Known for his expressive, flowing melodies and versatility, master pianist Jan Gunnar Hoff is one of Norway’s most prominent and esteemed jazz artists today. Wearing a multitude of different hats as a jazz-fusion pianist, synth player, composer, arranger, and educator, the musician forges ahead, leaving a nuanced mark upon each of his modern fusions and improvisations, from his solo work to his various collaborations.

Jan Gunnar Hoff stands at a point of intersection between his classical music background and the genres of jazz, folk, funk, and rock. With an interest in music since a young age and receiving instruction in classical piano starting at the age of 10, the artist spent most of his teenage years embroiled in progressive rock, listening to bands like Pink Floyd, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and FOCUS. Hoff´s main goal has always been to maximize his own potential and get the most out of what is in him, Hoff embarked on his jazz career in the 1970’s after completing his education.

Following his concert debut at the Ad Lib Jazz Club in his hometown of Bodø in 1976, Hoff spent the earlier part of his career on tour with names like Arild Andersen and Nils Petter Molvaer. Subsequently, he proceeded by releasing his debut album Syklus, comprised of his own solo works, in 1993. Also working as an educator since 1975, Hoff currently continues to teach at the Universities of Tromsø and Agder, sharing that he considers himself lucky to be able to work with the next generation of Norway’s jazz musicians and that his young students keep him sharp.

(Akbank Sanat, Istanbul, Leyla Aksu)

Facts about Jan Gunnar Hoff:

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Jan Gunnar Hoff was educated at NTNU, Jazzdep in Trondheim 1986-89 and studied arranging and composing at NMH, Oslo 2001-2002. His career as a jazz musician started in 1976 with piano trio and as a backing musician for drummer Jon Christensen and other jazz artists at the local jazz club. Hoff became a professional musician in 1979 and toured with Arild Andersen and Nils Petter Molvær in 1982. In 1987 Hoff participated in an all star Norwegian combo presenting Jan Garbarek’s commission for the Federation of Norwegian Jazz musicians, FNJ. Hoff´s debut CD Syklus was recorded in 1992, based on a commission for the Arts Festival of North Norway. Since 1993 Hoff has worked as a bandleader presenting original compositions. Major band events include Hoff´s highly acclaimed Vossajazz-debut in 1995, Oris London Jazzfestival and Molde Int. Jazzfestival 1996 with EBU-TV broadcast to 12 European countries. Another highlight is the successful collaboration with Pat Metheny in Molde 2001. Excerpt “Extraditon” (Metheny) from the official NRK broadcast.

Hoff and his band toured Norway, Estonia and Ukraine with Mike Stern in 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 the trio recorded a concert DVD at Drumchannel in Oxnard California. This trio has released two albums,  “Jungle City” and “Barxeta”.

As a composer Hoff has made approx 250 works for different settings:  chamber orchestra, sinfonietta, choir, duo, trio, in addition to compositions for his solo recordings. Hoff did the prestigous annual commission for Vossajazz 2005 “Free flow songs” and received an Edvard (Grieg) -prize for his jazzmazz “Meditatus” in 2006. “Meditatus” has been performed in Norway, Iceland, Canada, USA and recorded on CD in Norway and CD/DVD in Riga, Latvia. In 2009 Hoff gathered a star line up at the annual Nordland Music Festival: Alex Acuna, Per Mathisen, Frode Alnæs, Jarle Bernhoft, Mathias Eick – presenting Hoff´s commission Electric Blue. 

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. Other collaborations include Norwegian artists like Unni Wilhelmsen, Terje Nilsen, Jan Eggum, Halvdan Sivertsen, Jørn Hoel.


From 2008-2014 Hoff has performed and toured in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Croatia, Iceland, Austria, Italy, Sweden, USA, Slovakia, Kazakhstan, Kirgisistan, Peru, England, Japan and Norway. Concerts in major cities such as New York, London, Stockholm, Zagreb, Los Angeles, Moscow, St.Petersburg, Tokyo, Istanbul, Vilnius.


