The renewed Hammond organ concert series will culminate in a foreign jazz trio

The renewed Hammond organ concert series will culminate in a foreign jazz trio

The first HAMMOND concert season of the Liepāja Luther Church will be brought to a close on Friday, 25 August, at 19.00 with the concert CONVERSATION #9, with organ master Arno Krijger from the Netherlands at the newly restored instrument. Together with Swiss percussionist Florian Arbentz and trumpeter Percy Pursglove from the UK, they will present a new original jazz programme TARGETED, which was also featured on this spring’s album release under the same name. This year it will be the last opportunity to hear the restored Latvian-made organ in concert appreciating the thrilling sound of this instrument, as HAMMOND will continue to be restored by Liepāja restorers.

The Liepāja HAMMOND is a unique VEF-made piece, presented to the Liepāja Luther Church by Latvian president Kārlis Ulmanis back in 1937. According to experienced organ restorer Gandert de Boo, the organ made in Rīga is older than other instruments commonly played throughout the world and therefore holds a special value. This spring, the first phase of the organ's restoration has been completed, involving the finalisation of diagnostics and the restoration of the instrument's sound systems.

Future steps in the restoration project include the woodwork restoration, the renewal of the sound mechanisms, the replacement of the organ motor and the installation of appropriate light and sound fittings on the organ to provide musicians with a comfortable experience and to meet modern technical requirements. Meanwhile, the heating of the organ room during the winter period also requires attention, which is vital for keeping the renewed mechanisms in running order. The project team has also started negotiations on cooperation with the jazz department of the Liepāja Music College, looking forward to offering future musicians the opportunity to practise on the original HAMMOND instrument, and create new compositions and concerts focused on the distinctive sound of the VEF organ.

Recognising the significance of HAMMOND in Latvian cultural history and collecting valuable materials (drawings, instrument parts, descriptions, photographs) from the restoration process, the idea is to create a permanent exhibition of HAMMOND organs in Latvia after the restoration work has been completed in the organ room.

More about the project:

Concert tickets: