Jan Gunnar Hoff is a pianist and composer born in Bodoe, Northern Norway 1958. His background includes classical piano, progressive rock, jazz and different kinds of popular music. Hoff was educated at NTNU, Jazzdep in Trondheim 1986-89 and studied arranging and composing at NMH 2001/2002.
His career as a jazz musician started in 1976 with piano trio and continued as a backing musician for drummer Jon Christensen and other jazz artists at local clubs. Hoff became a professional musician in 1979 and toured with Arild Andersen and Nils Petter Molvær in 1982. Since 1993 he has worked with his own band, the Jan Gunnar Hoff Group. Major band events include Vossajazz in 1995, Molde Int. Jazzfestival and Oris London Jazzfestival 1996.
Hoff´s band did a very successful collaboration with Pat Metheny in Molde 2001 and toured with Mike Stern 2006, 2007 and 2008. From 2008 Hoff has been working with percussionist Alex Acuna and bassplayer Per Mathisen in the new trio “Acuna/Hoff/ Mathisen”. February 2010 they did a concert DVD at Drumchannel in Oxnard California, including an interview by Terry Bozzio.
As a composer he has made works for chamber orchestra, sinfonietta, choir and other settings, in addition to compositions for his solo recordings “Syklus” (1993), “Moving” (1995), “Crosslands” (1998), “In town” (2003) and “Magma” (2008). Hoff did the commission for Vossajazz 2005 “Free flow songs” and received the prestigious Edvard Grieg -prize for his jazzmazz “Meditatus” in 2006. “Meditatus” has been performed in Norway, Iceland, Canada, USA. The jazzmass was recorded in 2007 and in 2010 on CD and DVD in Riga, Latvia.
Several duo constallations a.o with Maria Joao in Norway, Croatia and France 2008. Worth mentioning is also the Harstad festival in Northern Norway 1995 where Hoff did a spontanous duo session with Chick Corea.
From 2008-2012 Hoff has performed and toured in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Croatia, Iceland, Austria, Italy, Sweden, USA, Slovakia, Kazakhstan, Kirgisistan, Peru, England and Norway. Several concerts in major cities such as New York, London, Stockholm, Zagreb, Los Angeles, Moscow and St.Petersburg.
2011-2013 Hoff has been focusing on solo piano, with several tours in Russia and Asia. His program is melodic and meditative with excerpts from the Hamsun-project 2009 in addition to improvisations and several pieces from Hoff´s production 1992-2012.
The ensemble LIVING features Nordic performers Arve Henriksen, Anders Jormin and Marilyn Mazur. In 2012 they performed Hoff´s piece “Living” at the Bodø Jazz Open and Maijazz, Stavanger. Sept. 2013 the quartet will record a new album for Losen Records.
In 2011 Hoff contributed as bandleader, arranger and pianist for the album ”Quiet winter night” that was nominated for Grammy Awards 2013 (Best surround sound album, Morten Lindberg, 2L). Hoff continues his collaboration with 2L on the solo piano album LIVING, relased April 2013.