Molde 2016: Programme

Branford Marsalis Quartet with Kurt Elling, Esperanza Spalding, Ane Brun, Joss Stone, Joshua Redman / Ola Kvernberg, Marilyn Mazur's Shamani, Steps Ahead, Nate Wooley Quintet, Kristoffer Eikrem Quintet feat Jimmy Halperin and Kaja Draksler / Susana Santos Silva are ready for MoldeJazz 2016. We also offer weekly passes, daily passes and 2-day passes to Romsdalsmuseet.

The golden voiced Kurt Elling collaborates with master saxophonist Branford Marsalis' quartet to an exclusive concert at Molde Jazz. This is one of many concerts you get to experience in Molde this summer. 

Other performers include Esperanza Spalding and Joss Stone along with Ane Brun to constitute a strong triple concert at Romsdalsmuseet Thursday 21 July. Joshua Redman's performance in a duo concert with this year's Artist In Residence, Ola Kvernberg, also promises to be a special event.

Back at MoldeJazz for the first time since she was the Artist In Residence in 2008, Marilyn Mazur, performs this time with the 11-women band Shamani. The legendary fusion band Steps Ahead is also ready for the Jazz as is Kristoffer Eikrem, Nate Wooley Quintet and the duo Kaja Draksler / Susana Santos Silva.

Branford Marsalis Quartet with Kurt Elling

Both Kurt Elling and Branford Marsalis have had successful stints at MoldeJazz earlier, but this time they have teamed up for a fresh collaboration. Elling performed at the festival a year ago in a full house concert and Branford Marsalis also entertained a full house crowd at Bjørnsonhus during his last visit. His quartet is at the top of American acoustic modern jazz tradition. Their album titled "Four MFs Playin 'Tunes" was named by Dagbladet 'The best foreign jazz recording in 2012.' It is not too often that the close-knit Marsalis band invite other musicians into their almost telepathic interoperable universe, but they have made an exception for Elling. The concert in Bjørnsonhuset on Wednesday July 20th will be their only appearance in Norway in 2016.

Triple Concert at Romsdalsmuseet
Romsdalsmuseet will be an important arena for MoldeJazz also in 2016 and on July 21 it hosts a triple concert with three artists who complement each other musically; Esperanza Spalding, Joss Stone and Ane Brun.

Esperanza Spalding Esperanza Spalding's career gained momentum after her appearance at the Nobel concert in 2009 and really took off after she received the first of hitherto 5 Grammy Awards in 2011.The young, hard-working artist received well-deserved attention for her creative and steady bass playing, distinctive and flawless voice and also for her charismatic presence as an artist. The ensuing attention led to Spalding stepping out of the headlights for the past two years, but now she is back on stage. Now, Electric bass has replaced bass fiddle and lashing braids have replaced the big Afro. She is a new version of herself, Emily, her middle name but also her alter ego. According Spalding, she uses this alter ego to rediscover the playfulness and creativity she had as a child. Spalding blends neo-soul with rugged funk guitar and expansive jazz rhythms, and shows it all through a theatrical lens and according to Spalding, it will take the experience to a whole other level when the music is performed live. MoldeJazz is very proud to be the first festival that brought Spalding to Europe back in 2007. The concert this summer is the only one in Norway, and with the first to present her latest musical project Emily's D + Evolution! 

Joss Stone expresses herself equally well whether it is R & B, soul, funk, reggae, jazz, rock or funk. She attracted a lot of attention for her voice at an early age of 13 year old and at 14, she signed a record deal with EMI. Over the next decade she sold over 12 million records, received both Brit awards and Grammy and performed on stage with the likes of James Brown, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder and Jeff Beck. Her last release Water for Your Soul came out in 2015 and has received good reviews from the Guardian and many others. Joss Stone is known for her brilliant live performances and has had great success on numerous events including the North Sea Jazz Festival. 

Ane Brun on her journey as an artist, singer and musician, has gained tremendous experience, which is reflected among others in the number of releases and not least in her collaboration with many musicians, both nationally (Madrugada) and internationally (Peter Gabriel). She has also received the Spellmans prize twice for Best Female Artist, in addition to having been nominated in several other categories. Ane is eclectic and constantly evolving. Her latest album, When I'm Free, was released last year and VG labeled it "Goosebumps vocals", gave a rating of six and stated that the songs are a diverse collection of distinct and memorable identities. In conjunction with the album release, she has stated that freedom is the absence of fear, and it is easy to believe when you listen to her latest music, and not least when one sees her in action in concert. Ane and her music are ever evolving, with more power and intensity! Ane's concert in her hometown with Moldejazz promises to be a surefire magical music experience!

