Kogging at Centre 64

KOGGING – THE SECOND CONCERT IN THE FALL JAZZ SERIES, The Dutch Jazz combo Kogging at Centre 64, Kimberley , Saturday September 28, 2013, 8pm

Norbert KoggingKogging website

Back in the early 1980s the Australian Director Peter Weir made a film called The Year of Living Dangerously. Set in turbulent times in Indonesia in 1965 it was one of Mel Gibson’s early roles and also starred Sigourney Weaver and the amazing Linda Hunt. Linda won an Academy Award for her performance in this film. One of the sub themes in the movie revolved around the ancient Indonesian Wayang Kulit shadow plays. These plays are essentially silhouettes of especially designed puppets projected onto walls to portray traditional epic stories. So here we are are 50 years later and half a world away from tropical Indonesia with the Dutch Jazz Singer Norbert Kogging on a cool September evening in Kimberley B.C. Norbert is  The Triorelating his experience of a sunny Sunday morning watching the early morning shadows of kids playing in the yard dancing across his wall. It prompted him to write the song Wajang Scenes. This song was one of a collection of original pieces presented by KOGGING , a Dutch jazz quartet of Folkert Oosterbeek on piano, Tobias Nyboer on bass, Felix Schlarman on drums and Norbert Kogging on vocals. From almost the first note it was evident that this is a quartet of well schooled and disciplined musicians. The control of dynamics, pacing, phrasing and their general approach was definitely a cut well above most musicians.There was a time when a descriptor of “well schooled” had negative connotations in certain styles of music. The popular image of a classically trained musician was of one completely captive to the printed page an unable to play without a printed score. That has changed and a lot of jazz and popular musicians can flash the fairly significant academic credentials they have acquired to enable them to perform in  diverse fields of music. Wynton Marsalis, Keith Jarrett are just two jazz musicians who immediately come to mind who have significant statue in both classical and jazz realms. A little digging around in the background of any number of pop musicians can also reveal some unexpected surprises.  Newer approaches to musical education and a willingness of musicians of all stripes to experiment and broaden their horizons has made for a richer and more diverse musical landscape. Even within this quartet there is evidence of a very different approach to jazz vocals. Usually a  jazz vocalist relies heavily on interpretations of material from “The Great American Songbook”. Not this time out of the gate. There was only one cover tune during the entire evening and that was Joni Mitchell’s Edith and the King Pin – not exactly a jazz standard. Rather, taking a cue from popular music, Norbert featured wholly original material that had hardly anything in common with the “moon, spoon, June” motives of a bygone jazz vocal era. With songs like Holding the Line, Daydreaming, Our Freedom, Night Train, Craters Song and Silent Scream it was a refreshing departure from the norm, and, according to Norbert, not such an unusual approach in European jazz circles. Judging by some of Diana Krall’s recent recordings the practice may have also crossed to this side of the Atlantic. Like Diana Krall (particularly in her earlier work) Kogging also has a strong instrumental component. The  bass / drums combination of Tobias Nyboer and Felix Schlarmann deserve special mention. They are a rock solid rhythmic foundation for the music. I particularly liked Felix’s deft brush work, including a device I can only describe as “straw brooms” and his ability to seamlessly move from sticks, to brushes, to broom, to mallets and back again. As always I have an inbuilt suspicion of kit drummers playing in small venues. More often than not they play too loud and lack finesse. Not Felix, he proved that a drummer truly reveals his talent when he plays his kit with brushes. None of this is meant to undermine the talents of the shy smiling Folkert Oosterbeek on piano. He had ample opportunity in his accompaniments and soloing to demonstrate his strengths. Once again we have to thank Laurel Ralston for her unflagging devotion to jazz and bringing this rock solid Dutch Jazz Quartet to Centre 64.

  Norbert Kogging  Tobias Nyboer  Felix Scharlmann Tobias Nyboer   Folkert Oosterbeek   Norbert Kogging  Felix Schlarmann  Keith Nicholas  Tobias Nyboer  Felix Oosterbeek             Kogging Feet Norbert Kogging  Felix Schlarmann   Felix Schlarmann Tobias Nyboer   Folkert Oosterbeek  Folkert Oosterbeek Tobias Nyboer

A special treat Kogging performing Daydreaming

The organizers of the event would like to thank the following sponsors The Burrito Grill, Pedal and Tap, Our Place and Mountain Spirit  for their generous support and contributions.


