Aug 122018

Thank you so much to everyone who’s taken the time listen to our new album Six Commissions. We’ve been getting great feedback from all kinds of people, and have had some lovely reviews here in Norway (quotes further down the page). What’s more, the album has racked up more than 60.000 streams, which is much more than my previous albums, and not bad for jazz. Much of this has come from the track Junior Days being added to Spotify’s State of Jazz list, but in any case it’s good to know our music is reaching out to new listeners all over the world. 

Unfortunately the vinyl version, originally scheduled to be released in August, has been delayed. Without going into detail there were issues with the final pressing that couldn’t be resolved and we’ve had to find a new manufacturer. So basically we have to start again and it will have to take the time it takes (usually at least a couple of months). 

In the meanwhile if you have the chance please come and see some of my other gigs. This Tuesday I’m playing at Oslo Jazz Festival with Bridges and at the weekend there’s Klangfestivalen in Fræna, alongside musicians Henning Sommero, Dag-Filip Roaldsnes, André Roligheten, Trygve Fiske and Tore Sandbakken. 

Some Norwegian reviews of Six Commissions:

«Jeg har det svært bra sammen med musikken på «Six Comissions». »
Arild R. Andersen,

«De makter å skape noen utrolig fine øyeblikk ut av dette låtmaterialet, på det som i sum er blitt et veldig fint album fra trioen.»
Espen Løkeland-Stai, Dagsavisen

«Mats Eilertsen, Per «Texas» Johansson, Espen Reinertsen, Natacha Atlas / Samy Bishai, Iro Haarla og Erlend Skomsvoll. Denne lista skulle borga for både kvalitet og mangfald.»
Lars Mossefinn, Dag og Tid

Jun 072018

Hi folks, it’s been a busy couple of years for me trying to balance my freelancing, teaching and family life with my own projects. Tomorrow though I can finally share with you my new trio album – Six Commissions. As the name suggests, I’ve commissioned six tunes from some of my favourite musicians and composers: Mats Eilertsen, Per “Texas” Johanson, Espen Reinertsen, Natacha Atlas/Samy Bishai, Iro Haarla and Erlend Skomsvoll.

I write a lot of music myself, and so do my fellow musicians Eyolf Dale (piano) and Jo Skaansar (bass). But after releasing three albums featuring our own compositions we decided it would be interesting to see how someone else might bring to the table. Although it’s common in other genres, jazz musicians tend to release their own compositions, standards maybe excluded. The compositions on this album go beyond the realm of jazz, helping us broaden our musical horizon. It’s been a lot of fun, but also a big challenge putting this album together.

Another first for me is that there’s no cd this time. To be honest with you I’m selling fewer and fewer of them as more and more people start using the music streaming services. So for now it’s digital only. In August however, there will be a limited edition vinyl – please get in touch if you’d like to put your name down for one of those. I hope you enjoy the music, and head over to if you’d like more info on the album and who has been involved in it’s production.

Jun 152017

Time’s been flying by recently and suddenly summer is upon us. This year I have many fine projects lined up and I’m looking forward to all of them. Here’s a run-down of my activities.

First of all I’ll be heading to the town of Sunndalsøra in mid-western Norway for the theatre production Lady Arbuthnot. This is a yearly event that I’ve done several times before (but not last year) and it will be great to be part of the team again. There are 10 shows starting with the premiere on June 22nd, and on June 24th I’ll also be doing a gig with my own repertoire.

Eyolf Dales Wolf Valley are doing two shows this summer – Kongsberg Jazzfestival on July 8th and Oslojazz on August 17th. We’ll also be recording a new album in August, for which we’ll be heading to Copenhagen.

This year’s Moldejazz accommodates two projects. The first is a real challenge: Espen Berg’s commission for the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra hardly contains a single bar in straight 4/4 and will need some serious practice (it’s going to be beautiful though when we get it together!). Towards the end of the week there will be two concerts with my old trad jazz band Dixi, specially put together for an anniversary of sorts. The last time I played with the group was in 2006 so I’m looking forward to a trip down memory lane – for two nights only.

Finishing off the summer there’s a trip to Séte in France with Natacha Atlas, a weekend at Klangfestivalen in Fræna outside Molde, the already mentioned recording with Wolf Valley and a tour with Bridges and Seamus Blake in early september which will bring us to London and Basel as well as five gigs in Norway. After which there’s a new trio album waiting to be recorded…

It’s going to be busy but luckily there are plenty of breaks in-between which I’ll be spending in Oslo with my family. Hope to see you at one of the gigs!

May 302017

This weekend is the premiere of a new collaboration with Dutch guitarist Marzio Scholten. Marzio and I first met a couple of years back as part of a split-gig tour and have been talking about getting something together ever since. This Saturday, we’ll be heading for Italy and Novara Jazz for a one-off gig. We’ll be bringing along both old and new compositions, many of them with a strong melodic feel, and we’ll also be doing some free improvisations.

