Today is the start of the Oslo Jazz Festival, and if all goes to plan, this time tomorrow I’ll be sitting in Bare Jazz in my favourite city in the world. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve visited Oslo and the jazz festival, but my first trip over a decade ago was to see Munch’s The Dance of Life in the National Galleries. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with the city, but now I can’t stay away; the antidote to urban angst.
When I rented an apartment and stayed there all of last summer, not for one second did Oslo disappoint (see previous blog). Back home in Scotland, everyone thinks my fascination with the city must be down to a Norwegian man, but what I’m in love with is a city that’s always constant and above all makes me feel I am the best I can be.
Oslo and its people suit my contradictory nature – country, city, sea all close. Sitting at the pier on down to Aker Brygge every day; in the square outside the parliament building; in the cool of the cathedral; or sipping coffee Stockfleths……………..
Anyway to the Oslo Jazz Festival – this is its 26th year (it’s the same age as the Edinburgh Jazz Festival), and tomorrow I hope to see the transfixing Tord Gustavsen Quartet, followed by Pixel + Ruaridh Pattison’s Norwegian Sextet.
In collaboration with the Oslo Jazz Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz Festival has initiated a Scottish Norwegian youth project. Three young Scottish musicians have been invited to Oslo to play with three young Norwegian musicians. Line-up is Ruaridh Pattison, Harald Lassen (saxophone), Thomas Husmo Litleskare (trumpet), Pete Johnstone (piano), Brodie Jarvie (bass), Jan Martin Gismervik (drums)
I’m also hoping to see Norway’s First Lady of Jazz and the coolest woman on the planet – Karin Krog.
The Oslo Jazz Festival 2012 starts on Monday 13th August and lasts until Saturday 18th August. Acts include: Tony Bennett, Kurt Elling & Kaba Orchestra, Madeleine Peyroux, Karin Krog/Bengt Hallberg, Sunna Gunnlaugs with Tore Brunborg, Get The Blessing, Arild Andersen Quintet, Jon Cowherd Mercy Project with Steve Cardenas/John Patitucci/Brian Blade, The Deciders, Tord Gustavsen Kvartett meets Susanna Wallumrød, Marcin Wasilewski Trio, Goran Kajfes Subtropic Arkestra and the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra with Stian Westerhus. Visit www.oslojazz.no for more information.Oslo Jazzfestival 13.-18. august 2012 www.facebook.com/oslojazz www.twitter.com/oslojazz www.jazzinoslo.no