Dave Gunning at the Driftwood Concert House

Dave Gunning at the Driftwood Concert House, September 24, 2013, 8pm

 Dave Gunning 

The music industry probably describes Dave Gunning as an entertainer. At it’s best that is probably a light weight descriptor and at it’s worst it is some what demeaning. In 030-edanother time and in another place he would have been described in more worthy terms. If he had of been an aristocrat in medieval  times he would have been  called a troubadour and sung songs of love and chivalry. In Ireland of old he would have been called a Hedge Poet or a Seanchaidhthe (a Shanachie or story teller). In more recent times in West Africa he could be a Griot, a singer, musician and storyteller. In West Africa a Griot is more than that, he is actually the recorder and keeper of the cultural traditions. At a basic level Dave Gunning is a mixture of all these and an entertainer to boot. The most striking thing about this evening of music at the Driftwood Concert House was the sense of cultural “rootedness” (is there such a word) than ran through the stories and songs. Despite the fact that there were only a few East Coasters in the audience, and few of us would know the exact location of Dave’s home in Pictou County N.S., there was no denying that his music and stories  struck the essential chord that resonates in the Canadian psyche. He kicked off the evening with The Mingulay Boat Song. This is a song with strong traditional Scottish roots and was probably the only truly traditional song of the evening. Never-the-less it set the “down home” tone for the evening. Mostly what followed were stories and song writing collaborations that were delivered with humor and pathos accompanied by his beautiful guitar playing in open tunings (DADGAD, Open G and Dropped D).  Dave Gunning and his Stonebridge Guitar . This is both a beautiful and unique instrument. It is not often that you see a steel string guitar with a cedar top. Classical guitars usually have cedar while steel string luthiers prefer spruce. It might explain the wonderfully warm sound that is the hallmark of Dave’s playing.  Dave had spent time touring with Stompin’ Tom as a bass player, that is a considerable feat in it self considering he didn’t own or play a bass at that particular time. There is nothing like the intense training of learning on the job. There were lots of stories of Tom’s affection for Moose Head Beer and Dave ventured forth with one Stompin’ Tom Song – Song Bird Valley. Among the wealth of “down home” anecdotes there was one that I found particularly amusing – “It was cold enough for an extra pair of shoe laces”. Except for the encore of the Long Black Veil it was a night full of the Canadian experience and that’s the way it should be.

 Audience   Dave Gunning   Angus Ledtke Dave Gunning   155.  Dave Gunning  Angus MacDonald    Dave Gunning  Darin WelchDave GunningA special treat: Dave Gunning singing “New Highway”

I would like to thank Darrin, Jen and Silas for opening up their home and giving us an opportunity to experience this great music.


It’s in the Genes – Jon and Holly at Centre 64

Jon & Holly (Jon Burden & Holly Hyatt) at Centre 64, Saturday September 21, 2013, 7:30pm. Check the Holly and Jon website

Jon and HollyThis father and daughter duo have been frequent visitors to the Kimberley area over the past 10 years. We have virtually seen Holly grow up to become a great vocalist, bass player, composer, mother and complete musician. From being a teenager to being a mother in that seemingly short space of time hardly seems possible but there it is. As a musical duo they have set the bench mark for “less is more”. With these two – guitar, Gonzobass and vocals are a complete musical entity without the unnecessary clutter of drums, etc. Having said that it is not to dismiss their fine work with that extremely hot band The Blaze Kings. A band that they normally perform with on the festival circuit. It was unfortunate that we didn’t get to see and hear them this year at the local festivals. There is an unsung hero in the father / daughter duo. That is GONZO. Who may you ask who is Gonzo? He is a used and abused family guitar that is pretty beat up and had been seemingly left to his own devices until Jon discover his unsung potential as a slide guitar. With all the maltreatment over the years Gonzo has earned the right to sing the blues. In recent years Gonzo has be rehabilitated and has a new lease on life as an essential voice in Jon’s interpretations of a number of Robert Johnson’s classic blues. Of particular note is Jon and Gonzo’s handling of Better Come on in My Kitchen and If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day. In amongst the cover tunes are such originals as Home Renovation Blues,  Cool Kitties (with its nice walking bass line), the “popish” One Desire, Slushy Blues, Back to 1929, The Low Down Blues, Stop Breaking Down and Holly’s Better Get Your Our Own Man (“cause this one’s all mine”). Two covers that were snuck into the mix were Neil Young’s Human Highway and the Horace Silver jazz classic Song for my Father. As always Jon and Holly delivered an exceptionally fine evening of music and when they come back, as I am sure they will, they are not to be missed.

