nigel wherever we find him
He was at Ronnie Scott's in London:
This is far from the first time Nigel Kennedy has performed jazz at Ronnie Scott’s, but there was a big difference on this thrilling first night of a season of eight shows dedicated to the music of George Gershwin. This time there were no electric violins or drums, but only a cello, double bass, and the acoustic guitarists Rolf Bussalb and seven-string innovator Howard Alden. Cracking gags, clutching a beer and punching fists with his band members, Kennedy was at his most engaging diamond-geezer ease – and the sold-out crowd was reverential when barely audible whistles from his violin’s upper register curled around the silent room, and rapturous when he turned up the heat. “Jewish community, New York energy, jazz, classical” was his crisp tribute to a personal hero as he began his set segueing Gershwin’s I Loves You, Porgy into Bess, You Is My Woman Now.
To read the rest of this excellent review, clickHERE.
(Ed: This review was written by John Fordham, who is one of the most discerning music critics I know . He totally understands Nigel's music. If he says something is so, it is.)
He was in Nice, France:
The craziest of classical violinists, Nigel Kennedy, was the godfather of the festival C'est pas classique, 2017, in Nice, which ran from November 10th to 12th. He played his New Four Seasons and his own original Dedications.
Prior to the concert, Andre Peyregne wrote:
"Nigel Kennedy is certainly the craziest, crazy, barjo, azimuth, staggering classic violinist ! "
Well, yes. But come on, you don't know what barjo and azimuth mean in this context, do you ? In fact, you've never come across the word barjo at all, have you ? I certainly hadn't. However, I take my responsibilities as editor of this site VERY seriously. So I googled it and while I was at it, I googled azimuth as well. Here we go then:
azimuth: Microsoft's indication that you're not typing your CSS in the exact manner they've intended.
"Where did this 'azimuth ' come from in my CSS?"
barjo: farfelu, slightly crazy.
If you can speak French, you'll recognize farfelu. I'd translate it as completely wacky, but we're more or less on the same page, aren't we ?
As the night of the concert approached, excitement was building in Nice. Here's the next announcement:
"It's going to heat up at the Acropolis Palace! With Nigel Kennedy in Vivaldi's Seasons , you're never cold. It's torrid from start to finish.
We have appealed to this troublemaker of great music who, forty years ago, already presented us his Seasons of Vivaldi. He appeared as a breaker of traditions, a codebreaker, a border abolisher - the whole spirit of C'est pas classique! Perhaps we will find some of the beautiful emotions of the great years of this series. First highlight: Kennedy, of course. For his NewSeasons,the priceless Nigel will be accompanied by the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra - at least a part of it because only the strings will be playing. According to his statements, Kennedy will also pay tribute to his masters Isaac Stern, Yehudi Menuhin, Stephane Grappelli, Jarek Smietana, Mark O'Connor. It's a lot of people!"
I do hope that, with this hysterical build-up, Nigel brought it home for the audience! The only comment I can find comes from M. Peyrenne again:
'There are more seasons! Indeed, my good sir! And the weather is not the only one responsible. When this fantastic Nigel Kennedy takes his violin and, behind the musicians of the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra, he puts in ambush drums and a jazz guitar, it is The Four Seasons of Vivaldi which are all turned upside down! Instead, we hear something amazing, detonating, electrifying, jazzy, rock, that overflows the room. Something which opened in fireworks Friday night the 13 th edition of C'est pas classique...' [ED: I've only roughly translated M. Peyrenne, because I find he loses much of his charm if the translation is too good !]
That's it ! If I want to read more of what M. Peyrenne had to say, I'll have to subscribe to the newspaper. I DO actually take my responsibilities as editor of this site seriously, but not, alas, THAT seriously ! I haven't found a review of the concert anywhere else yet, but maybe one of you actually went to this concert and actually survived ? If you did, please send us a word or two on what it was like. Our collective breath is bated ! [ED: You can read what Nigel said about the concert before it actually happened by clicking HERE. ]
He was in Wels, Austria:
Prior to the concerts in Vienna, Nigel spent a great deal of time in Wels from Friday to Sunday to rehearse with the Upper Austrian Youth Symphony Orchestra for the tour. An attentive listener at the rehearsals was house manager Martina Franke: "Kennedy has incredible charisma, which is transferred to the musicians in the orchestra. His energy and how he got the young people to give all they have was fascinating to observe. "
Nigel traveled daily from Linz to try out 21 young people from all over Upper Austria for up to seven hours each.
The cooperation came about by chance. At the opening of the Musikmesse in Ried, a manager was introduced to the youth club. Because he knew Nigel was looking for a suitable youth orchestra for a planned tour, he gave him a heads up. Eduard Matscheko, the conductor of the orchestra and specialist group leader of the strings at the Landesmusikschulwerk, took up the challenge and studied the works with the orchestra. Nigel gave them the finishing touches at Wels during the rehearsals.
Nigel also brought his own band to Wels: "It consists of five musicians who mingle with the orchestra," explains Franke.
What can you learn from a world star like Kennedy? "As inspiring, I felt his tremendous perseverance and patience in the rehearsals. He gets everything out of the young musicians. He does not compel them with his authority, " enthuses the director.
He was in Lodz, Poland ( sort of !)
During the 22nd Forum of European Cinema ORLEN Cinergia, Nigel Kennedy was awarded the Golden Globe statuette. This award is given to creators who are uncompromising in their work and give their work an original character. To Kennedy, who created the image of a punk virtuoso, the award fits like a glove.
Michal Urbaniak spoke as follows
" At the time of Lodz, when I was a violinist by noon, and in the afternoon a saxophonist, I dreamed about combining these two worlds ... Being a virtuoso of classic violin and jazzman. I did not quite succeed. Nigel Kennedy, on the other hand, showed that you can be a great, though unruly, classical violinist, while playing great jazz and rock. I congratulate him on this award. "
Unfortunately, Nigel wasn't able to attend the Awards ceremony and it was Agnieszka who accepted the statuette on his behalf.
I'll keep looking and when I find him somewhere, I'll post it here. Check back often !
If you do the same thing every night, that’s the death of music: nk