival late night at Ironworks with Chicago’s monster vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz Sun Rooms – our own Francois Houle guested on the final set for the icing on the cake.

Our bookend weekends were also incredibly successful – particularly a thrill to see Downtown Jazz at the VAG and Robson Square be so thoroughly embraced by Vancouverites.  
I have to mention the amazing Kellylee Evans performance at the Georgia Stage – after being hit by lightning in her kitchen doing the dishes– this lady not so long afterwards was back in performance mode. She radiated such incredible energy! Unbelievable really!

Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook Up (from Brooklyn) at The Ironworks

And our own David Ward - found in house! This guy takes care of our social media – wonderfully – but who knew that this young man had such serious pipes - he blew us all away and the audience response was overwhelming. This guy should be a star and is one to keep an eye on.

We also had successful 2nd years with our Made in the UK series and Spotlight on French Jazz – both of these series we hope will continue into 2014.

Chicago cellist (AACM) Tomeka Reid at David Lam Park conducting the High School Jazz Intensive.

Chicago’s Tomeka Reid did a great job working with the High School Jazz Intensive – such an inspiring program – the centerpiece of our education and outreach. The Sounds of Youth Stage was successful in the first year –honourary board member and legendary band teacher, Bob Rebagliati does a yeoman’s job in curating this very special and important set of programs. We also presented a diversity of workshops at Tom Lee Music Hall and the Roundhouse – a sampling might include Seamus Blake, Phil Dwyer and Alan Jones, Mike Reed and Mary Halvorson. Great stuff.

Chicago drummer Mike Reed outside the Roundhouse

So wrapping out – a special thanks to the programming team: Manager of Artistic Programming and Executive Director of Jazz Festivals Canada Rainbow Robert for her great work in putting the local Vancouver program together – Ironworks Day & Late Night and to associate director, Alex Grigg for adding value to the indie programming mix. Big cheers to our Board, Staff & Volunteers, Supporters and the Musicians – we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you one and all!

(all photos from Ken Pickering's iPhone and iPad)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MOLDE JAZZ FESTIVAL - NORWAY / July 15 - 20, 2013

Molde Jazz Festival 2013
by: Ken Pickering / Artistic Director

This year’s program marked the end of a brilliant thirteen-year run at the festival for director Jan Ole Otnaes; a run that many of us believe has served to reestablish Molde as one of the preeminent jazz festivals in the world. 

My intention in this space is not to lay out a comprehensive review of Molde (much better done by others and I’ll provide a couple of links at the end that will fill out the overview) but instead to provide a more personal take with a few anecdotes, a bit of back story and some photographs that will hopefully give you a sense or a feeling for the vibe of what went on not only on the stages but behind the scenes at the festival.

The back story: I first met Otnaes at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival well over a decade ago, right around the time we were invited to join the prestigious International Jazz Festival Organization (Northsea, Umbria, Montreal – now comprising seventeen festivals worldwide) of which Molde was a charter member. As we began the process of getting acquainted, there was a mutual epiphany that we shared a history and aesthetic – in music, food, design, travel and most importantly for the creative visions of our respective festivals. For instance when discussing key music signposts in our lives we realized that we'd both been to London to check out the burgeoning early 70’s scene of that era within a year of each other. We listened to the same music. Miles, Braxton, Cecil, Shepp, Monk, Trane, Rollins, Globe Unity, Evan Parker, ICP, Mangelsdorff; in fact the history of jazz, classical repertoire, soul, pop, world music of all eras. Although we lived half way around the world from one another we were within a year in age and it was a great feeling to establish that we had so much in common as human beings in our aesthetic and interests. Since those days over a decade ago, we’ve become best friends and spent extensive and exhaustive hours and days together at IJFO meetings, JazzAhead in Bremen, APAP in NYC and more – checking out so many of the same gigs together and sharing thoughts on the state of jazz. For instance, before heading to NYC we'd share our lists of shows and often they'd be 90% similar. When we checked out each other’s festival programs there were always numerous similarities – the bookings were not always in the same year, but many many artists played both festivals over the longer arc of the past decade. I've often heard from Norwegian musicians that have visited Vancouver that our city with the ocean, mountains and islands reminds them of a larger version of Molde. Nice to know that isn't the only thing we have in common. One of the great things about this music is the kindling of great friendships made with wonderful people far and wide. Jan Ole Otnaes is one of those people in my life and I wish him all the best in his move to Oslo to head up the Nasjonal Jazzscene Victoria (state funded jazz house). Hopefully he can now find the time to come and visit our festival in Vancouver!

