Memories of Spain…

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Kristian Borring Quartet in Gijon

Live concerts, remember those? Well I do, but man, it’s been a while. I don’t like to dwell too much on pasts events and concerts are ephemeral. They come and go. The moment we are in them is what matters, we hopefully cherish being part of that moment, whether listener or performer.

However, in this current world climate maybe taking stock and thinking back on past events is perhaps not a foolish exercise. So why not, here’s a brief memory from a tour to Spain in 2018. The picture was taken at a concert in Gijon, in the region of Spain named Asturias.

I was very excited to visit Asturias as my hero, race driver Fernando Alonso is from this region (yes, I like race cars, especially F1..!). However, I was even more excited to get to play with my buddy, Cesar Latorre, who had recently returned from London to his home country. We go back a long way when living in Amsterdam. Cesar is a wonderful pianist and brilliant guy. We had been planning to play for a while and now the opportunity arose. I was on tour in the UK with my quartet and we managed to include a few days in Spain with Cesar replacing Rick Simpson.

Gijon in spain

Gijon, Spain

As usual when visiting Southern Europe, we encountered heartfelt hospitality and a great audience. People were generous and the press were forthcoming too. In the this opening paragraph from a concert review in the news paper “La Nueva España”, the sentiment of jazz as a living breathing thing in constant development was noted through our performance:

For many, jazz is a music of the past. Indeed, its iconography, its legends and its canonical repertoire refer to the first half of the 20th century in the collective memory. However, this genre has continued its path, reinventing itself and mixing with languages of all kinds; in short, staying alive and inexhaustible generation after generation. The music of Kristian Borring is a good example of it; This Danish guitarist visited us last Wednesday in the cycle “Jazz in the Center” to present a proposal in which bop, swing and rock are combined with a personal seal. Subjects in which the imagination prevails with unconventional melodies and continuous changes. (Eduardo Viñuela)

As I write this, I am appreciating the memory more and more of visiting Asturias during what was an unusual cold spring in Europe. I love touring and performing everywhere I go; the dinner or hang after concerts, making new friends and seeing old ones, early walks through the city the morning after, practicing (undisturbed by my kids) in my hotel room. My visits to Southern Europe always means something special me. I hope I can go back soon, and I also really hope I can bring Cesar to the Denmark and show him Scandinavian hospitality.

We keep dreaming, and hopefully we’ll get there sooner rather than later…


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