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Take Five With Jostein Gulbrandsen

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Jostein Gulbrandsen: Born in Norway, 1976.

Started playing at the age of nine. Studies at Agder College of Music, Norway, University of North Texas, and Master's Degree from Manhattan School of Music. I studied pop, rock and jazz in Norway, and got more into jazz after moving to the U.S. I also have many years of classical guitar training. I really enjoy playing different styles of music, and I am trying to blend these elements into my own music. Being able to handle different styles also makes it easier to make a living as a musician.

I just released my first CD as a leader, Twelve, on Fresh Sound New Talent. The CD contains seven original tunes and one arrangement of The Police's "Message in a Bottle."

Instrument(s): Electric, acoustic and fretless guitars.

Teachers? My teacher in high school, Trond Keilen, was a huge influence.

At UNT I studied with Fred Hamilton and Lynn Seaton.

At the Manhattan School of Music, I really enjoyed Dave Liebman's classes as well as my guitar teacher, Chris Rosenberg.

Influences? Pat Metheny was an early influence, then Allan Holdsworth.

These days I really enjoy Jim Hall, John Abercrombie, John Scofield, Sylvain Luc and Wolfgang Muthpiel. I also listen to many country guitarists, like Brent Mason and Danny Gatton. I really like Bobo Stenson's music, as well as Joe Lovano.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... When I was a kid I was watching a TV-show in Norway that always featured "Cavantina," the theme from the movie The Deer Hunter. I fell in love with the sound of the guitar. Later it was rock, and Bryan Adams was my hero when I was around eleven.

Your dream band: I would love to play with the band that Keith Jarrett had in the '70s, with Jan Garbarek, Palle Danielsson and Jon Christensen.

Did you know... I am a huge fan of bears, especially polar bears. These days I am enjoying watching clips from the polar bear baby Knut, that lives in the Berlin Zoo.

What is in the near future? I am trying to set up a tour in Norway with my group. I hope I can make another recording soon. I really like my group (Jon Irabagon-sax, Eivind Opsvik-bass, Jeff Davis-drums).

I am also working on many other projects - Randal (with Fred Kennedy), Matt Grason's Motel project (rap), drummer Nate Smith's project (upcoming record), also a project with pianist Megumi Yonezawa.

I also want to explore acoustic guitar playing even more, since I recently purchased a steel string guitar.

By Day: I teach guitar, play sessions, rehearse. Also I am working on writing some new music for upcoming projects.

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