So on to the main event:

Less than two weeks after the conclusion of 28th TDVIJF, I found myself enroute to a
small town on the west coast of Norway for the Molde International Jazz Festival - in fact my fourth visit to this storied event (founded in 1961) over the past decade. I was invited along with over 20 international (and only one of two Canadians invited along with John Kelman) and Norwegian delegates to the Molde Jazz Expo by Music Norway’s Aslak Oppebøen, project manager of the countries new unified export office.

Aslak & Oliver Belopeta (the director of the excellent Skopje Jazz Festival) at the Szechuan restaurant called Dinner for dinner in Oslo the night before we flew to Molde. Ironic for a Vancouverite going Chinese in Oslo - it was great though!

Espresso with Jazznytt (the important Oslo based jazz journal) editor Jan Granlie in Oslo on the morning before the afternoon flight to Molde - I also wrapped up my Norway trip with an epic hang that finished on the patio of the Grand Hotel on Karl Johan one week later.

Although the weather pretty much sucked with clouds and rain throughout (another irony for a Vancouverite) the entire six-day festival, the music brought heat and inspiration. Molde is a creatively programmed festival that covers a great deal of what’s current, important and vital on the contemporary jazz scene.

One of many boat photos - they floated past my hotel window at 4am (early morning or late night depending on how you look at it).

For starters, the brilliant pianist, conceptualist and collaborator Jason Moran was a great choice as artist in residence and I relished the opportunity to experience the breadth of his oeuvre in 6 settings as diverse as the engaging mind blowing multi-media Thelonious Monk inspired project “In My Mind” featuring his Bandwagon trio and 5 great Norwegian musicians, a spiritual duo with Charles Lloyd, another with his wife – concert singer Alicia Hall Moran (that brought tears to many eyes), a duo with Norwegian remixer Jan Bang that was unexpectedly amazing. He also spoke a length in a noon hour session about his upbringing in Houston, his influences (especially Jaki Byard, Thelonious Monk and Fats Waller) and his overarching aesthetic. We definitely must get Jason Moran back to Vancouver!

 Jason Moran at his interview

I ran into Punkt director and remixologist on the street more than once.

Drummer Thomas Strønen arrives at the Hotel Alexandra in advance of his performance with the great Maria Kannegaard Ensemble.

Although most of the press missed Tim Berne's Snakeoil because of a Jazz Expo commitment, I managed to sneak into the hall for the last 45 minutes of their lengthy set. Having heard them in Vancouver 2 weeks earlier I was hungry for more. Here's Tim and Nasheet Waits sharing a chuckle with Oscar Noriega in the background.

Obara International Quartet: Poland's Maicej Obara (alto) & Norwegian bassist Ole Morten Vaagen were tearing it up. This was creative acoustic jazz of the highest calibre, taking inspiration from Jarrett's American Quartet with Dewey Redman and to my ears even further back into the 60's ESP era especially reminding of Marion Brown. Polish pianist Dominik Wania and Norwegian powerhouse drummer Gard Nilssen completed the quartet.

Versatile Norwegian drummer Gard Nilssen is moving from strength to strength, from his solo highly detailed percussion concert for the attendees of the Jazz Expo on the island of Håholmen, to the heavy metal jazz intensity of Bushman's Revenge, to the avant swing of the Obara International Quartet. Gard was in Vancouver with the Mathias Eik Band (2 drummers) in 2012 - but hearing him in these varying contexts was eye and ear opening - a discovery of a major "new" talent in his prime.

