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Nikolaj Hess

Danish piano/ keyboard player, composer, producer, arranger and educator. NH won the gold prize in "Berlingske Tidendes" competition of non-classical music in Copenhagen; won the category best European jazz piano player under 25 in the RAI competition in Rome and was a finalist in Leverkusener Jazztages "European Young Artist" competition in Germany. Having graduated from Rhythmic Conservatory at 22, he was the first to get topgrade 13 for his concert performance in piano, his major subject. He later studied in the US with Richie Beirach, Danilo Perez and Gary Dial. He also studied in West Africa with master drummer Odartey and at Legon University in Accra, Ghana. His numerous recordings as a leader, co-leader and sideman includes Nikolaj Hess Global Motion + (w Mommaas, Hebert, Moreno, Ballard, Monder) nominated as album of the year at DMA 2010, Spacelab The Champ (w AC and Mikkel Hess) and also the Nikolaj Hess Trio "Playin" (Music Mecca), Hess/Lund/Waidtløew/McBride "Back & Forth", Global Motion (Sunnyside Records), Ulla Henningsen "The Man I Love" (Sony), "Global Motion Trio" (Calibre), Hessismore, "Coral" with Gregory Hutchinson, Chris Cheek & Jens Skou, "A Word" with Sissel Vera Pettersen nominated as best jazz vocal album DMA 2010, research&development project "Spoiled Child", Hessismore "Live At Wood Wood". He is leader, co-leader and member of several other groups like NH Quartet, Funky Nacht Music, Hessismore, SisselVeraPettersen/NikolajHess, DocStomp aka Spoiled Child, counting and having counted members like Marc Mommaas, John Hebert, Tony Moreno, Jay Anderson, Francois Moutin, Kenny Wolleson, Christian McBride, Greg Hutchinson, Marylin Mazur, Donny McCaslin, Jochen Rueckert, Satoshi Takeishi, Jesper Lundgaard, Mads Vinding, Alex Riel, Lars Danielsson, Jacob Fisher, Johannes Weidenmuller, Tom Rainey, Cameron Brown, Sissel Vera Petersen, Hans Ulrik and Chris Minh Doky. He has also worked with Lee Konitz, Benny Golson, Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti, Hal Willner, Etta Cameron, Ulla Henningsen, Annisette Koppel, Julee Cruise, Jamey Haddad, Ben Street, Ben Allison, Essiet Essiet, Lage Lund, Ron Afif, Michelle Walker, Ed Neumeister, Clarence Penn, Danny Gottlieb, James Genus, David Liebman, Hal Crook, Harwie Swartz, Jean Luc Ponty, Marcello Pelletiri, Andrea Marcelli, Michael Blair, Kysia Bostic, Ed Howard, Youron Israels, Victor Rendon, Manny Duran, Dennis Charles, Doug Raney, Judy Niemack, Cæcilie Norby, Debbie Cameron, Lars Hug, Bob Rockwell, Caroline Henderson, Jukka Perko, Severi Pyysalo, Ed Thigpen, Copenhagen Art Ensemble, and many others


Article: Live Review

Aarhus Jazz Festival 2022

Read "Aarhus Jazz Festival 2022" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Aarhus Jazz Festival Various Venues Aarhus, Denmark July 9-16, 2022 With around 283,000 citizens, jny: Aarhus is the second-largest city in Denmark, and the role of playing second fiddle doesn't suit a city that tends to be overshadowed by its big brother, the capital jny: Copenhagen. Or so you would think. ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Ravel, Chopin & Debussy for Jazzheads

Read "Ravel, Chopin & Debussy for Jazzheads" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

In the second part of this week's exploration of jazz inspired by classical music, we focus on projects in tribute to the works of three composers that have influenced scores of jazz musicians, Maurice Ravel, Frédéric Chopin and Claude Debussy. Happy listening! PlaylistBen Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng ...


Article: Album Review

Morten Haxholm: Vestigium

Read "Vestigium" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

The world of bass players in modern and post-bop jazz can be divided into two currents. On the one hand, you'll find the dominant character who leads the compositions with a decisive hand and frequent moments of striking ostinatos. On the other, one finds a personality who seems to walk through the composition and, like camouflage, ...


Article: Multiple Reviews

The Art of the Quintet: Voro Garcia and Magnus Thuelund

Read "The Art of the Quintet: Voro Garcia and Magnus Thuelund" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

A good form is hard to find, but the quintet offers plenty of variety in terms of musical texture and yet has the intimacy that a larger band often misses. Here are two artists who both take full advantage of the format of the quintet. Both are leaders who write their own tunes, and both are ...


Article: Interview

Helle Henning: Nordic Sounds

Read "Helle Henning: Nordic Sounds" reviewed by Suzanne Lorge

If you're watching the latest Disney film in jny: Copenhagen, you're most likely listening to singer Helle Henning. Helle not only sings the character overdubs for big animated film imports in her native Denmark, but she conducts the ensemble singers on these sessions. She also teaches jazz at one of Denmark's foremost music conservatories and recently ...


Article: Year in Review

Budd Kopman's Best Releases of 2016

Read "Budd Kopman's Best Releases of 2016" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Of the seventy or so albums I was fortunate to review this year (with many still waiting in the wings), the releases below (in chronological order) are those that moved me the most and hence that I remember the clearest, even after a year. The quality of the music is uniformly high, and leaving something off ...


Article: Album Review

Ron Thomas / Paul Klinefelter: Duo

Read "Duo" reviewed by Budd Kopman

One of the wonderful things about jazz is that it can be appreciated from more than one angle, oftentimes simultaneously: pure entertainment, art as entertainment, art as beauty and art as intellect among others. Some of this, of course, relates to music in general, but jazz as a genre has moved beyond any stylistic boundaries to ...


Article: Album Review

Marc Mommaas / Nikolaj Hess: Ballads & Standards

Read "Ballads & Standards" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Many, if not most, of today's jazz players end up, sooner or later, becoming composers. Hence, on top of searching for and hopefully finding their personal means of expression when performing (composing in real-time), they now must also develop a personal compositional style which fits their aesthetic outlook, and which is accessible enough by other players ...

Article: Album Review

Mette Juul: There Is a Song

Read "There Is a Song" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Dopo aver debuttato nel 2010 nel ruolo della classica jazz singer (Coming in from the Dark, Cowbell Music), la danese Mette Juul ha iniziato a privilegiare le intime atmosfere della ballad d'autore, sul modello Joni Mitchell. Il cambiamento faceva capolino nel secondo disco (Moon on My Shoulder, Calibrated 2012), ancora ricco di intense versioni jazzistiche di ...


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