Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity


Biography Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity



Gard Nilssen
is a drummer, composer, producer and bandleader from Norway that lives in Oslo. He is one of the most sought after and active drummers on the european jazz scene these days, traveling 200 days a year all around the world with his own bands like Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity, Bushman´s Revenge, sPacemonKey, Amgala Temple, Ruby and Gard Nilssen Supersonic Orchestra.

Born and raised in a musical family consisting of nothing but drummers, there were no big surprise that the instrument of choice became the drums. Gard has his background from marching bands and big bands in his hometown Skien. He studied drums with his all time hero Audun Kleive before he moved to Trondheim where he got his master degree in jazz at the NTNU University of Jazz Music (2003-2009).

His drumming is described as; Energetic, creative, musical, groovy, fearless and dynamic with a technical surplus, and besides having recorded 70 records, he has played and toured with musicians and artists like:

Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny, Thomasz Stanko, Joshua Redman, Ambrose Akinmusire, Susanne Sundfør, Chris Potter, Django Bates, Bugge Wesseltoft, Axel Dörner, Jon Balke, Arild Andersen, Audun Kleive, Fredrik Ljungkvist, Morten Qvenild, Ola Kvernberg, Stian Carstensen, Håkon Kornstad, Ståle Storløkken, Stian Westerhus, Øystein Moen, Jørgen Mathisen, Even Hermansen, Rune Nergaard, Kristoffer Alberts, Johan Lindstrøm, André Roligheten, Thomas Morgan, Mike Stern, Andy Sheppard, Eirik Hegdal, Ole Morten Vågan, Petter Eldh, Goran Kajfes, Per "Texas" Johansson, Maciej Obara, Hanna Paulsberg, Anja Lauvdal, Kjetil Møster, Mats Eilertsen, Lars Horntveth, Ola Høyer, Gunhild Kristoffersen, Megan Kovacs, Thomas Johansson, Kit Downes, Lage Lund, Dominik Wania, Mathias Eick, Lasse Marhaug, Erlend Slettevoll, Oscar Grönberg, Ellen Andrea Wang, Sivert Høyem, Billie Van, Hilde Marie Kjersem, Ingebjørg Bratland, Thea Hjelmeland, Thomas Dybdahl, Nicolai Eilertsen, Jonas Alaska, Rolf Erik Nystrøm, Miko Innanen, Jonas Kullhammar, Amund Maarud, David Wallumrød, Morten Myklebust, Jens Carelius, Jamie Saft and Ingebrigt Flaten among others.

He is also a member of Susanne Sundfør band, Maciej Obara 4tet, Cortex, Team Hegdal, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and Thomas Dybdahl band.

In 2019 he was the "Artist In Residence" at the Molde International Jazz Festival.

In addition to that, he loves music in general and doesn´t care about genre at all. He´s a vintage drum freak to the bone and a vinyl collector that has his own record label called Gigafon.

André Roligheten
was born in Skien, Norway in 1985. He started playing the saxophone at the age of 8 and early on became interested in improvised music. Roligheten has studied to Bachelor at the Jazz Academy at NTNU in Trondheim, with teachers and mentors like John Pål Inderberg and Erling Aksdal. Now he recently finished his Masters degree in improvised music at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.

One of Rolighetens main projects is the duo ”Albatrosh”. After winning the prestigious Norwegian “JazzIntro” award in 2008, “Young Jazz Musicians of the year”, Albatrosh has had busy years. In 2009 they released their critically acclaimed debut album, “Seagull Island” (InnerEar), as the cohesive press celebrated with solid rolls of the dice, and by the big Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet described as “perhaps the most exciting release in Norwegian elite jazz in many years”. And John Kelman from All about jazz: “Roligheten and Dale manage to say much without ever resorting to excess. A fine debut from a duo with a bright future, Seagull Island doesn’t just suggest great promise; it delivers on it as well.” In 2010 they released their second album “Mystery Orchestra with Grenager & Tafjord”, featuring cellist Lene Grenager and horn player Hild Sofie Tafjord. This album received great reviews as well, and the Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen ranked it to be the best Norwegian jazz record of 2010. At North Sea jazz 2009 they took part in the European Jazz Competition, and won the prestigious 1st prize “Best Band”. Jury chairman, Maria Schneider said: “Most original, great interplay and amazing improvisation, effective and colorful compositions paired to amazing improvisation.” This meant radio play across Europe as well as a dedicated concert at North Sea Jazz 2010.

