Star-Studded Jazz Ensemble to Nordic Hall

Jan Gunnar Hoff & Per Mathien feat. Gary Husband og Nguyên Lê

Do you love jazz? We have two fantastic offers for you this Wednesday.

Mer info om Jan Gunnar Hoff & Per Mathisen feat. Gary Husband og Nguyên Lê
Mer info om Frode Wærness Ludvigsen kvartett

**Jan Gunnar Hoff's Return to the Festival with a Star-Studded Ensemble**

Jan Gunnar Hoff has had his debut concert and performed alongside Chick Corea at the Festival. Now, he returns with fusion and jazz featuring a top-tier European ensemble on Wednesday evening.

**A Day for Jazz Enthusiasts**

Wednesday is a day for jazz lovers. The evening starts early in Nordic Hall with Frode Wærness Ludvigsen and his quartet of young musicians. Graduated from Jazzlinja in Trondheim in spring 2023, Ludvigsen is now an active jazz musician. Originally from Harstad, he has already made a name for himself as a talented guitarist. The band blends traditional American jazz with influences from New York's modern jazz scene, performing both original compositions and modern versions of standard tunes.

**Deep Connection to the Festival**

Later in the same venue, we will meet jazz pianist, composer, and arranger Jan Gunnar Hoff. He has a long and rich history with the Festspillene i Nord-Norge. Hoff has been a prominent figure in the jazz world since the 1970s and has a deep connection to the Festival and Harstad.

"I first came here for a jazz seminar in 1977. I met musicians like Ernst-Wiggo Sandbakk and Egil Ravnå, who became good colleagues and friends," says Hoff. "Jazz was strong in Harstad during the Festival, with regular jam sessions at Børge Ytterstad's place on Karlotbrygga. I played with musicians like Geir Holmsen, Bjørn Jenssen, and once with Arild Andersen. This led to several engagements with some of these musicians later."

**Debutant of the Year in 1992**

"The most important concert for me at the Festival was in 1992 when I was chosen as the debutant of the year," says Hoff. He composed an entirely new work and performed with Trio Nord, featuring Finn Sletten and Terje Venaas, as well as Celio de Carvalho on percussion. "This was a great success, and later that fall, I recorded my debut album based on the concert material."

**Memorable Moments with Chick Corea**

In 1995, another memorable event happened during the Festival. Chick Corea held a solo concert, and towards the end, he asked the audience if there was a pianist who would play with him. "Børge Ytterstad called me up, and I ended up playing with Chick. It was an incredibly fun experience," Hoff recalls.

**Top-Class Jazz Project**

The concert in Nordic Hall on Wednesday evening is the third with Hoff's new European star ensemble, including Mathisen, Husband, and the fantastic guitarist Nguyen Le. "His unique sound adds a dimension that fits my compositions very well," Hoff says. After Harstad, the quartet will perform at the legendary "Porgy & Bess" jazz club in Vienna and at a festival in the Czech Republic before recording a new album in the fall. "Harstad and the Festival have always meant a lot to me, as the history shows. It's wonderful to return with this super band in 2024. This is definitely an international project for the future. We are very excited."

**About the Musicians**

Jan Gunnar Hoff and Per Mathisen are known as two of Norway's foremost and most versatile jazz musicians. They have collaborated in various band settings with Alex Acuna, Mike Stern, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Gary Novak, among others. Their latest album together, "Gladiator," released in 2021, received praise from film score icon Hans Zimmer. Hoff has received the Buddy Award, Norway's top jazz prize, and is also a Steinway Artist. Mathisen splits his time between Vienna and Norway and performs with many world-renowned artists.

Gary Husband is an award-winning English jazz and rock drummer, pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, composer, and producer. He has been a member of John McLaughlin's group The 4th Dimension for 16 years and currently works with Billy Cobham's Spectrum 50 Band. He has been part of Allan Holdsworth's groups, the British pop/funk band Level 42, various line-ups led by Jack Bruce, and guitarist Gary Moore. As a session musician, Husband has collaborated with Jeff Beck, Al Jarreau, Quincy Jones, Andy Summers, and many others.

Nguyên Lê is one of the most versatile and distinctive guitarists in the world, transcending the boundaries of jazz music. His artistic expression is shaped by Asian music, modern jazz, fusion, and classic rock. Lê has performed with Randy Brecker, Vince Mendoza, Carla Bley, Peter Erskine, Trilok Gurtu, and many other greats.