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Ken Vandermark / Paal Nilssen-Love

November 26 @ 8:00 pm

Vandermark Nilssen-Love at Seattle Jazz Earshot Festival

Saturday, November 26
8:00 pm PST (two sets)
The Royal Room

Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Ken Vandermark (reeds), one of the most prolific duos in improvised music today, join us once again on Earshot’s stage.

The Ken Vandermark and Paal Nilssen-Love pair promise to create an exhilarating listening experience. Paal Nilssen-Love’s intensity on drums is matched by Vandermark’s on reeds; combining extreme and swift rhythms with deconstructed then reassembled melodic phrases, the duo represents the highest calibre of free jazz and improvisation, while often eschewing genres themselves. As is evident in their past efforts together, Vandermark and Paal Nilssen-Love’s programs vary greatly in texture and mood – ranging from lung-bursting ferocity to chamber-like solemnity, while also rarely failing to realize a good opportunity to get funky.

Paal Nilssen-Love grew up in a Norwegian jazz club that his parents ran, and from an early age was drawn to play the drums, as his father had been. By 20 he was a renowned percussionist, and from there his reputation has soared. He has for several years been among the most vaunted of instrumentalists in improvised music.

Ken Vandermark, a multi-reedist, composer, MacArthur Fellow, and community organizer, has poured his energy back into the vibrant Chicago jazz scene where he rose to acclaim. Yet despite his accomplishments as an organizational leader, it is Vandermark’s massive body of work as a composer and improviser that has earned him such widespread renown.

Vandermark did not play with Paal Nilssen-Love until 2000. Their lasting collaboration began with the formation of the ensemble School Days, and soon carried over to the trio FME, which also includes bass player Nate McBride. For Vandermark and Paal Nilssen-Love the chemistry was immediately apparent, and it was only natural to transition into the duo format. They first explored this setting in 2002, recording the powerful, Dual Pleasure, for Oslo’s Smalltown Supersound label. For good measure they did it again a year later, releasing the two-disc set Dual Pleasure 2. Since then they have released several albums and worked together in several memorable contexts, including The Thing with Mats Gustafsson and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, and The Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet.

*Earshot Jazz COVID-19 Policy: Earshot recommends that all ticket holders be vaccinated. Masks are strongly encouraged unless actively eating or drinking. Policy subject to change. Full COVID policy here.

Ken Vandermark (left) and Paal Nilssen-Love (right) photo by Cladio Casanova


November 26
8:00 pm
Event Category:


Royal Room
5000 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, 98118 United States
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(206) 906-9920
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Earshot Jazz
info at earshot dot org
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