Carsten Dahl


Fre 07 Feb KL 20:00 EntrÉ 120 kr Carsten Dahl piano
Billetter sælges gennem

Carsten Dahl regnes for et af de største naturtalenter som dansk musik har fostret i nyere tid. Oprindeligt uddannet trommeslager lærte han sig selv at spille klaver. Han er anerkendt både som en fremragende jazzpianist og som klassisk komponist. Hans talent er grænseløst hvilket man hører i hans enestående klaverimprovisationer på sine to seneste soloudgivelser Dreamchild og Papillon.

Carsten Dahl tager udgangspunkt i musikkens åndelige dimension. "Min tilgang til musik, er som et barns tilgang til livet. Jeg tænker ikke over om det er noget jeg kan eller ikke kan. Jeg er bare i det.".

Denne aften dypper Carsten Dahl fingrene i hele sit store repertoire fra de frie improvisationer på Dreamchild over jazzens standards til de impulsive improvisationer på den stærkt kritikerroste cd Papillion som er inspireret af Carsten Dahls interesse for sommerfugle - deres forskellige farver, former, adfærd og flyvemønstre. "Gennem larve- og puppestadiet sker der en utrolig forvandling: En sommerfugl bliver til og bestøver verden med sin skønhed. Det er sådan jeg bestræber mig på at leve mit liv".

En stor oplevelse er i vente.

Carsten Dahl was born 3 October 1967.
Any attempt to give a brief description of Dahl's musical style would have to be quickly abandoned. Here is a musician with no desire to tie himself down to any one form or genre - a musician who can move unimpeded from the bebop tradition via completely free improvisation to classical music.

He played drums since the age of nine, and subsequently studied for two years at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. In the course of his studies, however, the drums were set aside in favour of the piano - an instrument in which he has never received training.

Today, Dahl records for the venerable Deutsche Grammophone and Verve labels, and is one of the most popular jazz pianists around. He has played both with leading Danish musicians and with top foreign artists: Benny Golson, Eddie Gomez, Ed Thigpen, Joe Lovano and many others.

Although Dahl trained as a bebop musician, modelling himself on Bud Powell and Winton Kelly, he tries to relate openly to many diverse forms of musical expression. For him, bebop is merely a basic tool - a language and a tradition - which always colours his musical style, whether he is playing standards, free jazz or classical music.

It is also telling that Dahl's critically-acclaimed solo record "Copenhagen - Aarhus" (released in 2004 on Deutsche Grammophone's sub-label, Edge) was reviewed not only by jazz reviewers, but also in classical music magazines. For Dahl, mining the classical tradition is one way to avoid a one-dimensional musical style:

"For me, it is only the music that is interesting. And Bach's music has it all at once. That fascinates me. Plus, the fact that you become a better pianist by playing it doesn't do any harm."

Just to underline his versatility, Dahl, as part of his continuing partnership with Deutsche Grammophone, is also recording J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations - a piece of music that was thought to be academic and almost unplayable until pianist Glenn Gould made it world-famous in 1955.

"You never really know what to play"
Dahl has made an impression in many contexts. One of them is in a duo with his wife, the tenor saxophonist Christina Dahl; but he also plays in trios with, amongst others, Arild Andersen/Patrice Herald, Lennart Ginman/Thomas Blachman, Alex Riel/Mads Vinding.

However, the ultimate challenge for him is solo performance. In common with musicians such as Keith Jarrett and Paul Bley, Dahl approaches solo playing as an attempt to find the space in which music is created in relation to the moment - and it is in this process that his deeply personal language is expressed.

"The main thing is not whether the audience likes it or not. It's not a question of whether what I do is good or bad, but whether it is important. The fact that you might be able to release a recording afterwards, because it was good, lies outside my experience of playing it."

Sometimes Dahl attacks his instrument, while at others he makes a respectful approach. But whether the spontaneous atmosphere of the moment is expressed in protracted rhythmic sequences or brief lyrical flashes, for Dahl it is always a question of expressing a way of experiencing life through the music.

In the solo situation it is natural for him to take his starting-point in the spiritual dimension, which for him is almost more important than the music. Spiritual and religious undertones resonate throughout his entire musical oeuvre, which attempts to express the universal, and thereby penetrate to the meaning of one's own existence.

"People may think my music is awful or funny, ugly or beautiful. For me, it is a conscious mission to just go in and be who I am. I must not try to live up to any particular expectations. I prefer not to be called a musician, and I hope that what I do will at some time or other merely be called 'music'."

Dahl's extensive concert activities and many recordings have won him a place among the supreme Danish pianists. He has received numerous prizes, including the Ben Webster Award (1997), the Jazzpar Prize (2000), the JASA Award (2002), a Grammy Award (2004) and the Django d'Or Prize (2006).