|Kenny Horst, 2006|
© Andrea Canter
In the wee hours of January 1st, after 18 years in St. Paul, one of the world's top jazz clubs - and by most definitions, the Twin Cities' only full-time jazz club--will have its last call. The Artists Quarter has been special to so many, in so many ways. It's been a haven for jazz musicians from high school students to 90+ -year-old veterans, from swingers and bebop purists to avant experimenters. It's been a serious listening room for jazz fans of all ages. If there is a jazz equivalent of "Cheers," this is it. Everybody knows your name, your drink, and your jazz preferences. And everybody knows Kenny Horst, owner, host, house drummer, all-around good guy who probably charged too little and sacrificed his own well-being too often. The audience has been loyal if often too small; the rent has been too high and building management too inflexible. So the doors will close, at least until someone else comes along willing and able to swim upstream. And probably move.
I intended to post a photo honoring the Artists Quarter every day for its final month. Today is December 2nd so I am already behind. And I am starting, and ending, with Kenny Horst.
I probably started bringing my camera to the AQ around the time of this photo, taken at a gig in September 2006. Kenny's hair still had a bit of blonde throughout, and those fast hands were hard at work, as always, whenever Kenny sat behind the trapset. Which was, and still is, at least a few nights per week.