A unique ensemble made up of great musicians from different cultures. Experts at improvising the … big heart-sound of universal spirit.
The place in each of us that music can touch is the same place no matter what our background or philosophy.
The world’s traditions of spirit music do not know any geopolitical, ethnic or religious boundaries. They all share a common root – the heart.
Drummer/composer Franklin Kiermyer has gained international acclaim for his collaborations with a diversity of the world’s greatest spiritual musicians ranging from Pharoah Sanders to Umdze Lodro Samphel.
"Kiermyer is a drummer who follows his own muse, creating a sound of yearning and revelation...derived from an intensely personal sensibility." Jazz Times
"Kiermyer must be one of the most exciting and intense drummers around." The Wire
"Blessed with the ecstatic quality of his attack...drummer Franklin Kiermyer is that rare jazzman." Rolling Stone Magazine
"...he is a polyrhythmic whirlwind...this is the real thing...marvelous, powerfully affirmative music." Option
"Kiermyer super-charges spiritual modality…he plays with volcanic authority." Down Beat
Saxophonist Jørgen Mathisen, a 25-year-old Oslo native, is widely regarded as one of Scandinavia’s brightest young stars. Upon winning the 2008 Statkrafts Young Star award, the jury of Karin Krog; Martin Revheim; Bugge Wesseltoft and Stein Dale had this to say: "Jørgen Mathisen is a musician with a huge capacity and he is technically brilliant. He came into the jazz community as a shot and has clearly marked himself as a musician of note in recent years."
Jørgen has this to say about his main focus, his work with Franklin Kiermyer: "The basic simplicity of music – feeling calm when you play – is something many musicians search for. With Franklin, I feel calm. New directions always open when people search. To me, this music feels clear and honest."
Oslo based Saxophonist Morten Halle is a central figure in European improvised music. His limpid and crystal sound conveys a deep introspection and warmth. Morten first developed his reputation during his tenure with the Knut Værnes Quartet and the group "Spice". These two bands merged into the acclaimed “Cutting Edge”. He went on to play with “Oslo 13” and to begin leading his own quartet, evolving into his current group “Halles Komet”. He has been involved in many other projects with acclaimed musicians including Jon Balke’s Magnetic North Orchestra and Anders Jormin.
Morten has been featured on recordings from the ECM, SONY, Emarcee, Odin and his own Curling Legs label. He has composed music for film, theater and ballet and is one of Scandinavia’s foremost jazz music educators, leading the highly regarded Norwegian Academy of Music’s Jazz program.
Pianist Erlend Slettevoll was born in Volda, Norway in 1981. He is widely regarded as one of Scandinavia’s finest young piano players. Since his graduation from the acclaimed Trondheim NTNU jazz program in 2005, he has been very active performing and recording. Erlend has worked with many Norwegian and international musicians including Sonny Fortune; John Surman; The Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestra; Django Bates; Beady Belle; Petter Wettre; The Core; James Carter and many others.
Øyvind Brække comes from Bærum, Norway and is one of Scandinavia’s most highly regarded trombone players. He came to prominence during the last years of his studies at the acclaimed Trondheim NTNU Jazz program. He has recorded and/or performed with a wide range of creative musicians including Chick Corea, Jacob Young, the Sandvika Big Band, The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and Crime Time Orchestra. He is also very active as a composer and arranger. About Øyvind’s main small group project, The Source (recording for the ECM label) John Fordham of The Guardian writes: “This may be the most creative band at the sharp end of the north European scene.”
Playing professionally since 16, Juini Booth has expanded the range of the contrabass into a refined personal language of intense acoustic awareness and spatiality of sound. Firmly rooted in the forefront of the American jazz tradition, which he has helped to shape, Booth's music also integrates influences from world music, emerging beyond the boundaries of categories to express the poetics of universal humanness. Juini has recorded and/or performed with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Tony Williams Lifetime, Coleman Hawkins, Albert Ayler, Randy Weston, Sun Ra, McCoy Tyner, Shelley Mann, Freddie Hubbard and Elvin Jones, to name but a few.
Becaye Aw is a guitarist, singer and songwriter of the African Fulani (Haal Pulaar) people. Becaye spent his childhood in Dakar, Senegal. His approach to guitar tuning and his way of playing the instrument creates a sound similar to the cora. His singing conveys the passion and depth of the ancient spiritual tradition of his people. Becaye began his musical career playing with musicians such as Baaba Maal and Mansuur Seck. Over the course of his acclaimed career he has performed in collaboration with a variety of celebrated musicians including Ali Farka Toure and King Ibu to name a few.
Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Kouame Sereba was born in Abidjan, Cote d´Ivoire. He was sent by his parents to their native village, Tiegba at the age of 10. Living there, he learned about traditional life, music and dance. By the age of 20, he had travelled across the African continent living in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Cameron, Central African Republic, Sudan and Egypt. In addition to playing guitar, percussion and djembe, Kouame is a master of the Dodo, a mouth harp known for its overtone-rich, almost electronic sound.
Made possible through the support of Norsk Kulturråd & FFUK
With the cooperation of Cosmopolite, Nordic Black Theatre & Samspill