Joshua Redman/Ola Kvernberg
When Ola Kvernberg was commissioned as the Artist in Residence for MoldeJazz 2016, it was clear that he would be confronted with the task of both continuing the previous projects and creating new collaborations. Among the latter is a very special duo concert with Joshua Redman, the saxophone maestro who has also been the Artist in Residence in Molde (2006). Kvernberg says that in many ways it was an obvious choice to pick out Redman for such a project, partly because "he is one of those musicians I know who is most boundless. He combines a romantic relationship with music being an intelligent musician - he is extremely sharp. But he is also an open individual with a little self-esteem. Joshua is a true performer. "

Marilyn Mazur's Shamania
23 years after her legendary appearances in Miles Davis concert and eight years after she was the Artist In Residence, Marilyn Mazur comes back to MoldeJazz with an extremely solid project Shamani, a new ensemble with ten finest musicians in Scandinavia and dancer Tine Erica Aspaas. This is a band that takes you on a journey through a sprawling ritual landscape, to a meeting with the power of the beast voices, music, rhythm and movement.
Christina von Bülow - saxophone, Josefine Cronholm - vocals and percussion, Sissel Vera Pettersen - saxophone and vocals, hildegunn øiseth - trumpet, Lis Wessberg - trombone, Makiko Hirabayashi - tangents, Ellen Andrea Wang - bass and vocals, Anna Lund - drums, Lisbeth Diers - percussion and Tine Erica Aspaas - dance.

Steps Ahead
Ever since its inception in 1977, Steps Ahead has been one of the most popular jazz groups in the world. The virtuoso vibraphonist Mike Mainieri was the initiator, and over the years he has recreated the band with new crew. Former members include people like Michael Brecker, Steve Gadd, Peter Erskine and our own Bendik Hofseth. This year's edition of Steps Ahead isn't inferior to past ensembles by any means; Saxophonist Donny McCaslin has been a well known figure beyond jazz since the time he was involved in David Bowie's famous "farewell album" Black Star. The Brazilian pianist and singer Eliane Elias has just received a Grammy as a solo artist. Bass giant Marc Johnson has been on MoldeJazz a number of times and is remembered for, among other things, the famous concert with Bill Evans trio in 1980. The flexible and always swinging drummer Billy Kilson complements this brilliant edition of Steps Ahead. The band has always had a knack for varying forms of jazz expression, from straight bop-influenced music to fusion and funk, from South American rhythms to excursions into free jazz territory. With its diverse music, Steps Ahead has received great responses from jazz veterans, fusion enthusiasts and the young and inquisitive audience alike.

Kristoffer Eirem Quintet feat Jimmy Halperin
Shells Jazz Scholarship 2015 winner Kristoffer Eikrem will fulfill his dreams when will plays together with the American cool jazz virtuoso Jimmy Halperin at Moldejazz. Kristoffer Eikrem heard the duo Jimmy Halperin and Sal Moscas's album "Psalm" in summer 2011 which eventually inspired his own duo "Feeling / Emotion" with pianist Kjetil Jerve. The album received excellent reception and the latest heir to the pianist, composer and teacher Lennie Tristano's universe earned mutual respect from Jimmy Halperin. He has been an active jazz musician in New York since the 1970s, and studied under Lennie Tristano and later under Sal Mosca. Although Jimmy's time at Tristano has made its mark, his artistic development and integrity been fortified by his own artistic choices in modern jazz.

Nate Wooley Quintet
Nate Wooley began playing trumpet professionally in a big band with his father at an early age of 13. But it was not until much later; after he moved to New York in 2001 and quickly became a key part of Brooklyn's active jazz, improv and sound that jazz fans worldwide began to notice him. Wooley has played with greats like Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Evan Parker and many more, and has become particularly known for challenging the limits of what a trumpet can do. Wooley's music draws inspiration from, while also perceived as a further development of, post-bop and freebop from the 60s and 70s, and can also comprise of European free-improvisation and contemporary music. Nate Wooley Quintet's second and latest album (Dance To) The Early Music made ??new arrangements of music from Wynton Marsalis's post-bop period related release Black Codes (From the Underground). These Marsalis releases were an early inspiration for Wooley, and with a wish to relieve the insiring energy of his youth the music has become unrestrained, playful and bold as the quintet stretches, extends, moves and draws upon the constituents of the original songs, giving the compositions new shapes with a familiar touch. At the same time the album offers a handful of compositions by Wooley, one of them co-written with the bands bass-player; Norwegian-born, New York-based musician and composer Eivind Opsvik

Kaja Draksler / Susana Santos Silva
Kaja Draksler and Susana Santos Silva are two very promising and exciting musicians, composers and improvisers, something they have proven in several different occasions since they separately appeared on the European jazz scene in the mid-2000s. Kaja Draksler is a Slovenian pianist who has been based in Amsterdam in recent years. Similar to pianists and kindred spirits Kris Davis and Eve Risser, Draksler has worked up an expression that combines themes and elements of classical jazz with elements of contemporary music really well.  Portuguese Susana Santos Silva, also based in the Netherlands currently, plays trumpet and flugelhorn and thrives as well in avant-garde landscape as in more mainstream contexts. She has a warm and concentrated tone, and handles the melodic and lyrical as effortlessly as more abstract patterns. She has played with people like Lee Konitz and Kurt Rosenwinkel and has been part of a European-influenced version of amazing Adam Lane's Full Throttle Orchestra. Draksler and Silva used to perform together as a duo before they recorded and released This Love in 2015, a release that was very well received. The music moves from the controlled and balanced to the exploratory and inquisitive, playful and pensive.