John Burden         Bass         Holly Hyatt  Holly Hyatt  Jon's Takamine Guitar   Jon Burden Jon Burden       Bass       Holly HyattHolly Hyatt   Jon's Boots  Jon Burden Jon Burden   Jon and Holly   Holly Hyatt

I would like to thank Terry for his deft manipulation of the lights that made these images possible.


Symphony of the Kootenays – the new board

38th Annual General Meeting of the Symphony of the Kootenays Association, Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 7pm at the Christ Church Anglican Hall, Cranbrook B.C. Symphony BoardThe new board members (in no particular order) are Steen Jorgensen (President), Ronald J. MacDonald (Vice-president), Ruth Sawatsky (Secretary), Michael Grossman (Treasurer), Ian Adams (Director), Lorraine Butler (Director), Helen Duckworth (Director), Shirley Hansen (Director), Terry Jeffers (Director), William Newsome (Director).


Marijuana reform has to happen but……..

I am all for it. Ten years, and even five years ago I wouldn’t have been but now I think it is time to move on. Current laws and policies are not working so let’s fix them. Let’s get the stuff out of the hands of criminals and into the hands of the tax man. Let’s get the benefits of BC’s biggest cash crop to the general population. My only fear is that in the momentum that is building for reform we will throw the baby out with the bath water and the final outcome may not be what we intended. There is a general perception that “mary jane” is a harmless recreational drug (I doubt that),  that it is no worse than alcohol or tobacco. Even if that were true just take a look at the down side of those two legal recreational drugs. The difference is that over time society has put in place policies and processes to deal with the down side of their use. By opening the flood gates to marijuana use without careful implementation of supportive mechanisms it could lead to some very significant consequences. For instance “driving under the influence” (DUI) is a social no-no punishable under the law. We have breathalysers and a whole slew of legal process’ to monitor and deal with the offence.  In the reform process we need to realize that we have to build an infrastucture to deal with marketing, sale, use and abuse of a new legal drug. We need to put in place appropriate policies and restraints somewhat similar to what is already in place for the legal drugs. We did it for alcohol and tobacco and we need do it for marijuana.

Ben Sures at The Clawhammer Gallery

BEN SURES at the Clawhammer Gallery in Fernie, B.C. Sunday September 15, 8pm

“YOU CREATE YOUR OWN STAGE AND YOUR AUDIENCE IS WAITING” – Chinese fortune cookie from the Ginger Beef Restaurant in Fernie