In 2011 Hoff contributed as bandleader, arranger and pianist for the album “Quiet winter night”, later nominated for US Grammy Awards 2013 (Best surround sound album, Morten Lindberg, 2L). Hoff continued his collaboration with 2L on the solo piano album LIVING, released April 2013. Hoffs quartet-recording “Fly North” was released in January 2014, followed by the solo album “Quiet light/Stille lys” (2L December 2014). In January 2014 Hoff received the Buddy prize, the highest distinction in Norwegian jazz. May 2014 he was appointed as an official Steinway Artist and August 2014 he was selected as Artist in residence at Ingmar Bergman Estate, Fårö (Sweden). Hoff released two more albums late 2016 and early 2017:  Stories, a solo piano album for 2L and Terra Novaa crossover duo project with mezzo soprano Marianne Beate Kielland. April 2018 Hoff´s trio album Polarity was released by 2L, receiving great reviews. In 2018, Hoff also released the albums: Mathisen/Hoff feat. Horacio Hernandez  Barxeta IIand Jan Gunnar Hoff Group feat. Mike Stern. Hoff also works as a professor at the University of Tromsø and Agder, and he is the festival head of Bodø Jazz Open.

Compositions (excerpt):

  1. VAAPSTENJEANOE (Big River), commission for string orchestra, percussion and jazz trio, 2020
  2. Compositions for new album with Jan Gunnar Hoff Group & Mike Stern, 2018
  3. Commission for Marianne Beate Kielland 2016, texts by Hamsun, W.Blake and Hoff
  4. TERRA NOVA – for SATB and jazz group
  5. HAMMARS SUITE – for string orchestra and jazz trio
  6. LIVING – commission for Bodø Jazz Open 2012 w/Jormin, Henriksen, Mazur
  7. NORTH EAST/NORTH WEST, commission Smeltedigelen 2012 (Mo i Rana, Northern Norway)
  8. PICTURES -commission Nordland Musikkfestuke 2011
  9. ELECTRIC BLUE- commission Nordland Musikkfestuke 2009
  10. FOR INGENS ØYNE, commission Hamsundagene 2009
  11. AUBERGINE – commission Bodø Big Band 2007
  12. MAGMA for Nordland Musikkfestuke 2006 (feat. Mike Stern)
  13. FREE FLOW SONGS – Tingingsverket for Vossajazz 2005 (feat. Maria Joao)
  14. MEDITATUS a commission for Bodø Cathedral Choir 2004 (Edvard prize from TONO 2004)
  15. BLÅ SITRON –  Piece for string quartet and jazz trio 2002
  16. ODEON’S DRØM – Bodø sinfonietta 2002
  17. WIND SEA AND RHYTHM – wind quintet, cello and jazz band 2001
  18. THIS PLACE – commission for Bodø Domkor, orchestra, soloists 1996
  19. STILLE LYS – commission for Bodø Domkor 1995
  20. OPP AV HAVET STIG EIT LAND –  for Nordland Chamber Orchestra 1994
  21. FASER 1-4 suite i 4 movements for jazztrio and percussion, Arts Festival Harstad 1992
  22. NORTHERN LIGHTS –  for piano, violin and acoustic bass 1992

Discography with other artists:

  1. City Z (2018) Jan Gunnar Hoff Group feat Mike Stern 4:23
  2. Some Day (2018) Jan Gunnar Hoff Group feat Mike Stern 6:33
  3. Common Ground (2018) Jan Gunnar Hoff Group feat Mike Stern 7:39
  4. Living (Losen records 2014) Hoff, Mazur, Henriksen, Jormin 6:54
  5. FLY NORTH (Losen 2013) Hoff - Jormin - Mazur - Henriksen
  6. Beginning Hoff Ensemble: Jan Gunnar Hoff, Audun Kleive & Anders Jormin 3:14