During “Young Nordic Jazz Comets 2008”, the jury awarded Roligheten with the Soloist Prize “because of his virtuous technique and his dynamic play. Especially his technique combined with the ability to improvise in very tight arrangements made the choice. He is disciplined – in control – and plays with an impressive rhythmic and melodic combination. He is a young talent!”In 2009 André went on a Europe tour with European Jazz Orchestra conducted by Peter Herbolzheimer, where he played with some great fellow musicians from 20 countries all over Europe. Some of Rolighetens other current projects are “Team Hegdal”, fellow saxophonist Eirik Hegdals new quartet (Hegdal, known from a.o. Trondheim Jazz Orchestra with Joshua Redman). Terje Mosnes wrote in the Norwegian Newspaper Dagbladet about the first record: “..sparkling solos and swinging hard drive, and two saxophonists that ardent each other to the most “harmolodical” deeds I can ever recall hearing from Norwegian musicians.”The record (“Volume 1″) was also awarded this year’s record of 2010 by the Norwegian magazine Jazznytt.

André is also playing with Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (TJO). At Molde Jazzfestival 2010, he played with TJO ́s project with Ståle Storløkken (Super Silent) and the legendary Norwegian rock group Motorpsycho.

Roligheten has also played and worked with musicians like: Andrew D ́angelo, Theo Bleckman, Django Bates, John Edwards, Paul Lovens, Axel Dörner, Robin Hayward, Raymond Strid, Bugge Wesseltoft, Mathias Eick, Ola Kvernberg, Paal Nilssen-Love, Per Zanussi.

André have played on festivals like Molde Jazzfestival, Kongsberg Jazzfestival, Oslo Jazzfestival, Norh Sea Jazz, Münster Jazz, Süd Tyrol Jazz, 12 Points, Dølajazz, Nattjazz, Jazzfest, Maijazz, Soddjazz, Vossajazz. And done several tours in Scandinavia, Germany, Poland, Czech, Slovenia, France, Italy, China and USA.

Petter Eldh
was obsessed with Jazz, Classical, Soul, Reggae, Swedish folk music, Middle-Eastern and Hip Hop at an early age and collected vinyl since the age of 7. He initially played the guitar before switching to what became his primary instrument, the double bass. Early influences such as Charles Mingus, Anders Jormin, Charlie Haden, Charlie Parker, A Tribe Called Quest, Monica Zetterlund, Samla Mammas Manna, Aretha Franklin and Earth Wind & Fire have guided his diverse output as a musician.

Long-standing collaborations include the following erratic and progressive forces: Django Bates Beloved (ECM records), Enemy (Kit Downes/James Maddren), Jameszoo, Otis Sandsjö (Y-Otis), Lucia Cadotsch Speak Low, Hayden Chisholm, Gard Nilssen, Peter Bruun, Christian Lillinger, Benoit Delbecq, Jonas Kullhammar and Kaja Draksler. As a producer he has remixed work by Jaga Jazzist - The Shrine (Brainfeeder), Jameszoo – Flake (Brainfeeder), DLW - Repurposing DLW (Plaist), Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra – Vula (Afterhours), Speak Low (Enja) and releases his own music on his own imprint Galatea Records and the Finnish label WeJazz Records where he’s releasing albums with his band KOMA SAXO & Y-Otis.

His latest album is called Projekt Drums vol.1 and was released by Edition Record in September 2021. It features drummers like Eric Harland, Savannah Harris, Richard Spaven among others.

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