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Len Dobbin: A great friend of jazz and the Festival passes away

Journalist, producer, radio host, and even photographer in his spare time, Len Dobbin was a presence at every major Montreal jazz event in the past 50 years. Long time columnist for The Gazette, he also hosted Sunday nights on CJFM and CKUT radio. This passionate music fan devoted his life to jazz until the very end: He was attending a concert at the Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill on July 8, as part of the 30th edition of the Festival, when he was struck down.

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal’s president and founder, Alain Simard, and artistic director, André Ménard, recalled their long friendship with Len Dobbin, noting how his devotion to music and gift for communicating his passion enriched the lives of those around him. They also cited the role that Mr. Dobbin played in organizing the Festival’s Pepper Adams farewell concert in 1986. The great baritone saxophonist’s repertoire had included a piece titled, simply, Dobbin.

Several Montreal musicians will pay tribute to the late Len Dobbin during a concert to be held August 9, 2009.

André Ménard, Artistic Director of the Festival, remembers the great jazz journalist.