Jazz singer Meta Roos has performed in countless concerts with the elite of swedish jazz. In 2009, she obtained the Monica Zetterlund-scholarship with this motivation: "The incredibly beautiful voice in combination with wonderful timing and perception leaves us breathless at times. " Meta will sing familiar tunes from Ella Fitzgerald's huge repertoire. The pianist Kjell Öhman is frequently engaged as a conductor and arranger for both record productions and the most popular musical tv-shows in Sweden. Sweden has hardly seen a big band with such personalized repertoire that the one of the Norrbotten Big Band. The orchestra is of highest international class, and has attracted many of today's top soloists and arrangers for concerts, radio and recordings. The track "Box of Cannoli" from newly released album The Avatar Sessions, was nominated for a Grammy in the category "Best Instrumental Composition" 2010.
TOUR DATES: February 25-27
Contact Supply Producer Lars-Göran Ulander for details
One of the most important and influential jazz singers pay tribute to a musical genius. Singer Dee Dee Bridgewater and Norrbotten big band performs Billie Holiday´s music led by Håkan Broström in "to Billie with love from Dee Dee"
Billie Holiday had neither power nor money. She was born in misery, chose bad company, drugs and alcohol and died at the age of 44 with less than a dollar in her bank account. Her career went from a brothel to sold-out concert halls via prison cells, but her way of singing and improvising made an everlasting imprint in music history.
Norrbotten Big Band reveals a new dimension of Billie Holiday´s music in a modern context. And if anyone can call themselves an authority in "Lady Day" it is the singer Dee Dee Bridgewater. - It will be very exciting to work with Dee Dee, both because she has a close relationship with Billie Holiday tradition and she also does really hip music, "says Håkan Broström who have made arrangements and will lead the orchestra in the Billie Holiday Project .
Broström has been in the Norrbotten Big Band as a saxophone player since 1993, and Tim Hagans adds that "Håkan is the perfect musician to lead this project, because he really knows the orchestra's musicians and their character inside and out." Dee Dee Bridgewater got famous as a twenty-year-old jazz singer in the early 1970s and the link to Billie Holiday was consolidated in the mid-eighties, when she starred in the musical "Lady Day", based on Holidays autobiography "Lady Sings the Blues". And at Bridgewaters latest album she returns to her most important source of inspiration, the album "Eleanor Fagan" is entirely dedicated to Holiday. - Billie Holiday made it possible for singers like me to create our own career. When I sing her music is not darkness and tragic I think about, for she deserves a positive and happy celebration after all the terrible things that happened in her life, "says Dee Dee Bridgewater.
When Finnish composer and conductor Outi Tarkiainen leads Norrbotten Big Band, she will create melodic jazz sculptures with distinct features of nordic winter melancholy. Her inspiration for the open music can be found in the auroral region between classical music and both traditional and contemporary jazz, the music's final structure has been chiselled out especially with the singer Aili Ikonens distinctive and virtuosic voice in mind.
Outi Tarkiainen is one of Finland's most successful young composers, and she moves without blinking between intimate chamber ensembles and international radio orchestras of large format. Her compositions and arrangements has won competitions all over the world and together with The Norrbotten Big Band she fulfills a musical vision, in which each musician acts just as a live musician, not just one voice in a jazz band. The collaboration between Tarkiainen and singer Aili Ikonen is about pushing boundaries of what can be said with music - to the extreme. - Aili Ikonens unhindered movement between poetry, improvisation and being part of a whole orchestra has inspired me to challenge the orchestra and my voice to the maximum. And I push both them and myself when I break imaginary boundaries, says Outi Tarkiainen. Both Outi Tarkiainen and singer Aili Ikonen studied at the Sibelius Academy and Ikonen is also writing music for her own ensemble, the jazz quartet "Kvalda", which is one of Finland's most interesting young jazz groups, she has also had a leading role in the modern Opera "Lovers of Mankind".
Using your imagination the composer and conductor Outi Tarkiainen, singer Aili Ikonen and each of the unique instrumentalists in the Norrbotten Big Band transformes our shared musical experience to a place beyond the boundaries between words and tone, past and future.
2010 was Josefine Lindstrand big year in Sweden, this year she was named “Jazz in Sweden-artist”. Here at home, few had heard of her when her debut album "There Will Be Stars" came out with a bang, but abroad, she was already a name among the stars. Perfectionist Uri Caine had already hired her and Django Bates recruited her from the Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. And now Josefines music will receive a new look when Peter Dahlgren arranges her songs for the Norrbotten Big Band.
It was an odd jazz bird that flew in over Sweden. Her voice was cool, close and spot on, the music could not really be placed and her carefully carved melodies stuck right away. Josefine Lindstrand's debut album was actually finished several years ago, but it took until spring 2010 , before the record was released and a tight band
embarked on a long tour. Someone in the Swedish jazz police shouted that it was pop, but many loved the CD and Josefine's music grew along with her group, which sound is closely related to the group “Sekten” that Josefine is also a member of. In parallel with her own tour, she also tours with Swedish singer Maia Hirasawa. Josefine has just recently returned from the World Expo in Shanghai, where she preformed up the best of Swedish music, with a concert every day for three weeks. – I have performed a lot live over the past year and it has shaped my music for a smaller band. Now the melodies and lyrics take one more step that I've never experienced before, with arrangements for the Norrbotten Big Band, "says Josefine.
Josefine says that initially it felt a bit like letting go of her music and that if it had not been precisely NBB who would play, she might not have dared venture into the project. Now however Josefine is most excited about what will happen when someone else interprets her songs. And when Josefine then gets her music back, to sing along, anything can happen.
Trombonist and composer Helge Sunde is a pioneer in contemporary compositions and arrangements of modern big bands. When he directs Ensemble Denada, he sometimes lets single notes last, a very long time. There are elements that we recognize from classic big bands and maybe in Frank Zappa´s arrangements, but on a scale of one traditional and one really modern way of arranging for an orchestra, one would sometimes think that Helge Sunde unaided invented the big-band format. It is music that seems completely freed from the heavy chains that can anchor the listener of something expected.
Ensemble Denada and Norrbotten Big Band could be cousins with different native languages. They sound quite different, as birds of the same species that has been characterized by different surroundings. But their common characteristics are stronger than the differences. Both orchestras are made up of strong individuals who love challenges. - The relationship with our immediate neighbours, Norway and Finland are extremely strong and we also have much to teach us when we work together, "says Norrbotten Big Band manager Mirka Siwek and talks about how excited she and the musicians were when they heard Helge Sunde and Ensemble Denada perform at the Barents Jazz Festival in northern Norway: - Sunde is a very charismatic bandleader and a fabulous composer and big band arranger, so we are very much looking forward to working with him. Helge Sunde Ensemble Denada has contracts with the German record company ACT, one of the major companies that publish modern jazz and the latest album Finding Nymo achieved the German record industry's top prize as the best big band albums. The album contains groundbreaking compositions and arrangements that challenge jazz ensembles of all sizes. The award-winning album was a result of a long process, managed by East Norway Jazz Center in cooperation with the composer. The span of the production period was almost 2 years: From the first steps of funding and pre-production, the creative work and the recordings, a live presentation at the 2009-edition of Jazzahead, the final mix to the release and the ECHO Jazz 2010-award.
At the same time you may claim Sunde´s music to be very Norwegian it is even more so that his way of writing and leading a band is uniquely Helge Sunde. The high expectations about what will happen in the collaboration between Helge Sunde and Norrbotten Big Band is mutual.
Check out the movie from the recording of
"The Avatar Sessions"