Lloyd, Snarky Puppy To Headline 30th Annual Oslo Jazz Festival


Charles Lloyd will headline the 30th Annual Oslo Jazz Festival, which takes place August 14–20.

(Photo: Dorothy Darr/ECM Records)

The 30th Annual Oslo Jazz Festival will celebrate in style as it features returning artists as well as new talents representing a remarkable stylistic range. Running August 14–20, headliners include Norwegian stalwart Jan Garbarek’s quartet with Indian percussion master Trilok Gurtu, Snarky Puppy, Abdullah Ibrahim’s Mukashi Trio, the Jacky Terrasson Trio, Charles Lloyd’s New Quartet and Tord Gustavsen with Tore Brunborg.

To highlight the festival’s rich heritage, organizers will present an array of Norway’s top jazz musicians with the Oslo Jazz Festival Orchestra 2016. Consisting of both young and seasoned artists, members will include trumpeter Mathias Eick, saxophonist Trygve Seim, pianist Jon Balke, drummer Gard Nilssen and bassist Ellen Andreas Wang in a program that will feature music composed specifically for this occasion.

“Established in 1986, the Oslo Jazz Festival is one of Norway’s leading festivals,” said André Ishak, marketing and communications director for the OJF. “It started out as a festival dedicated to New Orleans and Dixieland jazz, but it has evolved to include all kinds of jazz, and sometimes a few non-jazz artists.”

With 18 venues around the city, festival sites include a small Anglican church with capacity of 100 people, the 1,400-seat opera house and jazz clubs such as Herr Nilsen and National Jazzscene Victoria.

The festival’s diverse offerings include Felix Peikl and Joe Doubleday, who will pay tribute to Benny Goodman (Aug. 17), and a solo set by tunesmith Jimmy Webb, who will play piano and sing some of his classic pop songs at Chat Noir on Aug. 19.

A special, ongoing feature of the festival will be its Festival Academy. Ishak noted, “We have a rather large section of activities aimed at youths and students, with workshops, master classes and showcases. In addition, there will be debates, Q&As and a series of film screenings at the local cinema.”

Another component will be the Oslo Jazz Expo, a program designed to increase the export of Norwegian jazz to the world. Participants will include musicians as well as numerous jazz professionals representing festivals, clubs, record companies and the media.

Supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this year marks the first time the Expo program is in Oslo (having previously been staged in Kongsberg and Molde). Along with attending concerts, participants will be invited to the legendary Rainbow Studios, home to many ECM recordings; and the National Music Academy in Oslo, where rising stars of Norwegian jazz receive their education.

“The Oslo Jazz Festival aims to take the different genres and styles in jazz seriously,” said Festival Director Edvard Askeland. “With access to the best concert venues, we are using the beautiful Norwegian Opera & Ballett, where Jan Garbarek is this year’s headliner. In addition, we’ll use the historic University Aula, where Charles Lloyd returns 50 years after he made his live In Europe record surrounded by Munch paintings.

“The club National Jazzscene Victoria—where Cyrus Chestnut with Buster Williams and Lenny White, and the Oslo Jazz Festival Orchestra are performing—is a more intimate venue in the center of the city with the best audio facilities.”

Askeland added, “Norwegian jazz is flourishing these days, and we are happy to present a good portion of it with the 2016 Oslo Jazz Festival.”

(Note: For more information, including a complete schedule, visit the Oslo Jazz Festival website.)

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