Aarhus Jazz Orchestra - Songs to the Green Land

Winter Jazz (3:3)

Friday 22 February 2019 at 20:00 Dronningesalen / The Queen's Hall

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Songs to the Green Land is a new work based on personal Greenlandic stories for choir and jazz orchestra composed by Helge Norbakken (NO) and Jakob Buchanan (DK). A musical portrayal of the longing, the despair and the dreams of Greenlandic people. 

The work is inspired by a series of personal conversations with Greenlanders in Denmark and Greenland about themes such as childhood, nature, family, and friends. The conversations recorded by the two composers were explored further into aesthetic detail in order to bring to life the uniqueness of the Greenlandic language. Together with recordings of rhymes, chants, and magic songs that the Greenlandic writer and visual artist Jens Rosing recorded in East Greenland in the 60's, as well as sound recordings from the Danish Folklore Archives, the rhythm of the language has become rhythmic structures in the music and statements from the conversations have become the text of the work. It is a magnificent, poetic, and very exciting work that combines Norbakken's and Buchanan's Nordic lyrical tone with elements of Greenlandic drumming and choral music as well as more open musical movements. Atmospheric visuals support the ambience of the work. The concert offers a fantastic line-up, where the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra and the two composers are accompanied by the Greenlandic choirs, Aavaat and Anningaaq, and two guest soloists Jonas Westergaard (bass) and Simon Toldam (keyboards).

Jakob Buchanan, in the most recent years, has been internationally noted with several major works for choir and orchestra, including his Requiem, which won two Danish Music Awards (Jazz Release of the Year and Jazz Composer of the Year) as well as the acclaimed music he wrote for choir and orchestra for the opening of Aarhus Capital of Culture 2017. In addition, he is an active trumpet player on the international jazz scene, playing with Jakob Bro, Marilyn Mazur and Chris Speed.

Helge Norbakken has worked with Aarhus Jazz Orchestra on several occasions - including last year in connection with Jakob Buchanan's project On Rosenhill. He is one of the absolute elites in the Scandinavian jazz scene and contributes to over 80 releases, several on the German label ECM with Jon Balke, Norma Winston, Mathias Eick, and many others.

Aarhus Jazz Orchestra is a professional Danish big band and the only rhythmic basis ensemble in Denmark. The orchestra has played with a large number of international soloists such as Kurt Elling, Peter Erskine, Jon Balke, Melody Gardot, Geir Lysne, David Liebman, John Scofield, David Sanborn, Jamie Cullum, Dee Dee Bridgewater, etc. The orchestra plays more than 80 concerts annually at home as well as abroad, and it has a very broad range in its concert portfolio. On many occasions, the band has received immense recognition with several DMA prizes and nominations in addition to outstanding publicity in both Danish and foreign media.

Aarhus Jazz Orchestra feat.:
Choirs: Aavaat and Anningaaq
Jakob Buchanan
Simon Toldam
Jonas Westergaard
Helge Norbakken
Conductor: Carsten Seyer-Hansen