Jon Balke

Ensemble master, composer and pianist Jon Balke has taken on the task of artistic director for the very first edition of the Vestnorsk Jazz Center's new regional orchestra project, Vestnorsk Jazzensemble, which, in addition to Balke, brings together 13 great musicians from the entire region in a joint musical performance.

The repertoire is chosen from Balke's extensive composition portfolio, and will consist of highlights from the band projects Magnetic North, Oslo 13 and Batagraf.

Jon Balke (born 1955 in Norway), pianist, keyboardist, composer, arranger, percussionist, has been professionally active since 1974, when he joined Arild Andersen's group in the studio for ECM. Since then, his musical life has moved through several stages:

Leader of several groups in Scandinavia, among others:

E´OLEN (1978-1988)
OSLO 13 (1980-1993)
MAGNETIC NORTH chamber ensemble
BATAGRAF percussion ensemble

Comprehensive composition activities for a large selection of ensembles and projects such as ballet, theatre, symphony orchestras, singers and jazz ensembles.

Balke has collaborated with visual artists such as Kjell Bjorgeengen, Tone Myskja, Francesco Scavetta, Giorgio Rossi etc.


No upcoming concerts at the moment.
Previous concerts


Bjorn Tomren


Has taken the step from the west country's best yodelers to all of Norway's Polka-Bjørn in Stjernekamp. Otherwise deals with his solo project, shows collaboration with Ole Paus or in duo with Heine Bugge, plus most other genres, from Americana to throat and singing season.

Gro Austgulen


Stavanger's nyMusikk manager, and cross-genre violinist with a master's degree from NTNU. Equally at home in the Kitchen Orchestra and with Gunhild Seim as in the improv landscape with Vidar Schanche. Also seen constantly in full symphonic unfolding with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra.

Christine Oseland


Participant in the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra's talent program and landed a permanent place in the orchestra as a 24-year-old in sharp competition with musicians from all over the world. Just as steady and virtuosic in small ensembles as in a full orchestra.

Einar Halle


Versatile cellist with a background from the University of Stavanger, and just about every symphony orchestra in Norway, as well as some in Sweden. Cello Sound Ensemble with Frida Ånnevik, CD recording with Gunnar Halle.

Elisabeth Lid Trøen

Saxophones, flute

Elisabeth Lid Trøen played with the legendary Andy Sheppard for the first time in Voss in 2010. He was so impressed that he immediately invited her to join his ensemble. Since then, she has collaborated with, among others, Joshua Redman, Steinar Raknes and Tord Gustavsen. Vossa Jazz award winner, currently recording with BounceAlarm, and a great established talent.

Tor Yttredal


Stavanger musician Tor Yttredal is a key supplier in Norway's music scene. As a jazz professor at UIS, he has mostly been busy getting others to sound better, but he occasionally gets the chance to show off the colossal saxophonist he is. Has recorded recordings with Elin Rosseland in charge, as well as close collaboration with Ståle Storløkken, Ole Morten Vågan and Audun Kleive.

Michael Barnes


Håvard Funderud


Studied jazz at the Grieg Academy in Bergen. Played and plays in many bands  from Michael Barnes Octet to Karoline Wallace and Erlend Skomsvoll.

Simen Kiil Halvorsen


Hyperactive musician and jazz teacher at the University of Stavanger. In addition to his own music, he has collaborated with Chris Potter, Per Zanussi, Svein Olav Herstad, Arkady Ahikloper, Lars Vaular and Alexander Hoholm, to name but a few.

Ivar Kolve

Vibraphone, marimba, percussion

Masterful, melodic percussionist with a large own production both with his own jazz trio and the folk music group Spindel. Permanent place in the Bergen Big Band, recording with everything from Karin Park to Karin Krogh. Vossajazz prize winner, recipient of the Bergen municipality's cultural prize and the Government's work grant.

Magne Thormodsæter


Known from Bergen Big Band, where he is musical director, as well as hundreds of small and large projects. Background from the jazz programme in Trondheim. Currently an associate professor at the Grieg Academy. Permanent member of Erik Halvorsen trio, Svein Olav Herstad trio, Frøydis Grorud quartet and Eivind Austad trio.

Øyvind Skarbø


Øyvind has been a key figure on the music scene in Western Norway for many years. Equally at home in improvisation as in James Brown grooves. A million irons in the fire: Skarbø Skulekorps, Crab is Crap, Bly de Blyant, BMX, 1982 and Håkon Kornstad, to name but a few.

John Derek Bishop

Electronics/live sampling

Nominated for a Spellemann award for his collaboration with Eivind Aarset, best known by the pseudonym Tortusa. Releases records on Jazzland Recordings, creates film scores and composes music for dance and performing arts.