Gummibaren finds its niche

Drammens Tidende, November 2015

Invites to tango concert
The city is overflowing with cultural events on weekdays. Now, Gummibaren enters the stage with tango. – There are so many cultural events in Drammen now, but we try to start something that does not step on the neighbors toes, says Gunnar Grinaker.

He is one of the owners behind the city’s newest bar concept, Gummibaren. They are located at Brodahls Gummivarefabrikk and opened its doors in October. This coming Wednesday they invite to their first concert with Karl Espegard on violin and Jean Pouyé on classical guitar.

– There will be tango, Spanish and Latin American-inspired music, says the duo. Espegard began playing the violin while growing up at Nærsnes in Røyken.

Feeling at home
One fateful school day, students were gathered in the gymnasium where they heard musicians playing and were invited to try the musicians’ instruments. It came to be the beginning of a life that for the most part revolves around music. The violinist is a graduate from Barratt Due Institute of Music, Hochschule der Künste Bern and the Academy of Music in Oslo. Espegard has distinguished himself as a member of the Swiss Chamber Orchestra and the World Orchestra. The 32-year-old has toured widely throughout Europe, China and South America. He works closely with artists like Hanne Tveter and Sverre Indris Joner, Orquesta Sinfonica de Trujillo in Peru.

We are trying to start something that doesn’t step on the neighbours toes.

– Gunnar Grinaker, Gummibaren.

– I left everything and moved to Argentina. Without having a plan, I just wanted to play tango, says Espegard. After eighteen months in Argentina, he has now moved back to Norway and now lives in Drammen. – But I feel more comfortable and at home in the Latin American culture, he says.

The daily calendar
In the early 2000s, there were not too many concerts during weekdays in Drammen. However, this has exploded in the town by the riverside: Besides Gummibarens Wednesday concert with Espegard / Pouyé these are some examples of what happens next week: Drammens Teater: Silje Nergaard (Monday), Karius & Baktus (Tuesday), Honningsvågrevyen and Classical Wednesday (Both Wednesdays). Union Scene / Centralen: Susanna interprets Cocteau Twins and Drammen Film Club (Tuesday) and culture quiz (Wednesday). Rekord Bar: Rock Talk with Yan Friis and Jørgen & Jørgensen. Buddy Scene: Kari Merete Krogh interprets Stein Over Berg (Wednesday). Ypsilon Bar: Magnus Grønneberg (Thursday).

Image captions:
TANGO FROM TWO: Karl Espegard on violin and Jean Pouyé on classical guitar has become the first in what will be more concerts from Gummibaren. Photo: Sven-Erik Røed
GUMMIBAREN: Gunnar Grinaker, Christian Aass, Jon Martin Førland, Erlend Askhov and Trond Åsheim. Photo: Tore Sandberg

Article by Øyvind Schou

© Drammens Tidende, November 14th, 2015