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Viru Keskus x Jazzkaar x TMW: Karl Madis Pennar


Karl Madis Pennar leads the brand-new international ensemble named Project Pennar, playing a mix of soul, hip-hop, and jazz infused with infectious grooves and beats, also featuring flashes of techno, DnB, and house influences. Project Pennar will perform at the TMW Estonian Jazz Union concert evening at Fotografiska on Saturday, April 6th, and again at Jazzkaar on April 28th also at the Fotografiska center.

Viru Centre celebrates its 20th anniversary this spring. What is your first memory of this landmark in the heart of Tallinn city?
Since I was born and spent the first 19 years of my life in Tartu, my first memory and encounter with Viru Centre came “a bit” late, especially considering I didn’t visit Tallinn much except for visits to the zoo with my grandmother when I was 5 years old. Hmm… My first visit to Viru Centre might have been related to buying red wine for a date or purchasing my first air humidifier at Euronics. I also remember pleasantly waiting for friends in the park in front of Viru Keskus, letting the spring sun caress my face. It’s likely that some of the song festival Laulupidu processions passed by Viru Keskus as well.

Your most embarrassing fashion choice
Lord, I don’t even want to think back… Looking back, my primary school ensemble of a light suit, purple shirt, and light pointy shoes was truly horrific, hahaha! To top it off, I had bleached, curly hair and a tan that no one else in class had because I spent a lot of time at the Tartu skate park. Also, I had a pair of red jeans that I wore very often but somehow managed to pull off – wearing them now would be very, very odd. And for some reason, it was super trendy to wear pants as low as possible with a shoelace instead of a belt – a popular skater thing.

Where is future fashion heading?
I somehow believe and really hope that future fashion will move more towards second-hand and repurposing old fabrics. Low-quality and environmentally damaging mass production should ideally fade away – it’s a bit of a bright blue dream, but hey, as they say, “dream big.” Future fashion innovation could have a cool practical and creative balance. I believe the global situation with wars and the fragility of freedom might influence future fashion even more towards integrating more of one’s local, roots, and historical influences into fashion design. I think there’s a lot of cool inspiration to be found there.

Your style icon in music
I’m definitely not a fashion expert, but I love it when an artist dares to be different, especially if there’s a cool backstory to their appearance. Among international musicians, I’d mention MonoNeon, and locally, I really like Kitty Florentine’s style. Another exceptionally mystical artist for me is the Swiss composer and pianist Nik Bärtsch Ronin, who has a very powerful artistic image.

What do you expect from TMW and Jazzkaar?
In terms of activities, I want to see and hear as many artists as possible and network diligently. Within the dense program of Tallinn Music Week, I definitely want to prioritize experiencing everything international that’s offered. From Estonian acts, I want to hear Lonitseer, whose concert I’ve never managed to attend, and definitely catch up on Reti Niimann and Maria Kallastu’s work.

At Jazzkaar, I’ll definitely be front row cheering for MonoNeon, Christian McBride, Kalle Kalima, and at the summer concerts of Jacob Collier and Take 6 in Tartu. If possible, I’d also be curious to attend my own Project Pennar ft. James Copus concert, which unfortunately isn’t possible – but you can!

What does future music sound like?
I believe music will get even more exciting in collaboration with artificial intelligence. A good friend and artist from Hamburg advised me to boldly let AI offer its interesting interpretations to my own creations – the result might largely be nothing special, but I’m more than sure that it will find something inspiring to grasp… After all, art knows no bounds, there’s no right or wrong. I’m very excited about what the future holds!

Karl Madis Pennar wears

Outfit I:
Glasses Watch Wear / Le Specs
Jacket Kaubamaja / Iris Janvier
Blouse Zara
Pants Zara
Shoes Ballzy / Converse

Outfit II
Vest Massimo Dutti
Pants Massimo Dutti

Outfit III
Jacket Zara
Sweater Gant
Pants Zara
Shoes Ballzy / New Balance

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