First release for 2020!

John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension, John Zorns Bagatelles Marathon part I and II, Out of Land, Cécilie McLorin Salvant, Ola Kvernberg – Steamdome vol 2, Ellen Andrea Wang - Closeness ft. Arve Henriksen, New Masada Quartet, Masada String Trio, Joel Ross, TORA and Gov’t Mule are ready for Moldejazz 2020.

In 2020, Moldejazz celebrates the 60th festival as one of the world's three oldest festivals in continuous operation. This first program release features several spectacular concerts that confirm Moldejazz's position as Norway's leading jazz festival.

We've previously released our Artist In Residence for 2020, John Zorn, who's joining his gigantic Bagatelles Marathon Part I and Part II, involving 33 of the world's leading impromptu artists. Also, the Zorn projects are published New Masada Quartet and Masada String Trio.

Guitar legend, John McLaughlin, is back at the festival with his brilliant band 4th Dimension. Vocal star Cécile McLorin Salvant also has her ticket ready and comes with her own band. Promising vibraphonist Joel Ross will be making his Norwegian debut and will also hit the stage with his own band. It's a very rare opportunity to enjoy the concert with the European supergroup, Out of Land.

Ellen Andrea Wang will perform her tribute concert to Moldejazz friend, Charlie Haden, while Ola Kvernberg will present a commissioning work in the form of new Steamdome music.

On the closing day of the festival, there will be a double concert in Alexandra Park with forward-thinking TORA and Southern State rockers, Gov't Mule.

John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension

A long-awaited comeback for the guitar wizard

After a concert break, John McLaughlin is back in full action and with his brilliant band 4th Dimension he makes it clear that he's still one of the world's leading guitarists.

John McLaughlin has been a leading guitarist for more than 50 years – both in traditional contemporary jazz and in more rock and fusion-styles. After working with among others Alexis Korner, Georgie Fame and Brian Auger in England in the mid-1960s, he left for the US in 1969.

Via Tony Williams's Lifetime group, he soon became involved in Miles Davis' electric jazz revolution. On the Miles classic Bitches Brew, one of the tracks even bears his name!

McLaughlin's reputation as a first-rate session musician ultimately led to collaborations with performers as Carla Bley, Wayne Shorter – even The Rolling Stones! Around 1973, together with guitar colleague, Carlos Santana, he gained a great interest in Indian music and religion. This clearly influenced the groups Mahavishnu Orchestra and not least Shakti, which became McLaughlin's two main projects throughout the 1970s.

McLaughlin's visited Moldejazz twice before. In 1986 he played our venue Idrettens Hus with the aforementioned Mahavishnu Orchestra. The concert's still standing as a particularly memorable moment in Moldejazz's history books. It's also the reason why this year's concert is labelled «Legacy Concert». In 2011, following his sold-out concert in Bjørnsonhuset, the man sitting next to me exclaimed, «Now I've experienced four musical wizards!».

Another sold-out concert with guitar wizard McLaughlin is thus to expect in our venue Bjørnsonhuset.

John McLaughlin – guitar, Etienne MBappé – bass, Gary Husband – keyboards/drums, Ranjit Barot – drums.

John McLaughlin 4th Dimension
Bjørnsonhuset 690,- fees incl.

Bagatelles Marathon - Part I

This will truly be an event for the books! Never before has Norway experienced so many of the world's leading improvisational musicians at one concert.

John Zorn gathers 33 of the world's leading musicians in Molde! The music is based on compositions John Zorn wrote in the spring of 2015, collected under the title Bagatelles. Through two concerts on Wednesday in the festival week, 14 ensembles perform more than 50 of the compositions. The ensembles include core members of Zorn's inner circle, as well as adventurously gifted younger musicians from jazz, rock and classical music.

The Bagatelle Marathon is a fascinating microcosm of Zorn's musical universe. Several hours of music distributed over two performances, played by some of the most exciting musicians in New York's live music community, constitute a majestic Moldejazz event.

Simply a glimpse at the list of participating musicians gets jazz people's mouths watering: From key innovators like Craig Taborn, John Medeski and Kris Davis to guitarists Julian Lage, Marc Ribot and Mary Halvorson, plus many, many more. For those who've not had the pleasure to catch them up close, these concerts will be an opportunity to discover personalities that define the music in several genres – both today and in years to come.

