One of Norway’s foremost blues guitarists, Knut Reiersrud, will be playing in Mumbai October 1st and in Dehli on the 3rd of October. He will be playing with the well renowned Indian blues band Soulmate. He will then travel on to Nepal on October 5th.
Benea Reach (nominated to the Norwegian Spellemann award 2008) will play at The Great Indian Rock festival 23rd - 26th of October (Pune, Delhi, Bangalore). The band will then travel to Thom ´09 Cultural Festival of IIT Roorkee, where they will perform on October 31st. Several Norwegian scouts will attend The Great Indian Rock festival to see if they can spot Indian bands that they will want to invite to Norway in the future.
From November 20th, Nils Olav Johansen Quartet will perform at the Jazz Utsav festival. Dates and venues for their performance have yet to be announced. An update will be given as soon as possible. The quartet will also play school concerts in India, as well as conducting one or two workshops with local musicians.
Concerts Norway has since 2002 had a musical collaboration with India. The collaboration, financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been renewed and expanded several times. Last year an extensive framework agreement set until 2012 was set in place. The music collaboration is also part of the Norwegian government’s new strategy for India presented on August 28th.
New club collaboration
The main pillars of the collaboration have until now consisted of school concerts, jazz and rock. But since 2009 Indian and Norwegian clubs have also entered the scene. Bugge Wesseltoft (Jazzland) has played a central role as a link between Oslo club BLÅ and the venue Blue Frog in Mumbai. Blue Frog features on the Independent’s top 10 list of the hippest clubs in the world.
The collaboration between the two clubs started in March when the Norwegian band Something Sally played at Blue Frog in Mumbai. In October guitarist Knut Reiersrud will travel to Mumbai and Delhi to perform with Soulmate, one of India’s best known blues rock bands. In November the edgy Mumbai / New York based duo Shaa´ir & Func will perform at Oslo World Music Festival and BLÅ. The group will also perform in several other Norwegian cities. In December the Norwegian band The Indian Core will travel to New Delhi, Mumbai, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The plans for 2010 are almost set, involving a visit to Norway from the Indian hardcore band Scribe.
Extended collaboration with schools and universities
School concerts both in India and Norway have been an important part of the collaboration. Since the programme started, more than 100.000 Norwegian children have heard Indian music in gymnasiums and classrooms. By Rogaland county joining the collaboration in 2009, Concerts Norway is very glad to have another Norwegian partner on board that can contribute to improve the reach of activities in the school and university sector. In addition to Rogaland county, the communes Sauda, Hjelmeland and Suldal also participate. The University of Stavanger, department of music and dance, is another participant.
Several Indian musicians will perform in Norwegian school gymnasiums in Rogaland and Finnmark in September. Later in the fall three of Concert Norway’s INTRO Classic musicians, violinist Anders Kjellberg Nilsson, flutist Caroline Eidsten Dahl and cellist Fredrik Sjölin, will tour schools in India.
Jazz and rock
Norwegian jazz musicians have for years performed at the Jazz Utsav festival. The festival takes place in several Indian cities the last weekend in November. This summer representatives from Jazz Utsav performed at Kongsberg and Oslo jazz festivals to make connections and strengthen the ties with the Norwegian jazz scene. This year’s Norwegian participant at Jazz Utsav in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore is the quartet Knut Riisnæs (saxophone) Nils Olav Johansen (guitar), Ole Morten Vågan (bass) and Thomas Strønen (drums). The quartet will in addition to the festival also perform at schools and do workshops.