As it happened I became a multi-instrumentalist. Why? Because I was teaching ensemble playing which was a good complement to the scarce income that you can get as a free-lance musician.
In the beginning I was sitting there watching the pupils play according to my instructions and then commenting. But it was tiresome and I think that sometimes I was expecting too much from the amateurs in the groups, so I started to participate on missing instruments, learning them and conducting more the way you normally do with a jazz band.
I like the daily practice on my main instrument that is the cornet and this I have done since my mid teens, trying to get better every day. I also like to practice and play the clarinet, an instrument that is so essential in the early jazz that I adore, and when you have got started on that instrument it’s fairly easy to do something also on saxophones.
My first instrument was the guitar and another one that interests me is the banjo. And some years ago I was lucky to find a real good Martin ukulele that is good to have around when you want to learn new songs.
Sometime along the way I got my hands on a big vintage Conn sousaphone. Since I made arrangements I was naturally keen on finding good bass lines and I got much work on that instrument over the years.
What have I got today? I do interesting studio recordings with all those instruments and play live every now and then.
I use the clarinet in a duet with Kiki on piano. I also play it in a New Orleans Revival group, and get some occasional gigs.
My cornet playing is kept up by some concerts with a Dixieland band. I miss the great Peruna Jazzmen where I was a member for about eight years playing all the stuff by Oliver, Morton and Clarence Williams. But now I have been asked to play with a band 20’s style, in France with some of their best musicians. That seems very promising.
I have started to rehearse with alto sax here in Malmö with a group of good musicians and I also meet with some other good guys once a month to mostly play the mandolin.
Further I will participate on my old sousaphone later in the year in a Grand Parade led by my daughter at a Swedish big festival (mostly modern jazz).
Finally, my banjo career have got started. Having played the tenor for many years I now also play plectrum banjo. And I am happy to renew my collaboration with the singer Marie Valentin. We had a trio piano, cornet and vocal called Moonshine in the 80’s and 90’s and now it’s this:
Marie Valentin Blue Five plays Squeeze Me. Rehearsal at Verehill, Sweden on January 30, 2023.
- Marie Valentin – vocal
- Marie-Christine “Kiki” Desplat – cornet
- Christer Andersson – trombone
- Mikael Cinthio – soprano sax
- Hampus Cinthio – piano
- Paul Bocciolone Strandberg – banjo
- Jonas Eilert – sousaphone