All of these constellations would constitute an impressive concert individually. Here you'll get them – in somewhat shorter sequences – on the same stage.


BAGATELLES MARATHON PART 1 |
Teatret Vårt, Wednesday 15 July at 2 pm

  • MASADA: John Zorn – sax, Dave Douglas – trumpet, Greg Cohen – bass, Joey Baron – drums
  • SYLVIE COURVOISIER – piano, Mark Feldman – violin
  • MARY HALVORSON QUARTET: Mary Halvorson – guitar, Miles Okazaki – guitar, Drew Gress – bass, Tomas Fujiwara – drums
  • CRAIG TABORN – solo piano
  • TRIGGER: Will Green – guitar, Simon Hanes – bass, Aaron Edgecomb – drums
  • ERIC FRIEDLANDER – cello, Mike Nicolas – cello
  • JOHN MEDESKI TRIO: John Medeski – organ, Dave Fiuczynski – guitar, Calvin Wèston – drums

Bagatelles Marathon Part 2 | Teatret Vårt, Wednesday 15 July at 8 pm.

Bagatelles Marathon part.1
Teatret Vårt (PLASSEN) 470,- fees incl.

Bagatelles Marathon - Part II

This will truly be an event for the books! Never before has Norway experienced so many of the world's leading improvisational musicians at one concert.

John Zorn gathers 33 of the world's leading musicians in Molde! The music is based on compositions John Zorn wrote in the spring of 2015, collected under the title Bagatelles. Through two concerts on Wednesday in the festival week, 14 ensembles perform more than 50 of the compositions. The ensembles include core members of Zorn's inner circle, as well as adventurously gifted younger musicians from jazz, rock and classical music.

The Bagatelle Marathon is a fascinating microcosm of Zorn's musical universe. Several hours of music distributed over two performances, played by some of the most exciting musicians in New York's live music community, constitute a majestic Moldejazz event.

Simply a glimpse at the list of participating musicians gets jazz people's mouths watering: From key innovators like Craig Taborn, John Medeski and Kris Davis to guitarists Julian Lage, Marc Ribot and Mary Halvorson, plus many, many more. For those who've not had the pleasure to catch them up close, these concerts will be an opportunity to discover personalities that define the music in several genres – both today and in years to come.

All of these constellations would constitute an impressive concert individually. Here you'll get them – in somewhat shorter sequences – on the same stage.


BAGATELLES MARATHON PART 2 | Teatret Vårt, Wednesday 15 July at 8 pm

  • NOVA QUARTET: John Medeski – piano, Kenny Wollesen – vibraphone, Trevor Dunn – bass, Joey Baron – drums
  • GYAN RILEY – guitar, Julian Lage – guitar
  • BRIAN MARSELLA TRIO: Brian Marsella – piano, Trevor Dunn – bass, Kenny Wollesen – drums
  • IKUE MORI – electronics
  • KRIS DAVIS: Kris Davis – piano, Mary Halvorson – guitar, Drew Gress – bass, Kenny Wollesen – drums
  • PETER EVANS – solo trumpet
  • ASMODEUS: Marc Ribot – guitar, Trevor Dunn – bass, Kenny Grohowski – drums


Bagatelles Marathon Part 1 | Teatret Vårt, Wednesday 15 July at 2 pm.

Bagatelles Marathon part II
Teatret Vårt (PLASSEN) 470,- fees incl.

The new Masada Quartet

Steaming hot new music

John Zorn has had several versions of his Masada quartet, including Electric Masada which guest-starred at Moldejazz in 2003. The New Masada Quartet doesn't stand back on any previous releases. In the new edition of the band, Zorn's included the new super guitarist in jazz, Julian Lage, a 32-year-old talent who's earned respect from both fellow musicians as well as the audience.

Masada music is characterised by free and innovative jazz based on Jewish-influenced music. One reviewer characterized John Zorn as "The Godfather of Joyful Jazz". Not jazz in the traditional sense, but music that never stands still and captivates an audience with ears open.

This edition of the Masada Quartet is quite new and it's their first time playing in Europe, but they've made a cheeky guest appearance over several days at the legendary Village Vanguard in New York this autumn.

John Zorn – alto sax, Julian Lage – guitar, Jorge Roeder – bass, Kenny Wollesen – drums.

