Norwegian pianist Jan Gunnar Hoff has released several albums in the recent years performing original compositions; solo as on Living and with his Fly North Quartet. This time Hoff delivers a concept album performing 15 songs and Christmas carols, both Norwegian standards and international classics. Stille lys (Quiet Light) is Jan Gunnar Hoff’s commission for Nordnorsk Lederutvikling, a group of Northern Trainees aiming to add an artistic and musical profile to their concept with an atmosphere of tranquility and proximity. Seeking inspiration in the North and at Ingmar Bergman Estate by the Baltic Sea, Hoff continues his solo journey, once again recorded by multi-Grammy nominated Morten Lindberg and 2L.
Jan Gunnar Hoff participated at the opening of Bodø´s new concert house The Storm. The show was sent on National TV NRK1 on November 15. Hoff performed his version of the Northern Norway unofficial “National anthem” Barndomsminne fra Nordland (Å eg veit meg eit land) together with mezzo soprano Marianne Beate Kielland. Hoff also performed in a backing band for Maria Haukaas Mittet and played 4-hands piano with Leif Ove Andsnes in the closing number. Link to full NRK show Nov 11. Featured image cc: NRK
In August 2014 Jan Gunnar Hoff resided at the Ingmar Bergman Estate on Fårö Island, Gotland. Bergman Estate is a non-commercial foundation, to be run in the spirit of Fårö’s unique nature, culture, history and population. During his stay, Hoff completed his “Hammars suite” for chamber orchestra (strings) and jazz trio, to be performed in Northern Norway September 2014.
Ingmar Bergman is recognized as one of the most accomplished and influential auteurs of all time and he made several films on Fårö, a.o. Through a Glass Darkly (1960), Persona (1966), Shame (1968), A Passion (1969), and the TV series Scenes from a Marriage (1973). More info on Bergman Estate
Norwegian leading classical pianist Håvard Gimse premiered Hoff´s piano piece “La Ville” at the Oslo Chamber Music festival in August 2014. This was a project with piano and lyrics read by Lise Fjeldstad and included works by several Norwegian composers. Link to performance.
Jan Gunnar Hoff was appointed an official Steinway Artist early May 2014. Steinway Artists are approved world-class pianists who voluntarily endorse Steinway & Sons by selecting the Steinway piano. Among the Steinway Artists are Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, Vladimir Horowitz, Keith Emerson and Arthur Rubenstein. Link to Steinway´s artist site.
Jan Gunnar Hoff did an extensive solo piano tour in Japan, April 2014, presenting his 2013- album LIVING. Hoff performed 10 concerts in Japan: Kobe, Kyoto, Omi-Hachiman, Kanazawa, Nagano, Joetsu, Tokyo, Kashiwa, Tokyo, Yokohama. Link to photo album.
Jan Gunnar Hoff´s new album FLY NORTH was released January 2014 on Losen Records and is gaining great reviews all over. It´s also becoming a bestseller at major stores, available on CD and vinyl. Hoff´s ensemble consists of Nordic performers Marilyn Mazur, Arve Henriksen, Anders Jormin. Allaboutjazz: “Together these four master musicians travel deep into a land of beauty. Fly North! is an enchanting musical journey in first class all the way through”.
Dagens Næringsliv: «Årets første jazzalbum kan godt vise seg å være et av årets fineste. Kvartetten har laget en klassiker med FLY NORTH” (“The quartet has made a classic”)
Dagsavisen: «Fly North!» er bodskapen når pianisten Jan Gunnar Hoff opnar jazzåret med nytt band og eit strålande album, et album uten dødpunkt” (” an album with no deadlocks”)
Side2.no: “Another candidate to the album of the year”
Bergens Tidende: “Jan Gunnar Hoff har levert en plate som vil bli stående som en av de sterkeste norske jazzutgivelsene i 2014. Tittelsporet må være en av de vakreste jazzlåtene som er innspilt” (“The title track must be one of the most beautiful jazztunes ever recorded”)
Jan Gunnar Hoff has been appointed a member of an International comitee in Sweden, for the Jan Wallander- prize. For 2014 the award is given to a Swedish jazz piano student, conditions for admission to be found here. The two other members of the jury are head of KMH in Stockholm, Cecilia Rydinger Alinand and pianist Rita Marcotulli (Italy).
Jan Gunnar Hoff will play a solo concert at UNOJAZZ in Milano on July 5, 2013. The concert will take place at the majestetic Castello Sforzesco. This is 4th edition of this exciting festival. This years artists include Christian Jormin trio, Bruce Ditmas and several others, in addition to Hoff solo. In 2012 Norwegian artists Rebecca Bakken, Helge Lien trio and Tore Brunborg performed at Unojazz.