Norwegian jazz is celebrating these days. On 21 November, it is 50 years since Norwegian Jazz Federation, now Norwegian Jazz Forum was established. The age is of no concern as Norwegian jazz is in the middle of a new golden age.
Jazz has existed in Norway for 75-80 years, but this celebration marks the establishment of the Norwegian Jazz Association in Trondheim in 1953, which was the start of the organised jazz environment.
- Jazz is moving in waves. We are now at the top of the fourth wave, and we are seeing a tremendous interest for Norwegian jazz abroad, says Tore Flesjø, director of Norwegian Jazz Forum.
When asked to characterise new Norwegian jazz, he refers to the Swedes.
- The Swedes say that the Nordic sound is the Norwegian sound. I think that is pretty accurate. It is fresh, has high quality and is performed by very conscious artists. The Norwegian environment has been very open to new impulses as well. Live performances are, and always have been, very important in Norway. Jazz is originally a live art and we have noticed that the jazz musician performing live are most successful abroad, in countries such as France and Britain, says Flesjø.
On Flesjø’s list of top Norwegian jazz musicians, we find performers of world class. Jan Garbarek, who is one of the columns of Norwegian jazz. Terje Rypdal, also known as one of the leading modern jazz guitarists in Europe. Karin Krogh, first lady of Norwegian jazz who at an early stage started to use new electronic effects. Nils Petter Molvær, a veteran jazz trumpeter who has pioneered within the field of electronic jazz. Bugge Wesseltoft, also called European jam session champion. His new techno concept of jazz is often labelled nu jazz.
The 50 years anniversary will be celebrated with numerous concerts all over Norway. For those Norwegian jazz fans abroad, not able to participate, there is a solution. The first few to contact Norwegian Jazz Forum will receive jazz.CD.no with 40 artists, such as Jaga Jazzist, Nils Petter Molvær, Supersilence, Come Shine, and Eivind Aarset.