New Masada Quartet
Storyville (PLASSEN) 380,- fees incl.

The Masada String Trio

Virtuoso and beautiful

When John Zorn presents the Masada String Trio, the audience will encounter a chamber ensemble that doesn't sound like anything else they've heard before.

It's easy to get excited by the three amazingly good musicians playing and improvising on Zorn compositions immersed with a rare sense of elegance and absolute presence. The cello, violin and double bass ensemble provide an airy and transparent soundscape where each individual tone is blended into a harmonious and rich overall image.

The music is beautiful and lyrical, intense and captivating. The Rådsalen venue, our new stage for acoustic music, was utilised for the first time in last year and will provide a glorious backdrop for this exclusive trio.

Mark Feldman – violin, Erik Friedlander – cello, Greg Cohen – double bass, John Zorn – conductor.

Masada String Trio
Rådsalen 380,- fees incl.

Ola Kvernberg - Steamdome vol. 2

Next summer, Kvernberg will be presenting a long-awaited, newly released Steamdome music – this with a new top layer, where cimbalom virtuoso, Gianni Lincan, thrones at the top of the cake. Sit back and enjoy!

Progressive and brutally advancing like a runaway train, as well as lively, surreal and swell like Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns.

Another one of our former Artist In Residence is invited back to the festival for the celebration of our 60th festival. Behind one of the greatest instrumental-music successes in recent years, stands the local man and former Artist in Residence, Ola Kvernberg.

The Steamdome project was commissioned by Trondheim Jazzfest and Molde Jazzfestival in 2016 and premiered in front of an enthusiastic audience the same year. However, it wasn't until the album came out in November the following year, it took completely off. In line with brilliant reviews, the record buyers mobilised and the band played sold-out concerts all over the country. A tour-final of sorts was held both at the Oslo festival, Øya, and in front of an immense audience at our venue, the Romsdal Museum, during Moldejazz in 2018. Steamdome hit a nerve and met the needs of a wide audience, which in advance had no idea that that's exactly what they wanted. Steamdome is pure energy.

Just like last time, this concert is a commissioning collaboration between Moldejazz and Trondheim Jazzfest.

Ola Kvernberg - Steamdome vol. 2
Teatret Vårt (PLASSEN) 380,- fees incl.

Cécile McLorin Salvant

The new vocal diva of jazz

Everywhere she goes, Haiti-born Cécile (29) charms the audience with her tremendous vocal and personal radiance. She's already established herself as the young vocal star of jazz and is so sought after that Moldejazz has worked for several years to present her with her own band.

So far she's visited Molde once, back in 2017 as a member of the seven-women-band, Woman to Woman, in a packed Teatret Vårt. Now she's back at Moldejazz with her own coveted quartet. Salvant is multilingual and is spicing up the repertoire of familiar and slightly lesser-known songs from the jazz and standard repertoire with French tunes.

The world caught the eye of the super talent when she only 21 years old won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. A short time later she released her debut album Woman Child, which immediately received its Grammy nomination. A few years later she could collect the Grammy for best jazz vocal album.

Wynton Marsalis says of Cécile McLorin Salvant, «She has a rare balance, elegance, soul, humour, sensuality, trait, virtuosity, range, insight, intelligence and depth.» In 2013, critic Stephen Holden wrote in The Times, «If anyone can extend the lineage of the big three - Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald - it's this 23-year-old virtuoso.»

Singers like Cécile show up only once or two in each generation. We promise this is a concert people will talk about long thereafter.

Cécile McLorin Salvant – vocals, Aaron Diehl – piano, Paul Sikivie – bass, Lawrence Leathers – drums.

Cécile McLorin Salvant
Teatret Vårt (PLASSEN) 470,- fees incl.

Ellen Andra Wang – Closeness ft. Arve Henriksen

A tribute to Moldejazz-friend, Charlie Haden.

Ellen Andrea Wang comes to Molde with a commissioned work that pays tribute to bass legend Charlie Haden. In our anniversary year, it is natural to both look back, while keep looking ahead – this project fits like a glove. The bass player with the singing tone, bandleader, composer and activist, Charlie Haden, has over the years had several concerts at the festival, which stands as a pillar in the audience's concert history.

