Ole Morten Vågan

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Ole Morten Vågan
Ole Morten Vågan 1.jpg
Vågan in 2010 at the Jazz Fest Brno
Background information
Born (1979-05-08) 8 May 1979 (age 36)
Brønnøysund, Norway
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Upright bass
Labels Jazzland, AIM Records, MNJ Records
Website Ole Morten Vågan on Myspace

Ole Morten Vågan (born 8 May 1979 in Brønnøysund, Norway) is a Norwegian Jazz musician (upright bass), and the older brother of guitarist Petter Vågan. He is known from several recordings and as orchestra leader, and from cooperating with some of the most influential musicians and composers internationally, among them Bugge Wesseltoft, Joshua Redman, John Scofield, Terje Rypdal, Maria Kannegaard, Iain Ballamy, Håvard Wiik, Erlend Skomsvoll, Eirik Hegdal, Nils Petter Molvær, Dhaffer Youssef, Ivo Papasov, Audun Kleive, Stian Carstensen, Ola Kvernberg, Paal Nilssen-Love, Håkon Kornstad, Tore Brunborg, Jon Christensen, Axel Dörner, Rudi Mahall, Tom Arthurs, Fredrik Ljungkvist, Christian Wallumrød, Jon Fält, Will Vinson, Jonas Kullhammar, and Arve Henriksen. He is considered one of Norway's greatest talents on double bass and is a central member of the band Motif.[1]


Vågan debuted as jazz musician in the Nord-Norsk Ungdomstorband at the end of the 1990es and had his own project Ole Morten Vågan Projekt on tour for Nordnorsk Jazzforum in 1999. This was also documented with a concert for radio on NRK P2, Jazzklubben, hosted by Erling Wicklund recorded at Nordland Musikkfestuke.

He was a graduate of the Jazz program at Trondheim Musikkonservatorium (1998–2002).[2] In 1999 he formed the quintet Motif, together with some fellow students, Atle Nymo (tenor saxophone), Mathias Eick (trumpet), David Thor Jonsson (piano) and Håkon Mjåset Johansen (drums), where he composes the main part of the repertoire himself. In 2000 Vågan lead the band Motif at Moldejazz and was awarded «NOPA's Composer Prize» the same year, as well as «Young Nordic Jazzcomets» the year after, at Copenhagen Jazz Festival.[1]

As both a bassist and composer, he has worked at the intersection of improvised and notated music, and in 2011 published his seventh disc with the aforementioned MOTIF, to critical acclaim in, among other New York Times (US) og JazzWise (UK). In 2009 he wrote an hour's music to a tentett, which besides Motif's permanent members, included Mathias Eick, Mattias Ståhl, Ola Kvernberg, Håkon Kornstad, and Petter Vågan. Vågan mottok DnB NOR prisen på Kongsberg Jazzfestival i 2009,[3] and came back the following year with new music, this time for a band consisting of influential musicians from the European improvisational scenes: Axel Dörner and Rudi Mahall (DE), as well as Fredrik Ljungkvist and Jon Fält (SE).[1]

He has also composed for Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (in cooperation with the Eirik Hegdal), and wrote 25 minutes of music for the Trondheim Soloists and bassist Knut Erik Sundquist, which was performed to great reviews at the Music Festival in Bodø. He has recorded a forty albums with various orchestras and participated in a number of pop-productions.

Vågan's latest projects include the band Juxtaposed, which was formed in 2007 and consists of Atle Nymo (saxophone), Peter Vågan (guitar), and Erik Nylander (drums), documented on the album Tsar Bomba (2010). He is also a member of keyboardist Bugge Wesseltoft project New Conceptions of Jazz.



With Motif
  • Motif (AIM Records, 2004)
  • Expansion (AIM Records, 2005)
  • Apo Calypso (Jazzland Records, 2008)
  • Art Transplant (Clean Feed, 2011), with Axel Dörner
With Tore Johansen
  • Happy days (2001)
  • Windows (2002)
  • Like That (2005)
  • Rainbow session (2007)
With Maria Kannegaard Trio
With Trondheim Jazz Orchestra feat. Eirik Hegdal
  • We Are? (Jazzaway, 2005)
  • Wood And Water (MNJ Records, 2008)
  • What if? (MNJ Records, 2009)
With Klaus Ellerhusen Holm
  • Two way Street (2004)
  • What was that you said? (2006)
With Jonas Kullhammar
  • Andratx (2005)
  • Andratx Live (2009)
With Juxtaposed
  • Tsar Bomba (2010)
With others


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Helge Lien
Recipient of the Kongsberg Jazz Award
Succeeded by
Maria Kannegaard