Welcome to the Oslo Jazz Festival’s opening concert at the Opera House on 12.08.2018: A Tribute to Joni Mitchell featuring, among others, Rohey Taalah, Susanna and Frida Ånnevik. Musical director for the evening is Anja Lauvdal, and band members are Hanna Paulsberg, Heida Mobeck, Torstein Lavik Larsen, Christian Winther, Magnus Nergaard and Hans Hulbækmo.
Joni Mitchell turns 75 in 2018 and this year it’s also 50 years since her debut album appeared. Although her career started in the acoustic folk music scene, her musical openness and curiosity led her soon into jazz territory.
“She has always displayed a close affinity with jazz, as demonstrated by her album Mingus and collaboration with musicians such as Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, Pat Metheny and Herbie Hancock. Not many recording artists have made such an impression on the public consciousness as Joni throughout her long career, and she stands out as one of our greatest songwriters. We are therefore very excited to hear what Anja Lauvdal & Co come up with as they explore her material,” says OJF director Edvard Askeland.
“…staying the same is boring. And change is interesting”, said Joni Mitchell to Rolling Stone Magazine in 1979. OJF requested an approach to Joni’s rich repertoire that’s as adventurous as possible and chose therefore Anja Lauvdal as musical director for this concert. Lauvdal is one of the most interesting young musicians and composers we have in Norway, as the festival discovered in back in 2011 when she was awarded the festival’s Young Star prize. For her band, Lauvdal has picked musicians Hanna Paulsberg (GURLS, Hanna Paulsberg Concept), Heida Mobeck (Broen, Skrap, Skadedyr etc), Torstein Lavik Larsen (Skadedyr, Operasjon Hegge), Christian Winther (Monkeyplot, Girl), Magnus Nergaard (Monkeyplot, Ich Bin Nintendo) and Hans Hulbækmo (Atomic, Broen, Skadedyr) along with singers Rohey Taalah, Susanna and Frida Ånnevik, with more names to be announced later.
“I’m really looking forward to this concert! It’s so easy to hear what Joni Mitchell loves in her music. It seems she’s always been keen on pursuing her own brand of musical adventurousness, and she constantly surprises me. She chose to explore new avenues and embrace change throughout her entire career, even though this was not always welcomed by the musical press and the public. I look upon her music as uncompromising, bold and visionary, while also directly warm and including. I recently read an interview where she said: ‘Kindness is what amazes me most these days’. This was a very fine thing to say, and it is also very appropriate for the times we live in and for Norway today. For kindness and joy in music must be the best there is,” says Lauvdal.