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Serge Ermoll RIP. A Heart Ripped Open - the Life and Times of Serge Ermoll
27 Oct 2010


For nearly 40 years, pianist Serge Ermoll has been the wild man of Australian jazz. His group Free Kata, formed in the 1970s, ‘ripped open the heart of music aesthetics in Australia’ (John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald, August 2003). Ermoll has played with some of the greats of the international jazz scene, such as the trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie; but his desire to ‘be free’and a chaotic lifehas kept him out on the wild frontier of Australian music making. With a black belt in karate, and a day job as a private eye, Ermoll has always been a ‘character’, but years of wild living and a lifetime without any regular income have taken their toll, both on Serge Ermoll and those closest to him.

In ‘A Heart Ripped Open’, Serge plays the piano and talks about his life, while his daughter, the artist Tatiana Pentes, provides a candid commentary on life spent following a mad man around the countryfrom gig to gig, from all day sessions in a Chinese restaurant to late nights in dim and dank clubs. ‘A Heart Ripped Open’ is a wild ridethe Free Kata gang still get together from time to time, Serge doesn’t always turn up sober, if he turns up at all; he gets into fights in McDonalds; there are tears and rages. Finally, we end up at Serge’s 60th birthday party, and the gang parties on.

Presenter – Tatiana Pentes
Producer – Eurydice Aroney and Kirsty Lee
Click here to download the interview:  

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