John Zorn - Artist in Residence 2022

For forty years, John Zorn has been one of jazz's most creative and influential musicians. The famous saxophonist and composer has led, influenced and organized a number of sensational ensembles with some of the music form's most original musicians. Now he is Artist In Residence at Moldejazz 2022 with a slightly adjusted, but at least as spectacular, concert program as the one that was originally planned for the anniversary year 2020.

The details of Zorn's residence at Moldejazz are now ready with as many as eight concerts, two every day over the first four days.

John Zorn visited Moldejazz for the first time in 1991 with the band Naked City, and the concert for a partly astonished audience in Idrettens Hus confirmed that he took the music to places it had not been before. In recent years, Zorn has continuously confirmed his position as a creative force in our time, through countless concerts, constantly innovative ensembles, several remarkable compositions as well as the operation of record companies and artistic stages. With John Zorn as Artist in Residence in 2022, Moldejazz consolidates its position among Europe's most important jazz festivals.

On the opening day on Monday 18 July, two concerts will be presented, Nove Cantici and The Hierophant, where John Zorn has been inspired by religion and Tarot mysticism, respectively. Nove Cantici with the three guitarists Bill Frisell, Julian Lage and Gyan Riley will also be the official opening concert.

On Tuesday 19 July, two editions of Masada music will be presented: "Volac" -Erik Friedlander - solo and The New Masada Quartet. Since the early 1990s, John Zorn has explored his Jewish musical roots through the songbook - "The Masada Songbook". With the release of “The Book of Beriah” in 2018, the songbook was complete with a total of 613 songs! Since the Masada Quartet's first release in 1993, various bands have performed this music. One of them, John Zorn's Electric Masada feat. Marc Ribot visited Moldejazz in 2003.

On Wednesday 20 July, the stage is set for what many will probably see as the main concerts during John Zorn's residency; “The Bagatelles Marathon part I and part II”. It is also a very special and spectacular project with a total of 30 of the world's leading impro musicians on stage! This will be performed at Teatret Vårt through two concerts, at 14.00 and at 20.00.

On the final day of John Zorn's physical presence in Molde, Thursday 21 July, organ music will be at the center. First Zorn's own Hermetic Organ solo concert at the organ in Molde Cathedral at 14.00, then the concert with organ virtuoso John Medeski and the project Simulacrum in the Storyville room at 22.00. Medeski was last seen in Molde with the superband Hudson in 2018.

Short biography

John Zorn was born and raised in New York City. Since the mid-1970s, he has been a central figure in the experimental jazz scene in downtown New York, along with people like John Lurie, Christian Marclay, Marc Ribot, Airto Lindsay and others. "The Big Gundown" from 1985 marked a kind of breakthrough on the album front, where Zorn played modern jazz arrangements of Enrico Morricone's spaghetti western classics. He then collaborated with blues musician Albert Collins, Airto Lindsay and the Kronos Quartet for a film noir soundtrack called "Spillane". Furthermore, he did «News for Lulu» with i.a. Bill Frisell, which is still a favorite album for many hardcore jazz fans. In the years since, there has been no pause in Zorn's extensive collaboration with people from various genres, everything from punk, metal, hardcore trash, surf, country, etc., in addition to experimental jazz with elements of traditional building blocks.

In 1995, Zorn established the record company Tzadik, and embarked on a series of remarkable projects of a serious nature that established him as one of the most productive composers on the planet. The compositions vary in expression, from modern jazz to chamber music and traditional Jewish music.

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