Bendik Hofseth’s Woodlands (7pm eastern) + Mathias Eick Quintet (8pm eastern)
Tuesday, November 17

Big Ears is proud to be the exclusive North American presenter of the Norwegian Digital Jazz Festival, a series of streaming concerts featuring 15 of the most important acts in Nordic jazz. This concert features a double bill of saxophonist Bendik Hofseth leading his Woodlands quintet playing material from his 2020 release, Trunks; followed by trumpeter Mathias Eick, leading his own quintet and focusing on material from his most recent ECM release, Ravensberg.

BENDIK HOFSETH’S WOODLANDS — Bendik Hofseth has had an unusual career. He is an artist, singer, saxophone player, songwriter, educator, and producer. His career started in the late 70’s, when he played all kinds of genres at the legendary jazz club, Club 7, in Oslo, Norway. In 1987, he was invited to replace Michael Brecker in the band Steps Ahead. He lived in NYC for six years, and toured all over the world, both with Steps Ahead and as a solo artist, with big bands, and with symphony orchestras. In 1991, he released his debut solo album called IX, an album considered one of Norway’s 100 best all time, according to the poll — voted by Norwegian musicians — Morgenbladet Topp 100.

His next albums, Amuse Yourself (1993), Metamorphosis (1995), Planets, Rivers, and… IKEA (1996), Colours (1997) were well received, and in 1999 he started singing in Norwegian, Smilets historie (1999) and Itaka (2004), before going back to his roots and releasing critically acclaimed jazz albums: XI (2009), Children & Cosmopolitans (2015), and Atonement (2018). Bendik has also appeared on over 200 records with musicians from all over the world.

In this concert, Bendik will play his new album Trunks, which is a part of a 4LP-box called Forest which shall be released winter 2020.

Personnel: Bendik Hofseth (saxophone), Helge Iberg (piano), Eivind Aarset (guitar), Mats Eilertsen (bass), Per Oddvar Johansen (drums)

— Trumpeter, composer, and bandleader, Mathias Eick, has been named one of the world’s major jazz talents for many years. With his fourth release on renowned ECM Records he is well on his way to establishing an international profile. While his earlier editions and musicianship have been characterized by a life spent traveling, constantly heading towards new goals and destinations, the album Ravensburg witnesses a mature artist finding his unique and distinguished musical expression. The album is a voyage back home, a reflection on his life situation, with music as an important impetus and his family as a foundation. Tracks titled ‘Family’, ‘Children’, ‘Friends’, and ‘Parents’ demonstrate a release with an autobiographical focus.

Eick has been awarded prestigious prizes, like the International Jazz Festival Organization’s ‘International Jazz Talent’ prize, the Statoil scholarship, and the DNB-prize. Having finished his education at NTNU Trondheim’s in Jazz Studies, he soon gained success working with artists like Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Chick Corea, Jaga Jazzist, Iro Haarla, Many Katché, Elvira Nikolaisen, and Jacob Young. In 2008, Eick released his first solo album on ECM, The Door, followed by touring around the world with various constellations and projects. As a trumpeter, vibraphonist, double bass player, guitarist, and piano player he has performed on more than 100 recordings.

About Ravensburg, Mathias says: “On this occasion I wanted to pursue a more melodic and rhythmic tradition and merge with the lyrical, Nordic ECM-aesthetics that I grew up with. My intention has been to bring the music back to Nordic regions and to make it more personal. To portray the strong emotions of life without words.”

In this concert, Mathias focuses on songs from Ravensburg, but also features some nuggets from earlier albums.

Personnel: Mathias Eick (trumpet/keys), Torstein Lofthus (drums), Audun Erlien (bass), Håkon Aase (violin), Andreas Ulvo (piano)


Big Ears stream of the Norwegian Digital Jazz Festival is available only to viewers in North America (USA, Canada, Mexico). The stream will be hosted on Tickets are $8 (plus service charges) in advance and $10 day of show. Viewers may also purchase access to the Entire 15-Set Norwegian Jazz Festival via Big Ears for $50. For those unable to watch the initial stream of this presentation, it will be available for replay for 48 hours after the initial stream (note: tickets may only be purchased, however, before or during the initial broadcast).

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