 Ben SuresIt’s all about trust. Gord Johnston has had it for years. It is a trust that patrons have in his musical taste. For years Gord Johnston was the musical director of the Swing Street Concert series and now, along with Terry Miller, organizes the  Beannick Subscription Series in Cranbrook. In both series it doesn’t matter if the artist is a complete unknown. It all boils down to if Gordie thinks its good then all we have to do is show up and enjoy. Well Michael Hepher of the Clawhammer Gallery in Fernie can share that same mantle of trust. This is only the second Clawhammer Gallery performance that I have attended and like the Chris Coole concert  (July 2012) it was well worth the drive from Cranbrook. Ben Sures? Who is Ben Sures? I had no idea who he was but after Sunday’s concert he is certainly on my musical radar. He is one of a number of performers from the cultural heartland of Canada (the prairies) that continue to outshine big city performers from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, etc.  The biographical details on his website (BEN SURES) are pretty sketchy but he looks like he stepped right out of a Mordecai Richler novel. A yarmulke (Jewish skull cap) in his wardrobe would not look out of place. Like many musicians of his generation his original influences are from the world of rock and roll. He has a personal affection for the music of Ray Davis and The Kinks.  But, despite his use of the Fender Telecaster his music goes beyond those early influences. He obviously has paid attention to the original master of the electric blues, T-Bone Walker, and Ben’s original piece, the slow blues Pamela, was drenched in T-Bone melodic motifs. Although the rock/blues influence is there in his music there are other things that bounce to the fore every now and then. In the Spanish tune La Luna Entu Miranda he paid homage to the Cuban band Los Zafiros and their star guitarist Manuel Galban (of Bona Vista Social Club fame). West African guitar influences (Boubacar Traore) were also present throughout the evening. Also the classic blues were not forgotten and were front and center in the stunning slow slide guitar rendition of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s One Kind Favour. Apart from the touches of exotica in his music he has a quality that set him apart from some of his contemporaries. He has the ability to write with great clarity, universality and splashes of humor. He avoids the obscurity and angst favored by many modern songwriters. A stroll through his set list will give you some idea about the man and his music: Dig the Thing, I Could Be Your Man, Love will Kick You in the Ass, Eat Drink and Make Babies, Where Are They Now, Big Blue Box (of Dr Who fame), Saggy Baggy Faces (about mid-life), Rambling Bones, Winnipeg, Columbus (from experiences when working on a cruise ship), Everybody Matters, You’re Not My Last Girlfriend Anymore, I Used to Have a Ray Gun, Man on the Verge of Tears, Going to Bolivia, Dear Sarah, and one that struck a personal chord with me, Mose Allison’s  Everybody’s Crying Mercy. Now, Mose Allison is, for most of us, an obscure blast from the past. Mose was a white piano blues player and vocalist that took a huge amount of criticism from the hipsters in the 50’s, 60’s and 70s. For those who considered themselves to be very essence of hip Mose was very un-hip. Despite the put downs he had to endured he continued to write and perform for 65 years and has only recently retired. Thanks Ben for reminding us of this musical icon. For the Clawhammer gig Ben was accompanied by Grant Stovel on drums and Chris Brzezicki on electric and upright basses. This was a great concert.

 Ben Sures Set List  Ben Sures  Ben Sures   Ben Sures  Grant Stovel Chris Brzezicki La Luna entu Miranda cheat sheet 140. Ben Sures Grant Stovel   Mike Hepher Ben Sures  Chris Brzezicki   Ben Sures  Ben SuresThanks Mike for bringing Ben to town and we are looking forward to the next Clawhammer concert featuring Zachary Lucky on Saturday September 28th, 2013 http://zacharylucky.com/


Hearts That Care Concert

“Hearts That Care” – The Cranbrook : Kimberley Hospice Society Benefit Concert featuring Lowry Olafson, at Centre 64, September 14, 2013, 8pm

Lowry Olafson

Lowry OlafsonHearts That Care

Hands that serve, hearts that care / When you need us, we are there / With hugs for  free, eyes that see / We’ll walk with you a while / With hearts that care

You can share your story / We’ll hear the words you say / Be a companion on your journey / Be a friend along the way


When you lose someone you love / And feel so all alone / When you need some understanding / Our hands are here to hold

Lowry Olafson is a Canadian singer/ song writer of Icelandic extraction who resides in Violin GuitarGibson’s Landing  on the Sunshine Coast and has a passion for sailing.  In his own words  he has an intricate finger style of guitar playing that provides  compelling backdrops to his original songs, stories and humorous anecdotes. In addition his lively violin instrumentals “invite listeners of all ages into a world that celebrates the poetry of life.” The concert, and the above theme song,  is the outcome of a Theme Workshop facilitated by Lowry back in June of this year.  Lowry shared his songs and stories with a sold out concert audience who obviously enjoyed the experience. There were songs about home renovations – Solid Ground (“this house was built on a firm foundation”), songs about past political figures (J.S. Woodsworth – founder of the CCF) – Keeps Me Safe and Sound;  forced military conscription in the American Civil War – Annabelle; the immigrant experience – Pier 21 (I will have to steal that one); kids songs – My Dog Ate My Homework, Funky Chicken, She Wears Her Hair to Hide Her Face, Unspoken Beauty; humorous songs –  I`m Losing What`s Left of My Mind; a song for parents – Ship of Dreams;  In other words his songs reflected the magnificent spectrum of the human condition. The only non-original piece in the evening was a compelling emotional rendition of the Rita MacNeil`s classic from the mines of Nova Scotia – Working Man. The violin  accompaniment on this piece, with his solid sweet tone, revealed how accomplished he is on that instrument. This was a fine evening of mellow and enjoyable entertainment and the organizers should be thrilled with the turnout and the audience response. Here are some images from the evening:

