Bill Mays and I are looking forward to being a part of the 2016 Ystad Sweden Jazz Festival. We have done our concert “A History of Jazz Piano” twice in The United States and are delighted that Jan Lundgren, the festival’s artistic director, invited us to Ystad to present it for the first time in Europe. Bill will play music composed by 27 jazz pianists in a stylistic range from Jelly Roll Morton to Cecil Taylor. My role is to talk a bit about each of the pianists. We will be at the venerable Ystad Theatre the afternoon of August 3. In the photograph, Bill and I pose with our instruments following a 2015 presentation.
In its seven years, the Ystad festival in the eleventh century town on the Baltic coast has become one of Europe’s best-known summer jazz events. Artists performing over its five days will include European and international stars, among them this year’s guest of honor, accordionist Richard Galliano. Host Lundgren (pictured) and bassist Mattias Svensson will give a concert with the Bonfiglioli Weber String Quartet. From the United States there will be saxophonists Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman, bassist Avishai Cohen, pianist Bob James and vocalist Marlene Ver Planck. Trumpeter Hugh Masakela will come from South Africa, guitarist Martin Taylor from Scotland, trumpeter Paolo Fresu from Italy. For full details of the schedule, see the festival’s website.
I have reported on four previous Ystad Jazz Festivals. Being there on stage will be a new experience for me, and it will be Bill’s Ystad debut. If you are going to be at the festival, please seek us out and say hello. Bill and I will enjoy meeting you.