I had the greatest honor of being given one of Norway’s most acknowledged jazz prizes, “JazZtipendiatet”, at Molde Int’l Jazz Festival 2016. The prize is worth half a million Norwegian kroner and they will be used to produce a concert with Trondheim Jazz Orchestra featuring music composed by me, which will premiere in Molde July 2017.
Espen Berg Trio played a very successful concert at Il Ritmo delle Città in Milan yesterday, and today we received some good news from our promoter and label in Japan, Blue Gleam: Our very first concert in Japan is already sold out! This concert takes place in central Tokyo, in Musashino Swing Hall. 180 persons will attend our Japan debut, and we’re greatly looking forward to kick start our tour in this way.
I have also been given some updated information regarding our concert at NHK, part of the “Session 2016” series: This will be a one and a half hour long concert and interview, which will be broadcasted nationwide in Japan twice.
During our upcoming Japan tour Espen Berg Trio will do a live performance on NHK at the show “Session 2016”, July 28th in Fureai Hall. This will be a one and a half hour long concert and interview, which will be broadcasted nationwide in Japan twice. Over 1000 Japanese have signed up for tickets to our concert in Fureai Hall, which only have 285 seats. And this radio program has been running annually since 1978 and is one of the biggest jazz programs on Japanese radio. We’re really looking forward to this!
Today, Espen Berg Trio was appointed to NTNU Ambassadors at Dokkhuset during Trondheim Jazz Festival. The title comes with an award of 50.000 NOK, given by NTNU – Norwegian University for Science and Technology and Trondheim Jazz Festival. EBT plays a concert with New York based sax player Ole Mathisen tonight, and makes an appearance at the traditional NTNU Ambassador jam session afterwards.
On behalf of the trio I am extremely thankful for receiving this honorable title, and I look forward to be an official representative for my existing employer. My home at NTNU, the jazz department, houses many of the most creative, dedicated and productive students and lecturers that I know about. I am very happy to be a part of this melting pot, which also challenges both my theoretical and artistic abilities. I look forward to continue participating at NTNU, both when lecturing and playing concerts with Espen Berg Trio as an ambassador.
We have already spent most of the prize money on an exclusive studio session at Rainbow Studios in Oslo in December. Our new album will be released late 2017 in Japan, and worldwide later on.
Photographer Thor Egil Leirtrø has taken some great photos from EBT’s concert at Dokkhuset last friday. And he even wrote a nice little review:
“An interplay like from siamese triplets with a common brain. These three musicians knows at all time what the other guys will come up with and get into it immediately. They play technically perfect, but dares to go all in and to lose control”
Our label and promoter in Japan, Blue Gleam, has worked hard to set up a great tour for us in Japan in July. Here’s the tour list:
- <27.07> Musashino Swing Hall (Tokyo)
- <28.07> TBA. Will be announced in June.
- <29.07> Amuser Kashiwa Crystal Hall (Chiba)
- <30.07> Izumi Arts Centre Theatre Fonte (Kanagawa)
Split concert with Hitomi Nishiyama Trio “Parallax”
- <31.07> Takasaki City Gallery Core Hall (Gunma)
The tour is supported by Fund for performing artists, Arts Council Norway, and the Norwegian foreign ministry.
We’re really looking forward to our first visit to Japan!
It’s time for 2016’s first tour next week, and at the same time I will enter a creative mode to compose music for projects scheduled later this year:
- Anders Thorén’s (dr) upcoming album, together with myself, Seamus Blake (sax), Hayden Powell (trp), and Ole Morten Vågan (bs). Will be recorded in Rainbow Studio late February.
- A collaborational project called ‘NCO’, with musicians from the Nordic countries, together with Efrain Toro (dr, Puerto Rico) and Sergio Gonzales (dr/voc, Cuba).
- A new record with Espen Berg Trio to be recorded in December.
- Tour with EBT featuring Tore Johansen (trp) in October.
This spring I will also play concerts with Kåre Kolve’s (sax) commissioned project originally written for Trondheim Jazz Festival 2015 with Mathias Eick (trp), Anders Jormin (bs), Ivar Kolve (vib) and Per Oddvar Johansen (dr), Trio Tett featuring Hildegunn Øiseth (trp) and Andreas Håkestad (dr), my own trio, and Daniel Herskedal’s “Slow Eastbound Train” in Norway and France.
Right now I’m working hard to finish all teaching and lecturing at the university here in Trondheim so I can be on a leave from March to June together with my family. And I’m of course very, very much looking forward to the Japan Tour with Espen Berg Trio in July.