Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2,006

Norwegian Jazz 101b: JazzNorway in a Nutshell 2010

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011

Norway may be a country that, more than most, aims to expose people from around the world to its culture through annual events like JazzNorway in a Nutshell, but as rich an experience as attending that junket is, returning to it on a regular basis is an experience that transcends the mere opportunity to soak in some of the country's music, scenery and cuisine. The 2010 edition—like JNiaN 2009, focusing on Bergen's Nattjazz festival—brought together 35 people from countries including Canada, the United States, England, Italy, Japan, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, China and Germany, ranging from festival programmers and jazz advocacy organizations to musicians and journalists. Some met for the first time, while others were reunited following shared experiences at JNiaN 2009 and other Norwegian festivals, including Molde 2009 and Punkt 2009. When JNiaN 2010 was over, a network of people interested in Norway's vibrant music scene had, once again, grown even larger, even stronger.


More than just the music, and beyond the fantastic opportunity to gain exposure to Norway's distinctive culture, JNiaN is an event where old friends catch up and new friendships are forged. JNiaN 2010 may have lasted just four days, but its organizers—Lars Mossefin, Bo Grønningsæter and Brit Aksnes—packed a tremendous amount into that brief timeframe. Sleep was hard to come by, to be sure, with the days nearly as event-filled as the nights, but there was a palpable energy and camaraderie that continued to build with each passing day. Attending a festival like Nattjazz would have been exceptional on its own, but combining it with JNiaN—and experienced alongside a group of warm, talented and knowledgeable people from around the world—made these few days, from May 26-29, 2010, even richer—a shared learning experience that went far beyond that of any of JNiaN's individual performances or programmed activities.

With a population of approximately 200,000, the city of Bergen, situated along the country's west coast, is Norway's second largest city, next only to its capital, Oslo. With water visible from nearly every location, and in the center of a group of mountains known as de syv fjell (The Seven Mountains), Bergen's architecture manages to seamlessly marry the centuries-old with the utterly contemporary. Steep hills make walking Bergen inherently healthy, and visiting it in late May, when it's still only twilight at midnight, is a surprisingly energizing experience. It's hard to imagine the winters, when things reverse and daylight can be as short as six hours, but leaving a show at 11:00PM and seeing light skies makes it somehow easier to live with the minimal sleep allowed by JNiaN's hectic schedule.

Chapter Index
  1. May 26, 2010: Arrival, Introductions and The Key Club
  2. May 26, 2010: Gunhild Seim and Time Jungle
  3. May 26, 2010: Mathias Eick Quintet
  4. May 27, 2010: Mount Ulriken and 1982 Trio
  5. May 27, 2010: Frøy Aagre
  6. May 27, 2010: Maria Kannegaard
  7. May 27, 2010: Element: Special Edition
  8. May 28, 2010: Making Sausages in Bergsdalstunet/Mari Kvien Brunvoll
  9. May 28, 2010: Motif
  10. May 28, 2010: Stian Westerhus
  11. May 28, 2010: Eivind Aarset Sonic Codex
  12. May 29, 2010: Cornelius på Holmen/JNiaN 2010 Draws to a Close


May 26, 2010: Arrival, Introductions and The Key Club

Most of JNiaN 2010's attendees arrived throughout the day on May 26, and so the first event took place at 7:00PM that evening, in a room at USF Verftet, a large building that, with a number of performance spaces (in addition to offices, a restaurant and more), hosts the annual Nattjazz festival, the 2010 edition running from May 26 to June 5, 2010. Festival-goers purchase either day or complete festival passes. Either way, it's possible to attend any or all of the performances on a given day (six or seven shows), providing an opportunity to either focus on individual shows or get a taste of everything taking place.

First-timers to JNiaN were met with their first hurdle—a tremendously steep hill situated between the hotel and USF Verftet that gave everyone an early cardio workout. But it was well worth it, as JNiaN attendees got their first chance to meet up with old friends and become introduced to new ones at a brief ceremony where Lars Mossefin introduced the JNiaN staff and representatives from organizations including the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Music Export Norway, Kalleklev Management and Musikkprofil—all of whom would prove to be incredibly valuable resources throughout the four days—along with Jon Skjerdal, Nattjazz's Festival Director. Amidst drinks and acquiring festival accreditation, JNiaN attendees introduced themselves, and it became instantly clear just how far and wide the organizers of JNiaN set their sights, with journalists and other media representatives from Canada, Italy, England, Germany and Japan, and festival programmers/directors from international festivals including Estonia's Jazzkaar, Germany's Moers, the Tokyo Jazz Festival, England's Cheltenham and Birmingham festivals, Parma Jazzfestival from Italy and Austria's Salzburg festival.



After a quick chance to grab dinner at Kippers, the indoor/outdoor restaurant at USF Verftet, it was off to the first evening of Nattjazz—but not before also checking out The Key Club, a room set up each year for JNiaN attendees, where drinks were plentiful, conversation even more so, and, in addition to providing everyone with a warm JNiaN jacket, a table was filled with promotional CDs for the taking. Even those who attend JNiaN regularly and believe they have heard all there is to hear from the Norwegian scene were in for a humbling experience, going home with thirty or more albums they've not heard, ranging from promotional samplers to commercial releases...even a couple of DVDs.

It was time, then, to head off to the first show of the night.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Jazz Migration 2018 Live Reviews
Jazz Migration 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: December 13, 2018
Read Bessie Smith Empress of the Blues Tribute at The Cabot Live Reviews
Bessie Smith Empress of the Blues Tribute at The Cabot
by Doug Hall
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Joe Gransden's Big Band At Cafe 290 Live Reviews
Joe Gransden's Big Band At Cafe 290
by Martin McFie
Published: December 9, 2018
Read U2 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin Live Reviews
U2 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 9, 2018
Read David Johansen at The Space at Westbury Live Reviews
David Johansen at The Space at Westbury
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: December 9, 2018
Read Joshua Bowlus Trio at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Joshua Bowlus Trio at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: December 8, 2018
Read "Steve Harris tribute at the Lighthouse Arts Centre" Live Reviews Steve Harris tribute at the Lighthouse Arts Centre
by Barry Witherden
Published: October 7, 2018
Read "Vijay Iyer Sextet at The Village Vanguard" Live Reviews Vijay Iyer Sextet at The Village Vanguard
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: May 21, 2018
Read "48th Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar" Live Reviews 48th Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar
by Mackenzie Horne
Published: November 18, 2018
Read "Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 3-4" Live Reviews Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 3-4
by James Fleming
Published: September 5, 2018
Read "Vijay Iyer at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Vijay Iyer at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: February 4, 2018
Read "WDR 3 Jazzfest 2018" Live Reviews WDR 3 Jazzfest 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 16, 2018