New York, New Orleans and ... Oslo?

“New York, New Orleans and ... Oslo?” - The Guardian declares Oslo the new capital of jazz.

Food, 2004

In an article this week, The Guardian declares Oslo the new hotbed of jazz following in the footsteps of the giants that came out of New York and New Orleans.

Writes The Guardian’s Richard Williams: “The capital of Norway would seem an unlikely successor to New Orleans, Chicago and New York. And yet, as jazz heads into its second century as an international language, it's in Oslo that its conversation is now at its most animated and productive. Thirty years ago, when the saxophonist Jan Garbarek and the guitarist Terje Rypdal became the first Norwegian jazz musicians to make an international impact, no one could have predicted that their country, with its population of 4.5 million, would now be enjoying such pre-eminence.

Williams also highlights the upcoming Nordic Voices festival: “…but anyone who wants to know where jazz is heading next should attend a concert called Norwegian Voices at the Barbican in London this week.”

Williams interviews Food saxophonist Iain Ballamy who points out the importance of the Jazz Course at the Conservatory in Trondheim which has fostered most of Norway’s jazz elite: "I don't know what they give them for lunch in Trondheim," Ballamy observes, "but it seems to do the trick." Says Ballamy on his Norwegian colleagues: “"They have a strong folklore tradition and a healthy nationalism of the kind we've lost in Britain. They're well educated, fearless in their willingness to pile in with whatever's happening and they're supported by the state."

The article also touches upon the importance of the country’s small but strong independent record labels, particularly the vital Rune Grammofon label.

Read the entire article here.

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