|The piano where we prepared for last summers concert.|
Last summer I had the great honour to work with the jazz pianist, late Bengt Hallberg. We did the opening concert of Ljungskile Sommarjazz, doing songs in the borderlands of jazz and folkmusic.
|Rehearsal at Bengts home, June 2012.|
Overwhelmed by this chance to be in the presense of such a great musician and soul filled with music, in the beginning I was a bit shy. Our first rehearsal was at his home in Uppsala some weeks before the concert. So I soon learned how compleetely grounded this remarkable gentleman was in himself without the slightest need to show off, and possessing a fine combination of being grand and humble at the same time.
My last memory of him was after the concert in the middle of the warm summer night. He and his sweet love Mariana came down the stairs from the back room on second floor, a steep stair case, and they were laughing-smiling-talking, being true age-less lovers.
|Café Tant Grön, Ljungskile.|
On the 28th of June this summer, two weeks ago, I came back to the little café Tant Grön in Ljungskile where Bengt and I prepared and rehearsed for our concert last summer. A strong sense of memories came to me and I sat down at the table where we at that time had coffé between the songs we played.
I didn't know then that it was just a few days before he passed away, on the 2nd of July at the age of 80.
With deepest gratitude I say: Thank you, Bengt. For all the inspiration and great music you have flowingly given to me and everyone.
I would like to borrow this song from Patti Smith, thinking of how Bengt and Marina went out in the summer night the last time I saw them.
Because the night belongs to lovers.....