Jazz odyssey: music and migration

Some of Norway's most respected jazz performers are taking part in 'A Jazz Odyssey: Music and Migration', a series of events which look at how migration has contributed to the vibrancy of jazz in Europe.

Arve Henriksen Nattjazz

The full extent of Europe is being re-discovered, with old borders and divisions falling away and new groups of people living together. As with America at the beginning of the last century, creativity grows where difference meets and few musical languages are better placed to articulate this than jazz. 'A Jazz Odyssey: Music & Migration' explores how jazz has been shaped by the changing face of Europe and how this music can provide a positive reflection on our changing demographic. ' Produced by the UK based live music producers Serious, Millenaris Park and A38 in Budapest (an 'live music venue formerly a Ukrainian cargo ship) and the Banlieues Bleues Festival in Seine-Saint-Denis on the outskirts of Paris, this 'project features 'performances and collaborations, but also discussions and meetings, that bring together a broad range of people with an interest in our evolving musical cultures and their place in Europe.

South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela returns to the Barbican stage on 30 March to perform with his full South African band together with European guests, saxophonist Soweto Kinch and pianist Yaron Herman. The evening also features the UK premiere of music from master oud player Dhafer Youssef's new album 'Divine Shadows'. Born in Tunisia, then based in Vienna and now Paris, Dhafer Youssef's music mixes jazz improvisation, Arabic lyricism, dance grooves, and electronics to extraordinary effect. He is joined by some of the most creative names in Norwegian jazz, including Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset, Rune Arnesen and Audun Erlien.

Arve Henriksen is without doubt one of Norway´s leading instrumentalists, a master of the trumpet. He is also a searching musician, whose investigations have led him to Japanese music, Balinese sounds, Mongolian overtone singing, Sidsel Endresen's vocal sounds, electronics and instruments such as the koto, the biwa and the shakuhachi. The tonal quality of the shakuhachi flute in particular has long been an inspiration for him, giving him a sense of direction in the development of his own sound.

Born in 1968, Arve Henriksen studied at the Trondheim Conservatory from 1987-1991, and has worked as a freelance musician since 1989. He has worked with a wide range of musicians including Jon Balke, Anders Jormin, Stian Carstensen, Trygve Seim, Edward Vesala, Jon Christensen, Marilyn Mazur, Marilyn Crispell, Nils Petter Molvær, Terje Isungset, Misha Alperin and Marc Ducret to mention just a few. He has played in a very broad span of contexts, ranging from work with koto player Satsuki Odamura to rock band Motorpsycho via jazzpop singer Silje Nergaard and numerous free improvising groups. He is a founder member of free music group Supersilent and the Christian Wallumrød Ensemble and was until recently a member of Food.

Guitarist Eivind Aarset, one of the most exciting, individual and creative voices from the Norwegian jazz underground, saw "Electronique Noir", his first release as a leader, hailed as "One of the best post Miles electric jazz albums" by none other than the The New York Times as well as America's leading jazz magazine Jazz Times and the UK's Jazzwise. One of Norway's most in demand guitarists, Eivind is a regular member of Nils Petter Molvær group, appearing on the trumpeter's landmark albums "Khmer" and "Solid Ether" which first introduced Europe to the sound of the Norwegian jazz underground (Molvær makes a guest appearance on "Light Extracts"). Away from Molvær, Eivind has appeared on over 150 albums with musicians as diverse as Ray Charles, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ute Lemper, Ketil Bjornstad, Mike Mainieri, Arild Andersen, Abraham Laboriel and Django Bates.

Bassist Audun Erlien is one of Norway’s most respected four-string slingers, having contributed to what seems like an endless string of high quality releases over the last two decades. His performance credits include a wide range of genres and styles and a list of collaborators that reads as a who’s who in Norwegian music. Erlien is also a vital component of the potent Nils Petter Molvær live unit.

Drummer Rune Arnesen shares Erlien’s position as one of the country’s most in-demand session and live drummers. He has contributed to a wide range of projects, releases and ensembles over the last two decades and has firmly established himself as a drummer par extraordinaire with an easily identifiable style.

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