Pro
jects

Initiated by impresario par excellence Rolf Bugge in year 2000, American guitar player Doug Raney was invited to join Ola and bass player Steinar Raknes to form a jazz trio. The group made the basis for Ola's first takes on composing, displayed on the album "Cats & Doug" (Hot Club Records, 2002).After a few  experimental months as a quartet with standard rythm section, the trio found its current form in 2004 with drummer Håkon Mjåset Johansen and bass player Raknes. Erik Nylander took the drummers seat in 2005, completing the lineup to present date.

Cats & Doug availability:
iTunes | Spotify | WiMP

 

The same year, Bugge Wesseltoft approached the trio after a concert, inviting them to make their album debut at his label Jazzland Recordings. This resulted in the critically acclaimed "Night Driver" released in 2006, produced by Bugge Wesseltoft himself. Quoting norwegian critic Terje Mosnes of Dagbladet: "Ola Kvernberg delivers 45 minutes of «violin jazz» different from anything heard to the world."

Night Driver availibility:
iTunes | Spotify | WiMP

 

 
 
The group released its second album entitled "Folk" in 2009, solely consisting of Kvernberg's compositions. John Kelman, senior editor of AllAboutJazz stated "..the violin has enough ability to do more than merely suggest harmony to create a full-sounding trio," adding "the trio is fully formed even when pared down to its basic components." Kelman concludes his review saying "Folk positions the Ola Kvernberg Trio as a group to watch, with a fertile blend of spare economy and teeming fire."
 
Folk availability:
 
 
 

On Nov 5, Ola Kvernberg returns to Jazzland with his keystone ensemble, the Ola Kvernberg Trio. Northern Tapes, recorded in 2011 (during two studio sessions at the Ocean Sound Studios on the northwest coast of Norway), perhaps offers the most distinctive glimpse into the musical identity of one of Europe's most innovative and quietly ambitious musicians. 

On the new album, Ola's folk music heritage is even more apparent, while the underlying and entrancing impulses from bluegrass makes for a diverse yet unified repertoire. When adding the increasingly familiar classical romanticism known to listeners of Kvernberg's music, the result is an intimate and particularly playful album, both intimate and expansive. Northern Tapes is the Trio in the dim autumn woods, unambiguously and intimately present for the listener.

The trio invited drummer Børge Fjordheim, whose career spans an impressive variety of genres and projects including Cloroform, Wunderkammer, Morten Abel and Sivert Høyem, to complete a lineup of violin, bass and two drumsets on the majority of tracks. While adding Fjordheim to the line-up technically makes for a quartet, Kvernberg still insists, "it feels like a trio - besides, we just don't like the word 'quartet' - it has a traditional ring to it." Certainly, this is not a traditional line-up, nor is it traditional music. The seemingly telepathic interplay between drummers Nylander and Fjordheim, supported by the solid but playful bass of Steinar Raknes, generates an optimal platform for the distinctly lyrical and folky sound of Ola's violin. Northern Tapes is produced by Ola Kvernberg and Erik Nylander.

Ola Kvernberg has received no less than three awards since his latest release. "Liarbird" (2011) was unanimously celebrated among critics both in Norway and abroad, and went on to win the Norwegian Grammy (Spellemannsprisen) for Best Jazz Album in 2012. During the Kongsberg Jazz Festival later that year, he received the country's biggest prize; The Kongsberg DNB Musicians Award, receiving 300.000NOK. In 2013, he went on to win the Best Movie Music category at the Amanda Awards (Norwegian Oscars equivalent) for his musical score for the movie "Chasing the Wind".

Northern Tapes availability:
iTunes | Wimp | Spotify | Jazzland Recordings