Saxophonist Kjetil Møster with Bushman's Revenge

I finally got my chance to hear intense Japanese altoist Akira Sakata (who I first heard on Enja records with Yamashita Trio in the 70's) with Swedish bassist, Johan Berthling and another powerful drummer - the masterful Paal Nilssen-Love. Burning. Paal also debuted his new Large Unit with new music written for the ensemble and their rousing performance was a knockout. I'm looking forward to hearing more from this band.

The island of Hjertøya where Kurt Schwitters spent some time during the 2nd WW. The light is reputed to be beautiful there. Lots of rain for us!

Late night lobby (drummer) hang until 4am resulted in lots of laughs and new friendships: Eric Harland, Angelika Niescier (her trio set with Chris Tordini and Nasheet was a festival highlight, much appreciated by Jason Moran), Nasheet Waits, Danielle Oosterup, Louis Cato and myself (taken by unknown Norwegian lady).

Having attended Take 5 Europe (the education project headed up by Serious Productions of London Jazz Festival fame) for 3 days at the end of January in Kent, indeed it was very special to hear this full blown concert by 8 musicians in the scheme - now collectively known as Take 5 European Sunrise. Their program was a tour de force; without a doubt another high point of the festival. Compositions by each member were executed with enthusiasm and precision; the audience reception was incredible. Here we have French trumpeter (excellent composer) Airelle Besson and home boy - Molde tubaist Daniel Herskedal.

British clarinetist Arun Ghosh, French trumpeter Airelle Besson, Norwegian bassist Per Zanuzzi and tubaist Daniel Herskedal of Take 5 with Martel Ollerenshaw of Serious Productions (aka the den mother).

British guitarist Chris Sharkey (with Take 5) - commonly known only as Sharkey - an amazing musician; watch out for this guy. Every time I think of him I remember the Bradford. That's some intense tea mate.

The late Bo Grønningseter was a very important activist in the European Jazz Network and Norwegian music promotion (West Norwegian Jazz Center) and was originally from Molde. Here a few of his friends (including me) found his family's grave and we toast Bo with some Rudi vino (another story altogether). Kjell Kalleklev, Rainer Kern, Peter Schulze, Reiner Michalke, Danielle Oosterup, Øyvind Skjerven Larsen and Gerry Godley.

Nero di Rudi 2007

A sublime children's concert was presented by multi-instrumentalist Karl Seglem. I also really enjoyed getting to know Karl during our visit to the fishing hamlet Håholmen (by open viking ship replica) where we listening to presentations by Gard Nilssen, Erling Aksdal (Trondheim) and Karl and then enjoyed a traditional bacalau (salt cod) lunch.

It was great to see and hear the Scandinavian / British piano trio Phronesis for the second time in a couple of weeks. This trio is deservedly attracting a lot of attention - their Molde gig was a good one - although the Vancouver gig was better :) Great to have some time to hang out - sharing the flight into Molde and pre and post gig fun. Here's leader and bassist Jasper Høiby with festival director Jan Ole Otnaes.  

Indoor lobby view (two venues in this brand new music center complex) and an outdoor view. Incredible place and the new home of most festival shows - Plassen - built right in the center of Molde, a town of 25,000 people!

The last show of the festival was this amazing guitarist, Hedvig Mollestad, fronting a trio, she absolutely kicked ass with her potent funky jazz/rock stew. Check this video of her Molde performance.

For the complete story on this year's Molde International Jazz Festival - please read John Kelman's report for All About Jazz and Tony Dudley-Evans for Jazz Breakfast.

As an aside, it was also amazing to meet jazz journalist Thomas Conrad (a neighbour to the south in Seattle) shortly after the Umbria Festival and his viral review for Jazz Times of the infamous Keith Jarrett Standards trio "in the dark" performance at Perugia. Read about that here.

If you're into twitter - you can follow my feed @ken_pickering - I was posting frequently throughout the Molde International Jazz Festival with text and photos and am active throughout the year with jazz (and some other stuff) related postings.

Thanks for reading the Molde report; I do hope that I managed to convey some of the special flavour of this great festival in Norway.

(submitted by: Ken Pickering / Artistic Director - words & photos except where noted)

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