From 8-13 May, Stavanger plays host to some of the world’s leading jazz musicians. Here’s what to expect at MaiJazz 2017.
As one of Norway’s leading jazz festivals, MaiJazz has a proud history of bringing some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians to Stavanger. This year is no exception, with a range of artists spanning the decades and the genres, from classical to contemporary.
This year held over 8-13 May 2017, the festival is composed of a series of standalone concerts across multiple venues. Tickets are available for individual concerts.
Here are some of the highlights:
The young British Grammy-winning singer, arranger, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier comes to Norway for the first time to perform at MaiJazz. He shot to fame with his creative homemade split-screen YouTube video covers of popular songs. Quincy Jones said of Collier: “I have never in my life seen a talent like this… beyond category. One of my favourite young artists on the planet – absolutely mind-blowing.”
Australian Sarah McKenzie has quickly become a firm favourite after bursting on to the jazz scene at Italy’s Umbria jazz festival. She was rewarded with a grant to attend the iconic Berklee College of Music in the USA, before releasing a critically-acclaimed album. Her appearance at MaiJazz is one stop on her mission to charm the world with her renditions of the music of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Henry Mancini, Duke Ellington and Jerome Kern.
Chris Potter Quartet
World-class soloist Chris Potter performed at MaiJazz three years ago with Pat Metheny’s Unity Group. This time, the formidable band leader in the post-bop tradition brings his own quartet. At just 40, he has 14 solo albums to his name and can be heard on over 100 recordings with, among others, Dave Holland, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny. His technique and tonality are epic, but do not outshine those great melodies and near-telepathic interplay with his bandmates.
Hofseth returns – and he’s got company
For six years, Bendik Hofseth was king of the hill in Norwegian pop/jazz and filled concert venues across Stavanger. He released his debut album in 1991 and also toured extensively with jazz fusion act Steps Ahead.
His debut album IX was voted one of Norway’s all-time best by newspaper Morgenbladet. Its 25th anniversary was celebrated with a stunning special edition release in 2016, as well as a tour. Hofseth will take to the stage at Maijazz on vocals and sax, accompanied by Paolo Vinaccia (drums), Eivind Aarset (guitar), Knut Reiersrud (guitar), Audun Erlien (bass), Øystein Sevåg (keyboards), and Reidar Skår (keyboards).
Al Di Meola trio
The blazing solos of this elegant guitar virtuoso needs no introduction. Almost a genre unto himself with his hot and fiery acoustic guitar style, Al Di Meolo‘s music ranges from intense flamenco inspired tunes to melodic fusion and exotic world music. He has proven his brilliance since the Return to Forever era together with Chick Corea. He is joined at MaiJazz by Peo Alfonsi (guitar) and Peter Kaszas (drums and percussion).
See you in Stavanger!
Photo: Greg Gorman