The past two weeks have been good to me with some terrific concerts and today was no different. I’ve been a fan of BRUUT! for a while now, but haven’t had the chance to actually see them live. This afternoon their tour of the new album Superjazz brought them to Simplon in Groningen.
Several weeks ago I read that New Cool Collective was coming to Assen, my home town! How cool is that? Very cool! And it’s a good thing, because the name of the festival opening the cultural season of Assen would not have grabbed my attention at all. Preuvenement is about the worst name of an event I’ve heard in a long time. But that didn’t matter: New Cool is here to make us forget that awful name.
Being a lover of Jazz -both the traditional and the more swinging, funky kind- I look forward to the Swingin’ Groningen festival every year. The festival has been put on hold a few times as it’s a free festival and money is tight, but if they’re on and I have a chance I wil absolutely check out some of the band and so it was I was in Groningen last night.
New Cool Collective came back to Groningen and I was rather shocked to see I had not seem them live since 2013. And that’s just too long without seeing the band so I was very happy to go to the Oosterpoort venue and see the band again last Wednesday.
Visiting Barcelona in the coldest time of the year… Is that a good idea? Well, it’s still a lot warmer there than in Assen, so I wasn’t too worried. And flights in February were well priced too. And well… excuses aren’t really necessary for visiting my girlfriend again, are they?
A theme of 2015 has been traveling to Barcelona to visit my girlfriend M. there as often as possible and so it seemed like a great idea to end the year there as well. Having spent Christmas here in the Netherlands with the family, on December 27 I hurried off to Schiphol to visit Barcelona one more time in 2015 and end that wonderful year together with M.
Having finished my vacation in Italy, I started work with an intense training (TMAP Testing) including a grueling few weeks of studying, trying practice-exams and skipping a lot of fun events. I really wanted to visit M. (and Barcelona) after the final exam, either as a prize or to help me forget a bad result. Either way: Barcelona it was to be.
My wonderful girlfriend M. had a big musical surprise for me. After attending the Dani Nel.lo concert a day earlier she totally kept me in the dark of the evenings plans and even arriving at La Pedrera I had no idea of where we were going and once on the roof I still was in the dark (well, there was a drumkit and a double-bass, so Jazz was obvious, but not until m. nudged me when the musicians entered the roof of La Pedrera did I know who’d we be watching/listening to.
I love the Swingin’ Groningen festival: it’s a terrific free festival in the heart of Groningen and brings a mix of swinging Jazz, Soul, Blues and R&B. It was a huge shame last year’s edition had to be cancelled, but I was happy to be able to attend the Friday evening part of this festival (had to give Saturday a miss, you can’t always do everything…).
You don’t get to meet living legends every day. People that have such a rich history in music and poetry and are instantly recognizable by how they dress and talk. In the Netherlands just about everyone will know Jules Deelder. Poet, writer, performer, collector of a truly incredible vinyl jazz collection, promotor of detergents for black clothing and an important part of the Deeldeliers, a musical partnership with Bas -Dominee- van Lier. They came to Groningen last night.
In 2004-in my early days as a concert photographer- I saw Polar Bear at the Swingin’ Groningen festival. Had never heard of the band, but they made a huge impression on me and their album ‘Held on the Tips of Fingers’ is -together with ‘The Best Band You Will Never Hear In Your Life by Frank Zappa- the root of my iPhone playlist. It has and will never be removed from that. So finally seeing the band after 10 years was just awesome.
Benjamin Herman came to Groningen last Friday. Leaving the New Cool Collective to it’s own devices Benjamin is touring with a more pure-Jazz oriented quartet now.
It’s been a while since I last saw Giovanca and a night of Funk and Soul was just what I needed so off I went to Simplon last Friday .
It’s the 20th Anniversary of Swingin’ Groningen this year and that has to be celebrated! The festival was rebooted 3 years ago after having been on hiatus for a couple of years and -after a modest start- is starting to really grow again. Mixing wel known names with new talent is showing to be a good success. June 13th was the opening evening of the festival.