I just finished recording a new album with my trio in the legendary Rainbow Studio in Oslo. Jan Erik Kongshaug did his magic as usual, and captured every tiny detail of our playing with sonic perfection.
This album will be released later this year, but in the meantime we’ll have teasers and videos up and running shortly. Enjoy the photos taken by André Løyning (saftflaske.no).
© André Løyning
Yeah, so it’s been a few months since I wrote anything on this page. There’s a good reason for that. I started composing the music for Trondheim Jazz Orchestra commissioned by Molde Jazz Festival in August 2016, and it’s still an ongoing process. Writing an hour long concert for 14 exceptional musicians means lots of work, but it’s really an amazing privilege to be in this situation.
It’s all en route, and I just returned from Oslo where the rhythm section met for the very first rehearsals. I wasn’t sure that some of the music would even be playable, but now I’m 100% sure I picked the right musicians for this project! They nailed it all, and it sounds really good already. I’m extremely inspired and motivated to write the rest of the music, and in May we will have the first tutti rehearsals. EXCITING!!
In addition to composing music, I will also do a lot of touring this spring. With Hildegunn Øiseth Quartet, Andreas Håkestad and MiNensemblet – “Himmellys”, with Espen Berg Trio and with Marja Mortensson/Katarina Barruk/Daniel Herskedal/Stian Lundberg. We’re recording our second album with Espen Berg Trio in April, and there’s some really great news for autumn 2017 coming up soon!
Our week in Japan is suddenly over, and we have already started to look forward to our next tour. Many, many thanks to Blue Gleam – and especially Kiyoshi Kouyama – who made this possible and organized this fantastic tour for us! Here are some photos from EBT Japan Tour 2016.
Yesterday we played our very first concert in Japan, in Musashino Swing Hall. We had a great time playing in this hall! Thank you, Kiyoshi, and everybody at Musashino. Photos taken by Kiyoshi Kouyama, Maasaki Sakano, and Yasuo Naito.
We are looking forward to play at NHK today!
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!
© Christina Undrum Andersen
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”
See all photos here
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:
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!