Håkon Kornstad

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Håkon Kornstad
Håkon Kornstad Sentralen Oslo Jazzfestival (201636).jpg
Håkon Kornstad Tenor Battle at Oslo Jazzfestival 2016
Background information
Birth name Håkon Ganes Kornstad
Born (1977-04-05) 5 April 1977 (age 40)
Oslo, Norway
Genres Jazz, opera
Occupation(s) Musician and composer
Instruments Vocals tenor, tenor saxophone, bass saxophone, flute, live looping
Labels Jazzland Recordings
Website www.kornstad.com

Håkon Ganes Kornstad (born 5 April 1977 in Oslo, Norway) is a Norwegian jazz musician (tenor saxophone, bass saxophone, flute and live looping) and classically trained singer (tenor), known from bands such as Wibutee and Kornstad Trio, and collaborations with musicians such as Ketil Bjørnstad, Anja Garbarek, Live Maria Roggen, Bugge Wesseltoft, Sidsel Endresen, Paal Nilssen-Love, Mats Eilertsen, Knut Reiersrud, Jon Christensen, Eivind Aarset, and Pat Metheny.[1]


Kornstad in 2010
Kornstad's Tenor Battle in Vangskyrkja at Vossajazz 2016.

Kornstad was educated in the Jazz Program at Trondheim Musikkonservatorium. During his studies he founded the jazz trio Triangle, together with Per Zanussi (bass) and Wetle Holte (drums). Later, Erlend Skomsvoll (piano) and Live Maria Roggen (vocals) joined the band, and this lineup evolved to become the band Wibutee (1998). He also put together the Håkon Kornstad Trio with Paal Nilssen-Love and Mats Eilertsen (1998–2003). Kornstad's collaboration with Håvard Wiik was manifested in two albums of duo recordings in 2001. He was involved with the free improvisation bands Tri-Dim and No Spaghetti Edition, and started the band Atomic in 2000. Kornstad has also been part of the bands of Bugge Wesseltoft (1999–2003), Anja Garbarek (2006–), and Sidsel Endresen (2008–).[1]

Since 2003 Kornstad has focused on his solo projects, in which he plays acoustic saxophones along with electronics in an improvised setting, usually giving solo performances. These have also featured guest appearenses from Knut Reiersrud, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Jon Christensen and beatboxer Julian Sommerfelt. In addition to saxophones and electronics, Kornstad plays something he calls the "flutonett", which is a flute coupled with a clarinet mouthpiece.[1][2]

During a stay in New York in 2009 Kornstad became interested in opera, and began taking singing lessons with teachers there. From the autumn of 2011 he has been a student at Operahøgskolen (KHiO), and debuted as a tenor singer in Den Norske Opera in February 2012 as Il Podesta in a student production of the Mozart opera La finta giardiniera. In 2011 he was nominated for the Spellemannprisen, in the category of This Year's Jazz Record, for Symphonies in My Head (Jazzland, 2011). He then presented his new project, Tenor Battle, combining opera and jazz, at the International Jazz Festival Nattjazz in Bergen. The new band could best be described as a sort of updated salon orchestra, inspired by the LP era, where jazz standards coexist with opera arias and ballads are followed by improvisations in the known Kornstad style. Kornstad is known as one of the premier Norwegian saxophonists, with a tone so hot that one can be melted freely, his voice has the same impact.[3]


  • 2002: Kongsberg Jazz Award, within the Håkon Kornstad Trio
  • 2012: Enlisted as "Talent deserving further recognition" on tenor saxophone in Down Beat's annual critics poll
  • 2014: Guinness Jazz in Europe Award[4]
  • 2015: Buddyprisen[5]



External links[edit]

Preceded by
Christian Wallumrød
Recipient of the Kongsberg Jazz Award
Succeeded by
Live Maria Roggen
Preceded by
Erlend Skomsvoll
Recipient of the Buddyprisen
Succeeded by
Live Maria Roggen