To celebrate 40 years of North Sea Jazz Festival, the Dutch broadcaster NTR showed a programme on the NPO3 channel on 5 July at 23:00 which highlighted recent and classic concerts from the rich history of the festival.
One of the very special classic concerts was the Archie Shepp Quartet with Johnny Meijer on jazz accordion in 1981. As became apparent, saxophonist Hans Dulfer had brought Shepp and Meijer together and it had been the only time they had played together. In 1981 I visited the North Sea Jazz festival for the first time and, being a big fan of Archie Shepp, I had been present during this remarkable concert and taken photos.
A few days before the taping of the program I was approached by the team behind the programme to confirm that it was my photo and asking permission whether they could use the photo. I could supply them with a high-res version of the image and allowed them to use the photo if they could give me full credit. I can image that not many photos of this event are still around 34 years after the fact and I was happy to oblige. They generously left my photo and my name up for the duration they discussed this concert with Hans Dulfer which impressed my family. 🙂
Sun Ra and his Arkestra at the North Sea Jazz Festival – Saturday 17 July 1982.
A Sun Ra concert is something you will remember for the rest of your life: it is a mix between a big-band free-jazz concert, a religious ceremony and a trip to outer space. Long before UFO abduction stories had been heard of, Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount) had become convinced that his roots lay on the planet Saturn which he visited by spaceship and he developed “cosmic” philosophies and lyrical poetry as he preached “awareness” and peace above all in his music. No need to point out that the concert of Sun Ra and his Arkestra that I visited on the Roof Garden scene at the North Sea Jazz Festival 1982 was quite the spectacle with the space music, poem recitals and space costumes.