Thursday, July 9, 2009

Len Dobbin 1935-2009

I got the very sad news this morning that Len Dobbin, Canada’s finest jazz broadcaster, passed away after suffering a stroke last night at the Upstairs jazz club.

I think Len started at CKUT about a month or so after I did back in 1994. Before that, of course, he did his essential weekly jazz show for many years on commercial radio. For some years, before he moved over to Sundays, Len and I were neighbours in the 9:00-11:30 am slot -– Dobbin’s Den was on Wednesday mornings and Folk Roots/Folk Branches on Thursdays.

Len and I were friends long before we were radio colleagues. I first got to know him when he'd come and see concerts that I produced in the 1970s and ‘80s with artists like Odetta and David Amram.

More than the jazz festival, or any particular club, Len was the glue that held the Montreal jazz scene together for at least 50, if not 60, years.

I learned a lot from Len over the years and feel very honoured that he asked me to sit in his chair and host Dobbin’s Den a few times.

This picture of me, David Amram and Len was taken June 30, 2002.

--Mike Regenstreif

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