Jan Gunnar Hoff celebrated his 60th birthday at the Ad Lib jazz club in Bodø where he started his jazz career in 1976. Since 1978 Hoff has worked as a professional freelance musician. He has recorded 20 albums as an artist and co-leader and collaborated with great musicians like Mike Stern, Pat Metheny, Maria Joao, Alex Acuna. In 2018 Hoff has released 3 albums: Polarity, a trio recording feat Audun Kleive and Anders Jormin, Barxeta II, a project with Per Mathisen and Horacioa “El Negro” Hernandez and finally Jan Gunnar Hoff Group feat. Mike Stern. The local newspaper made an interview with Hoff at the occasion. The anniversary gig was a concert with Hoff´s trio w/Kleive and Jormin on Nov 24, 2018: https://bit.ly/2TiXhSm
New album “Jan Gunnar Hoff Group feat. Mike Stern” out November 2018, receiving great reviews.
The collaboration between Jan Gunnar Hoff and guitar legend Mike Stern started with Hoff´s commission Magma for the Nordland Music Festival in 2006. In 2008 their first album Magma was released, an album where Stern played an important role. Several tours later the sequel Jan Gunnar Hoff Group feat Mike Stern is recorded in Oslo, March 2018. The album has a shared song contribution with Hoff´s 5 new tunes and Stern´s 3, still appears as a “uniform” production. Link to reviews, sales and streaming
A trio album released Juni 1, 2018. Per Mathisen and Jan Gunnar Hoff meeting Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, one of the worlds most prominent latin/jazz drummers. The result is BARXETA II (link to iTunes).
“El Negro” first gained international recognition as the drummer for the pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba and his group Proyecto. Since leaving Cuba in 1990, Hernandez has played in the U.S. with many different pop, rock, jazz and Latin jazz acts, including on many albums, some of which have received Grammy awards, including Roy Hargrove‘s Havana (1997), Carlos Santana‘s Supernatural (1999), Alejandro Sanz‘ No es lo mismo (2003) and Eddie Palmieri‘s Listen Here (2005). Hernandez owns a Grammy award for the 2001 Latin Jazz album Live at the Blue Note, with Michel Camilo (piano) and Charles Flores (bass). Since 2004 Hernandez has recorded and toured with his own band, Italuba.
Jan Gunnar Hoff launches his new jazztrio with Anders Jormin and Audun Kleive, two of Europe´s most reknown and respected jazz performers. A powerful trio setting presenting strong melodic compositions and high class interplay. Their new album Polarity (HOFF ENSEMBLE), was released April 6, 2018. Album details here!
Hoff continues his collaboration with Mike Stern in 2018 with a tour in Norway and a recording session. This will be their second recording together 10 years after Magma (2008) that received great reviews, from AAJazz and other media. Dates for Stavanger and Oslo recently announced: March 1 & March 3, 2018. Line up:
Mike Stern (guitar), Jan Gunnar Hoff (keys), Per Mathisen (bass), Audun Kleive (drums)
Jan Gunnar Hoff performs two solo concerts in September 2017 at jazz festivals in Ukraine, in Vinnitsa and Odessa. The concerts will take place in Odessa Philharmonic Hall and in the Vinnitsa festival concert space.
Jan Gunnar Hoff makes an exclusive performance of his program “Stille Lys” (Quiet Light) in Bodø´s concert house The Storm. Hoff and Bugge Wesseltoft have released their own Christmas-albums, Bugge´s “It´s snowing on my piano”, being a Norwegian bestseller. Both Bugge and Hoff have previously played the Storm in December as a traditional and meditative Christmas- concept. Hoff will perform the full program from his album “Stille Lys” at this occasion. Link to ticket sales
Mathisen & Hoff feat. Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez
October 2017 Horacio “el Negro” Hernandez will tour in the South of Norway with Per Mathisen (bass) and Jan Gunnar Hoff on keys. The trio will also record an album in Barxeta, the studio of Losen Records.
Horacio “el Negro” Hernandez is regarded as one of the best drummers in the world. His contribution to music is immense, having recorded and performed with many bands and top class artists. This 1997 Grammy award winner has performed with music greats like McCoy Tyner, Michel Camilo, Carlos Santana, Stevie Winwood and notable Latin American ensembles, the Tropi-Jazz All Stars of the late Tito Puente.
Horacio Hernandez was born in 1963 in Havana Cuba. His love for music can be attributed to the music environment he grew around. His family had a strong background of music. His grandfather was a trumpeter who played in bands like the famous Septeto National. His father and brother were also great music lovers who would spend a lot of time listening to music. Since birth, Hernandez’s nick name has been El Negro or ‘the black’, a name is commonly identified with till today.
Later on Paquito D’Rivera called on jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie to help El Negro. El Negro almost got the visa but Dizzy died as the process went on so El Negro was stuck in Italy for two and half year. However, he did not cry over spilt milk and instead chose to keep on playing in Italy, doing gigs around Rome. In 1993, he was allowed to move to New York on condition that he would comply with the travel sanctions imposed on Cuba, so he had to turn down many offers of tours to South America. This however proved to be beneficial since he had a chance to increase his studio work and got a chance to play with jazz greats like Dave Valentin, Paquo Vazquez, Daniel Ponce, Ed Simon and Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra, this time under the leadership of Paquito D’Rivera. Later when travel restrictions were removed, Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez toured freely and did great work with various bands in Cuba and U.S notable among many was work with Michel Camilo and Kip Hanrahan’s “Deep Rumba” project. He also played for the album “Supernatural”of Carlos Santana, which brought him his first Grammy Award.
The internationally reknowned mezzo soprano Marianne Beate Kielland and Jan Gunnar Hoff releases their album Terra Nova late March 2017 on the label Lawo Classics. The program consists of Hoff´s compositions for piano and vocal and classics like Blake/Perry´s Jerusalem.
Jan Gunnar Hoff launches his new jazztrio with Anders Jormin and Audun Kleive, two of Europe´s most reknown and respected jazz performers. A powerful trio setting presenting strong melodic compositions and high class interplay. Now available for booking 11-17.september 2017. Oslo Sept 16 confirmed. Download press release Jan Gunnar Hoff trio 2017.
Stories is Jan Gunnar Hoff’s third solo piano album on the 2L label and is a sequel to his critically acclaimed album Living from 2013. On the new release Hoff stretches his creative abilities, presenting contrasting compositions and improvisations, in a distinctly personal mixture. Some of the pieces are meditative and expressive, while others have a strong rhythmic vibe. Stories also displays Hoff as an arranger, presenting versions of classics like “God only knows” and the traditional Swedish folk song “Värmlandsvisan”. Stories is now available as high res sound files at 2L through this link and will find it´s way to streaming services and as CD/BluRay early December 2016.
Guitar legend Jan Akkerman and Jan Gunnar Hoff collaborates at Bodø Jazz Open 2017, presenting the project “FOCUS IN TIME”, a concert honoring the Focus heritage but also with jazz/fusion elements. In addition to Akkerman and Hoff the band consist of Marijn van den Berg, Akkermans permanent drummer and bassplayer Per Mathisen.