Lowry Olafson        Lowry Olafson Lowry's boots          Guitar   Lowry Olafson   Don Davidson   Lowry Olafson Lowry Olafson            Lowry Olafson


Contact information

Phone: 250-417-2019

Toll Free: 1-855-417-2019

E-Mail: hospice1@telus.net

Web Site: www.ckhospice.com


It’s All About the Feet



It has come to my attention that one of the interesting visual features of the performing arts scene is the variety of footware that graces our stages. So to do justice to the creative imaginations of the performers I have decided to run a continuing post of images that have captured my attention. (PS I do not have a foot fetish).

Laurel Ralston at the recent Pugs and Crows Jazz Concert

 Laurel's Boots  Laurel's Boots

Marley Daemon  and Betty Supple of Dirty Grace

Marley Daemon    Betty Supple

 Lowry Olafson and his Bludstones Lowry's boots


Pugs and Crows at Centre 64

Centre 64 Jazz Concert Series: Pugs and Crows, September 7, 2013, 8pm

100. Pugs and Crows This wasn’t a rock concert. This wasn’t even a straight ahead jazz concert. There wasn’t a great stack of amplifiers and heavy duty speakers. There wasn’t even a sound board or a sound engineer. With the exception of the drummer all the instruments were “plugged in” but they played “live off-the-floor” each musician balancing his own sound in the collective musical environment. In that regard they were much like an unamplified acoustic band. The instrumentation should have been the first clue that the music of the evening was going to be a little different. The elements of a Jazz rhythm section were there with Ben Brown on drums, Russell Scholberg on double bass and Katherine Torens on electric keyboard. From there on out things got a little different with Meredith Bates on violin and Tony Wilson and Cole Schmidt on solid body electric guitars. The band has been around for a little while and scored the Best Instrumental Album at the 2013 Juno Awards. Their ‘off the cuff’ musical philosophy is ” to bring hippies to their knees”. I guess by that they mean there is no throbbing back  Meredith Batesbeat and hippies will become a little demented if they try to find one. Of the band members Meredith Bates is the only one to have performed in the East Kootenays in recent times. She was in Creston in July, 2012 at the Snoring Sasquatch with   Meredith Bates and Sean Cronin’s Very Good Band .This is another collection of eclectic, off the wall musicians playing generally weird music (and that’s not a bad thing). Some might call the music “Art Rock” but I suspect it has more in common with the musical jazz renegade John Zohn (profiled in the September, 2013 issue of Down Beat). There was lots of atmospheric noodling, instrumental interplay, wide dynamic explorations and free form extemporisation (is there such a word?). The music was almost all originals with only one cover of a Paul Simmon song (Run That Body Down) that was largely unrecognisable (once again that is not a bad thing). Tony Wilson, the second guitarist is only a recent addition to the band. He is (or was) a student of one of Vancouver’s finest jazz guitarists, Oliver Gannon. Rather than attempt to describe the music here are a couple of Youtube links to a few of their compositions: Talk Fish Instead  Like the Clouds  Fantastic Pictures  Bitter Cup

and here is their website Pugs and Crows

 Meredith Bates   600. Cole Schmidt   Katherine Toren  Ben Brown   Laurel's Boots   Tony Wilson  Meredith Bates  Katherine Toren  Cole Schmidt   Russell Sholberg Tony Wilson Meredith Bates  Katherine Torens   Meredith Bates  Ben Brown       Laurel's Boots  Russell Scholberg  Laurel Ralston   Katherine Torens Cole Schmidt Pugs headerThis was another exceptional night of jazz organised by Laurel Ralston of the Kimberley Arts Council who, unfortunately, is heading off to Ottawa. She will be greatly missed and we all owe Laurel a debt of gratitude for her extraordinary efforts over the past few years. Over the next little while there are more concerts in this current series and Keith Nicholas will be the guiding light from here on in.

The Arts council would like to thank the following sponsors of this concert: Mountain Spirit Resort & Spa, Burrito Grill and Our Place Restaurant