Marzio has also invited me to play in Holland with his trio this December, we’ll be playing in Rotterdam, Tilburg and Amsterdam. Strongly looking forward to both!

Feb 272017

Førdefestivalen is Norway’s largest folk music festival and a great place to hear music you won’t find at the “regular” festivals. Førde is also close to where my wife’s family is from, and a couple of years we both signed up as volunteers for the festival, and I ended up taking care of Natacha Atlas and her band. If you’ve had a look around my site might have noticed how well that worked out for me: I shortly after became a regular member of the band. Freelance writer Marianne Lystrup has done an interview of me about this and other parts of my musical career that’s now available on Førdefestivalens website.

Dec 132016

December is here and the last gigs of the year are just around the corner. After these it will be time to take care of my accounts and all the other office work that’s been put off recently.. This year I’m really looking forward to Christmas, and I’m also looking forward to a slightly less busy start to the new year. Hopefully I’ll have some time to work on new projects and do some practice!

First of all though, this week’s gigs are with the trio. We’ll be playing at Biermannsgården in Oslo as part of their end-of-season concert, on Thursday. The next day we’re off to Gran to end our concert season at Hadeland Jazzforum. The trio gigs have been a bit spread out this autumn which can be good to keep things fresh, but I’m looking forward to playing two in a row. We’ve recorded many of the shows so there could be a live album in the pipeline.. I’ll be listening properly to the recordings over Christmas.

As I keep promising, I’ll also try to write some more posts during the holidays. But in case I don’t.. Happy Christmas to all!

Hadeland Jazzforum:


Nov 172016

It’s been busy recently and I’ve been meaning to write about the tour I had in France with Natacha Atlas, the gigs with Ole Reinlund and more.. I’ll have to get back to that though as today we have a trio gig at Tune Into in Gjøvik, Norway. Jo and I are taking the train and will meet Eyolf there, he’ll be coming straight from rehearsal with my good friend Daniel Herskedal and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Looking forward to playing tonight!!! As with other trio gigs this autumn we’ll be recording tonight’s performance.


Nov 062016


Anders Thorén is a Swedish drummer and producer who recently relocated to Oslo and is involved in a new label called AMP Music & Records. They’ve released a bunch of great jazz albums over the past couple of years, most recently this one that I was asked to play on. Besides Anders and myself, the album features the excellent Norwegian pianist Espen Berg and bassist Ole Morten Vågan and the New York-based saxophonist Seamus Blake. To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with Seamus before this session (!), but he’s a monster of a player with big ears and chops to match them (something I could also say of my other fellow musicians on this album)!

Anders’ idea for this album was to”bridge the gap” between the highly technical and intense style often playing often associated with the American/New York scene and the more tranquil approach that many of the Scandinavian outfits offer. A fun project to be a part of and, in my opinion, also a very successful one. We’re also really happy to have been given an endorsement by one of my favourite musicians, drummer Peter Erskine: “A new and important recording project led by drummer Anders Thoren. Great musicians, with sound by legendary Jan Erik Kongshaug at Rainbow Studios in Oslo. One of the more impressive albums I’ve heard in a long time, and highly recommended.”

The music is available on CD and comes with a booklet that includes photos by photographer Pierluca Taranta. It is also available for streaming via Spotify etc.

The album has been reviewed in Norwegian media such as Dagens Næringsliv and Musikk-Kultur, international reviews will hopefully follow soon.

Oct 152016

hpt_nnorge2015-21It’s been a while since we played a trio gig – in fact the last was a string of concerts last april. I remember the concert we did at Kampenjazz as one of our absolute best, a musical highlight for for all three of us! Hoping to continue the good vibes, we’ll be playing the first of our autumn gigs in Tromsø on October 28th. We’ll have a couple of new tunes and are intending to record the gig as we’re collecting material for a live album.

The last time we played in Tromsø was in 2012 when we played all around northern Norway – can’t wait to be back!

Saturday, October 28th – Tromsø Jazzklubb

Oct 132016


The new album Forvandling (Norwegian for Change or Transformation) was released a couple of weeks ago and has been receiving rave reviews in the Norwegian press. This is Solfrid’s third album, and the second that I’ve been part of (I also played on Katedral for tapte drømmer in 2011). It features some of my absolute favourite musicians – bassist Mats Eilertsen, violinist/fiddle player Nils Økland and his brother Torbjørn Økland on guitar. One of the tracks also includes vocalist Paal Flaata.