Bass colleague, Ellen Andrea Wang, is a name for both the present and the future. We know her from her collaboration with drum icon, Manu Katché, from her own projects where elaborate pop and jazz seamlessly blend into each other, and from everyone's favourite trio, Gurls, who made furore at the festival a few years back.

In her new project Closeness, which was originally commissioned and premiered at the National Jazz scene in Oslo, Wang's put together a truly remarkable band. The British super talent, Rob Luft (guitar), has sparked great attention in recent years. The Swedish drummer, Jon Fält, is perhaps best known from the Bobo Stenson Trio. He is a musician with unstoppable creativity who prefers to pave the way. That's perhaps also a description that is well suited to the last man on the team – trumpet lyricist, Arve Henriksen, our Artist in Residence at Moldejazz in 2009.

To say that we're very pleased to present this exciting project for our audience next summer is really an understatement.

Ellen Andrea Wang - Closeness feat. Arve Henriksen
Teatret Vårt (PLASSEN) 470,- fees incl.

Out of Land

A supergroup in the word's true meaning

Michael Wollny from Germany on piano, Swiss Andreas Schaerer on vocals and mouth percussion, plus the two Frenchmen Emile Parisien and Vincent Peirani on respectively soprano sax and accordion, are giving the term "supergroup" its true meaning.

The quartet released the album Out of Land (ACT) in 2017 and Moldejazz tried to book them but failed three years in a row. The reason was that all four musicians are in great demand for being bandleaders and busy with individual projects. Consequently, Out of Land gives very few concerts, even though their audience response to them is almost ecstatic.

Given that Moldejazz 2020 is the 60th-anniversary festival, the festival contacted Siggi Loch, the band's initiator and director of the record label Act. We asked him to try to persuade the musicians to make an exception and come together for this special occasion. The cheer was through the roof at the festival office when Siggi announced that all four had said yes!

Why all this fuzz to present a band that's only made one album and that not that many knows? The answer, of course, lies in the absolutely magical music that lifts both bands and the audience to very rare heights. For one thing, there are four virtuoso musicians, who partly redefine the possibilities that lie in their instruments. However, most important is that they communicate both to the audience and between themselves on a very unique level.

The name "Out of Land" refers to the band musically lifting from the ground and entering a landscape where anything can happen. As the exceptional singer Schaerer stated, "This became like a dream, almost a spiritual way of creating music".

This is an event where this quartet is presented to the Norwegian audience for the first – and possibly last – time. Compelling and warm music for both jazz nerds, as well as people who think they don't like jazz.

Emile Parisien – soprano sax, Vincent Peirani – accordion, Andreas Schaerer - vocals and vocal percussion, Michael Wollny - piano

Out of Land
Storyville (PLASSEN) 380,- fees incl.

Joel Ross - Good Vibes

Promising vibraphonist makes his Norwegian debuts with his own band

Joel Ross is rising to be one of the most promising vibraphonists on the American stage. This following his long time-collaboration with other young jazz musicians such as Ambrose Akinmusire and Marquis Hill.

Recently Ross signed with Blue Note Records, a label that's had many great vibraphonists on their roster. With his record, Kingmaker, he's truly showing his musical vision.

Ross' music consists of highly personal compositions, with the musical ideas painted into a quintet consisting of saxophone, piano, double bass and drums. A relatively traditional herd, but it still gives us a feeling of being very original. The music often develops from simple thematic ideas, ending up in pure energy.

Something tells us that catching him live can be a hot affair. Here, the highest level of interaction is guaranteed by a New York-based band that honestly sounds great. Think Milt Jackson, Bobby Hutcherson and Stefon Harris, and then imagine Joel Ross in a tight club at the 60th edition of Moldejazz!

«Ross swings effortlessly on the vibraphone, sometimes opting for a brittle sound reminiscent of Lionel Hampton, other times creating smooth and expressive lines in the vein of Milt Jackson. Yet while Ross’s sound is grounded in tradition, his rhythmic approach is very contemporary—intensely syncopated and excitingly abstract.»

– Kevin Laskey, The Jazz Gallery

Joel Ross - Good Vibes
Storyville (PLASSEN) 380,- fees incl.

Gov't Mule

Southern state rock at its best.

For decades, Norwegians have had a close and dear relationship with southern state rock. We are proud to present an exclusive concert with the genre's foremost standard-bearers – Gov't Mule, fronted by guitar hero and former Allman Brothers member, Warren Hayes.

