Espen Berg, piano // Bárður Reinert Poulsen, bass // Simon Albertsen, drums
Espen Berg Trio is an award-winning piano trio from Norway. Outselling concert halls in Tokyo, Guangzhou, Milan, Berlin, Athens and Hong Kong, the trio is already making a mark way outside their home country and was declared an important new voice in the crowded field of post-E.S.T. trios by Jazz Journal (UK) in 2019. Their music might bring associations to Brad Mehldau, Keith Jarrett, Shai Maestro or Tigran Hamasyan, but is primarily a personal addition to the legacy of the piano trio and the evolution of the Nordic jazzscene, lead by a combination of strong melodies, complex rhythmics, immense technical abilities and a highly engaging interplay.
In 2019, Espen Berg Trio made a solid impression on the jazz industry gathered at jazzahead! in Bremen. Their third album, Free to Play, was listed in Downbeat (US) as one of the best releases of that same year, also earning great reviews in BBC (4/5), UK Vibe (5/5), Jazz Journal (4/5). The trio released their fourth album, Fjære, in May 2022, with guest artists Mathias Eick (trumpet), Hanna Paulsberg (sax) and Silje Nergaard (vocal). This album was declared a new classic by Norwegian newspaper Morgenbladet, was featured as best of Couleurs Jazz (FR), and was described as a true pleasure by Nettavisen (NO), earning 5 of 6 stars. Espen Berg Trio toured Europe in spring 2022, promoting their new album with 15 concerts in Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, UK and Greece.
Undoubtedly one of my favourite albums of this year, “Free To Play” is a richly rewarding experience, from a trio who are proving to be not just one of the best in their field of music, but also beyond boundaries. Fabulous music that I have a feeling Iʼll be enjoying for many years to come.
– UK Vibe 5/5 stars
Like all the best music, this album reveals something new and pleasing on each successive hearing
– BBC Music, review of Free to play (2019)
Espen Berg was declared a true master of the piano (All About Jazz) when releasing his debut album Noctilucent, in 2012. He was awarded Norway’s largest jazz scholarship at Molde Int’l Jazz Festival in 2016, resulting in a commissioned work for the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. Espen is also known for his collaboration with Silje Nergaard, Hildegunn Øiseth, A Tonic For The Troops, Daniel Herskedal, and Bridges feat. Seamus Blake, among many others. In 2022, he premiered a commissioned work for a new sextet named Water Fabric at Jazzfest in Trondheim, Maijazz in Stavanger and Oslo Jazzfestival. In October 2022 Espen will release his third solo album, The Trondheim Concert, which is a live-recording of a freely improvised concert.