When we recorded Forvandling back in February, I was between other gigs and in fact had to travel back to Oslo for this specifically. The whole process was quick and spontaneous, we spent two whole days carving out arrangements and recording them on the fly. The atmosphere was really relaxed and I think this comes through in the end result. Another great thing about this album was the opportunity to work with producer Erik Hillestad and the sound engineer Martin Abrahamsen. Erik has produced countless albums for his record company Kirkelig Kulturverksted and really knows when to get involved and when to just let the music flow.

Next week we’ll be playing three release concerts, the first being in Jakobskirka in Oslo where the album was recorded. Next, we’ll be in Haugesund which is Solfrid’s home area, before finishing up in Førde where my wife has some family. I hope to see you at one of them!

Wednesday, October 19th – Jakobskirka, Oslo

Friday, October 21st – Kulturnatt, Haugesund

Sunday October 23rd – Førde Kirke, Førde (Folkjazzscena)

For a full list of my concerts check out my events page

Oct 102016


This week I’m off to France again for a couple of shows with Natacha Atlas. The band has been sounding really good recently so I’m looking forward to every gig! This time we’ll be dans l’ouest de la France, playing in Carquefou and Cenon, close to (or in?) Nantes and Bordeaux. Please come and see the shows if you’re in the area! And if you do see me please speak to me in French – J’essaye d’apprendre le Francais!

Tuesday October 11th: Carquefou

Wednesday October 12th: Cenon

Sep 202016

The last couple of days have been spent in Skien working on some new music written by Eyolf for Scheen Jazzorkester. It’s sounding great and we’re looking forward to three concerts which will also be recorded:

Tuesday, September 20th: Ibsenhuset, Skien
Wednesday, September 21st: Grimstad Kulturhus
Thursday, September 22nd: Cosmopolite, Oslo

Check out these photos from the rehearsals!

Sep 062016

The Norwegian music magazine Musikk-Kultur interviewed me in this month’s edition. Topics include new albums, bands and projects, inspiration and more!

DSCF2735 1

Sep 052016

I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of this beautiful album that’s just been released on ECM! The album contains an orchestral piece  by Finish pianist/harpist Iro Haarla, written for jazz quintet and symphony orchestra, and premiered and recorded in Umeå, Sweden back i 2012. The two ensembles are very integrated, often melting together and creating lush harmonies. It was both a lot of fun and a challenge to record, especially since working with classical orchestras and conductors is not something I do every day.

I remember sitting in front of the orchestra while they played the first minutes of the piece and waiting for my part, feeling that wonderful warm sound growing behind me.. Pure joy!

Thank you so much Iro, Trygve, Uffe, Mika, Jukka and everyone else who was involved in the project. And thank you, Manfred!

DSCF2608 1

Sep 032016

Dag Magnus Narvesen’s octet DAMANA released it’s debut cd this weekend, recorded almost two years ago and finally released on Portuguese label Clean Feed. This was celebrated with a concert at Bergen Jazzforum on Friday. As it happened, all three of our regular saxophonists were unavailable so we had some top-notch stand-ins: Fredrik Ljungkvist, Eirik Hegdal and Klaus Holm. All three are amazing musicians and it was my first time playing with Fredrik, we had a ball! The other regulars are Kristoffer Kompen on trombone, Adrian Myhr on bass and Øyvind Dale on piano.

More info on the album at

Aug 012016

My close friend and pianist Eyolf Dale released an album earlier this summer on Edition Records, and has been getting good reviews and even a spot on Apple Music’s A-list for jazz. The band’s debut concert and album release was held at this years’ jazz festival in Molde, Norway and we’ll be playing Oslo main venue Victoria in December this autumn. We’re working hard to get this super project on the road so keep your eyes open for gigs in Norway and abroad!

You can only make a first impression once, and Dale’s debut as a leader on an important European jazz label is impressive at several levels – in conception, in execution and from a compositional perspective he succeeds in ticking all boxes (Stuart Nicholson, Jazzwise).

Wolf Valley


Jun 052016

This album sees me not only in the role as guest trumpeter and sideman, but also an executive producer of sorts as it’s on my label Periskop. So you could say I’m a bit biased in recommending it, but I really think it deserves some attention! The complex but catchy arrangements were put together by vocalist Signe Time and pianist Øyvind Dale, listing Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus as inspiration. The album also contains references to classical composers such as Maurice Ravel and Frédéric Chopin and a tribute to recently deceased saxophonist Ornette Coleman.

Drummer Raymond Storaunet Lavik and bassist Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson complete the quartet’s regular line-up, and my fellow guest is saxophonist André Roligheten whom I’ve worked with many times before.

Head over to Periskop’s webpage to read more!

Significant Time

Apr 082016

Last October when we released our album we played a concert in Tøyen Church here in Oslo. We were lucky enough to have the superb crew from film the concert, which is now available for your viewing pleasure!

If you like the video be sure to head over to their web page to see the other great work they’ve done.