Their broad-legged, exceptional blues-rock has earned them a huge following. They've both reached the top of the sales lists and experienced selling to Gold back home in the United States.

The band was first started as a side project to the Allman Brothers Band by Hayes and bassist, Allen Woody, in 1994. The two shared a passion for the power-trio format.

– We listened to Led Zeppelin, Cream and Free a lot and were hooked on the musical freedom they displayed, they said.

Everyone who knows the band knows that no concerts with “Mule” are the same. They are known for having more than 300 songs on their repertoire, and the variety from night to night is great and keep the audience on their toes. We expect a show filled with fun, from a rock-solid band that never ceases to surprise.

Alexandraparken (18+) 380,- fees incl.
19:00 Dørene åpner
21:00 Tora
23:00 Gov't Mule
00:30 DJ

Tora

– Playing at Moldejazz is a dream come true, says guitar phenomenon, Tora Dahle Aagård.

TORA is a firework display of a band with 25-year-old guitarist and vocalist, Tora Dahle Aagård, in the lead. She's a real entertainer who shares a connection with the audience and communicates past the limelight with her exuberant energy, vibrant presence and playful musicality.

TORA plays blues-inspired pop-rock and released their self-titled debut album in February 2019. Following the release, Norwegian newspaper, Dagbladet referred to her as "A promising debut from a new female guitar hero". They've travelled through the country on their release tour and earned praise for their live shows.

This year Tora has played with both Frode Alnæs, Paul Gilbert and Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson's guitarist). Along with her band, she last summer made a lasting impression at both the Steinkjer Festival and Notodden Blues Festival. In November, Tora performed at London's Royal Albert Hall, where she promoted Norwegian blues music with, among others, Amund Maarud, Knut Reiersrud, Vidar Busk and Stian Carstensen. Tora has also played the guitar on the song "Is he Real" on D'Sound's latest album Unicorn.

Tora herself says this about her upcoming concert at Moldejazz:

– In my eyes, Moldejazz is one of the most respected and recognised festivals in Norway. The fact that I get to play there, with my band, is still a bit unreal. Of course, it has always been a big dream, but I never thought it was going to happen. I'm insanely grateful that we're going to Molde. We are going to tailor a concert for the festival which will hopefully blow people off the track. I'm really excited!

So are we, Tora!

Alexandraparken (18+) 380,- fees incl.
19:00 Dørene åpner
21:00 Tora
23:00 Gov't Mule
00:30 DJ

Jazz intro final / Winner's concert

Jazzintro is a programme for young, Norwegian jazz musicians who've shown a clear potential to develop their skills and ideas. They'll appear at the country's biggest jazz festivals during in the spring and summer of 2020.

From the preliminary rounds at Vossa Jazz, Maijazz, Nattjazz and Kongsberg Jazzfestival, four bands will advance to the grand finale during Moldejazz on 15 July. There, a jury consisting of some of the country's foremost jazz musicians will select this year's winner.

The band that'll be announced "Young jazz musicians of the Year 2020" will receive a larger launch package from the Norwegian jazz forum as well as a Gramo grant of NOK 150,000.

This allows the Norwegian Jazz Forum to further improve the follow-up of the band that a crowned the winner during Moldejazz, and facilitate a tailor-made launch of the Young Jazz Musicians of the Year 2020.

Jazzintro giving the right boost
Since its inception in 1998, the Jazzintro has been very important to highlight and boost the talents in Norwegian jazz. Many of today's big jazz names have participated in the Jazzintro early in their careers – Mathias Eick, Stian Westerhus, Anja Lauvdal, Gard Nilssen, Marius Neset, Hanna Paulsberg and Morten Qvenild have all participated. Previous winners include Monkey Plot, Albatrosh, Puma, In the Country, Urban Connection and Megalodon Collective.

The professional jury for Jazzintro 2020 consists of the musicians Hanna Paulsberg, Mats Eilertsen, Kirsti Huke and Dag Magnus Narvesen and Ragnhild Menes from the Norwegian Jazz Forum.

Jazzintro - Finale
Storyville (PLASSEN) 150,- fees incl.
Jazzintro - Vinnerkonsert
Storyville (PLASSEN) 150,- fees incl.