Jazz Festival

Join us February 26 & 27 for the 2010 Portland Jazz Festival featuring the innovative artistry of Norwegian jazz musicians at Norse Hall. Featuring Christian Wallumrød, Trygve Seim, Frode Haltli and the piano trio In The Country. For tickets and more information visit www.pdxjazz.com

Christian Wallumrød, http://www.christianwallumrod.com/

A gifted pianist considered one of the most prominent musicians of the younger Norwegian generation Wallumrød explores the intersection of improvisation and classical composition.

Christian Wallumrød has worked as a musician and composer since 1992, and he is considered one of the most prominent musicians of the younger Norwegian generation.

He made his debut on ECM Records with the album “No Birch” (issued in 1996) to considerable critical acclaim. The album “Sofienberg Variations” with a new ensemble (Christian Wallumrød Ensemble: with Nils Økland, Arve Henriksen and Per Oddvar Johansen) was released on ECM in 2003. Wallumrøds third album “A Year From Easter”, with the same ensemble, was released in spring 2005 on the German record label. An extended version of his acoustic ensemble (sextet with long time partners Henriksen and Johansen in addition to Gjermund Larsen on violins, Tanja Orning on cello and Giovanna Pessi on baroque harp) is playing Wallumrøds compositions on the recent ECM album “The Zoo Is Far” (spring 2007).

A fairly new project is a quartet named ‘Dans Les Arbres’ with Norwegian impro-musicians Ivar Grydeland and Ingar Zach (known from the band Huntsville) and French clarinet player Xavier Charles. This is a group who works solely with acoustic and improvised music, in a different way. The first Dans Les Arbres album was released on ECM Records in spring 2008.

Wallumrød has generally focused on small ensembles, both as a performer and a composer. Apart from his present acoustic ensemble (CWE) where he writes all the material, most of his work is based on improvisation and the fluid borders between improvised and written music. Since the beginning of the 90’s he has toured, played festivals and made broadcasting recordings in Norway and Scandinavia, Finland, Germany, UK, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Austria, Czeck Rep., Hungary, Estonia, Slovenia, Italy, China and Canada.

Trygve Seim and Frode Haltli, http://www.trygveseim.no/

A unique saxophone/accordion duo, these key figures of the new Norwegian music scene share an interest in the expressive potential of acoustic music across all stylistic boundaries.

Key figures in the new Norwegian music, Trygve Seim and Frode Haltli have played together in many contexts. The accordionist joined Seim’s large ensemble for live performances after the release of “Different Rivers” in 2000, and participated in the recording of “The Source and Different Cikadas” later that year, as well as “Sangam” (recorded 2002-2004). He continues to tour regularly with Seim’s large ensemble. Trygve and Frode have been playing in duo since 2001: “Yeraz” is the first documentation of their work in this format.

The two musicians share an interest in the expressive potential of acoustic music across all stylistic boundaries, from world folk traditions to contemporary composition. Accordionist Frode Haltli came to contemporary music early, but simultaneously began playing folk music in his local village community, and at 13 was the youngest member of a traditional dance band. Folk has remained a thread in a musical life that embraces improvisation as well as performance of composed music with a special focus on modern composers. His prize winning debut album “Looking on Darkness” (ECM New Series, 2002) including the title piece written by Bent Sørensen, was a powerful summing up of new directions in Nordic composition. “Passing images” (recorded 2004) made connections between folk and improvisation and pooled a team of maverick talents including classical violist Garth Knox, jazz trumpeter Arve Henriksen and singer/composer Maja Ratkje.

In The Country, http://www.inthecountry.no/media.html
In The Country is a piano trio consisting of piano player Morten Qvenild, bass player Roger Arntzen and drummer Pål Hausken.

Acoustic trio (piano, bass, drums) that combines rock influences with jazz, All About Jazz has already put In the Country’s latest album “Whiteout” on their “best of 2009” list.

Morten Qvenild is probably best known for being the orchestra in Susanna and the Magical Orchestra but has plenty more to show for. He has been a member of both Shining and Jaga Jazzist and is since long a member of Solveig Slettahjell’s Slow Motion Orchestra. He formed In The Country with Ballrogg- and Chrome Hill-bass player Roger Arntzen and Christer Knutsen-drummer Pål Hausken at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo in 2003. Since then they have been selected best young jazz artists in Norway, played concerts in Europe and USA and released two albums on the prestigeous Rune Grammofon label (“This Was The Pace Of My Heartbeat” in 2004, and “Losing Stones, Collecting Bones” in 2006) to much critical acclaim. Downbeat called their debut album “one of the finest and most arresting albums to come out of Europe” that year, and All About jazz has already put In the Country’s latest album “Without” (2009) on their “best of 2009”-list.