Balke at Berchidda on Sardinia, 2006
(Photo by Gianfranco Rota)
|Birth name||Jon Georg Balke|
|Born||7 June 1955|
|Associated acts||Magnetic North Orchestra|
Balke started playing classical piano but switched to blues at 12, though he performs within several genres. At the age of 18 he joined Arild Andersen's quartet. By the mid-1980s he worked on his own and would become one of Norway's leading jazz composers. He was active in the groups of Radka Toneff and in the Afrofusion group E'olén before joining Oslo 13 and Masqualero in the early 1980s. From 1989 he focused on his own projects, such as JøKleBa (with Audun Kleive and Per Jørgensen) and the Magnetic North Orchestra for which he composed the commissioned work Il Cenoneat to Vossajazz 1992.
Balke formed the percussion group Batagraf in 2002, and created the concept work Siwan with singer Amina Alaoui in 2007. He is also the creator of a series of multimedia concerts at Vossajazz festival, labeled Ekstremjazz. The concerts involve various practitioners of extreme sports, such as parachuting, paragliding, hanggliding, and BMX biking. In 2012 he was artist in residence at Moldejazz. In 2016 he launched the solo piano concept Warp the use of live electronics accompanying the grand piano in live performances.
Awards and honors
- 1984: Buddyprisen
- 1993: Jazz Musician of the Year
- 2000: Edvard Prize in popular music – major works, for the album Solarized
- 2003: Oslo Bys kulturstipend
- 2008: Gammleng-prisen in the class jazz
- 2009* Jahrespreis der Deutschen Musikkritiker
- 2012: Artist in Residence at Moldejazz
An asterisk (*) indicates year of release.
|1994||Further||ECM||With Morten Halle (sax), Per Jørgensen (trpt), Tore Brunborg (sax) Anders Jormin (bass) Marilyn Mazur (perc) Audun Kleive (perc)|
|1997||Rotor||Curling Legs||With Morten Hannisdal (cello), Marek Konstantynowicz (viola), Henrik Hannisdal and Odd Hannisdal (violin)|
|1998*||Saturation||Jazzland/EmArcy||With Nils-Olav Johansen (guitar, vocals), Fredrik Lundin (sax, flute), Sidsel Endresen (vocals)|
|1999||Solarized||EmArcy||Magnetic North Orchestra|
|2002||Kyanos||ECM||Magnetic North Orchestra|
|2004||Diverted Travels||ECM||Magnetic North Orchestra|
|2006||Book of Velocities||ECM||Solo piano|
|2007–08||Siwan||ECM||With Amina Alaoui (vocals), Jon Hassell (trumpet, electronics), Kheir Eddine M Kachiche (violin), Helge Andreas Norbakken (percussion), Pedram Khavar Zamini (zarb), Bjarte Eike, Per Buhre, Peter Spissky, Anna Ivanovna Sundin and Miloš Valent (violin), Rastko Roknic and Joel Sundin (viola) Tom Pitt (cello), Kate Hearne (cello, recorder), Mattias Frostensson (double bass), Andreas Arend (theorboe, archlute), Hans Knut Sveen (harpsichord, clavichord)|
|2009||Say and Play||ECM||With Helge Andreas Norbakken (sabar, gorong, djembe, talking drum, shakers, percussion), Emilie Stoesen Christensen (vocals), Erland Dahlen (drums), Torgeir Rebolledo Pedersen (poetry reading)|
|2012||Magnetic Works||ECM||Magnetic North Orchestra|
|2014||Warp||ECM||Solo piano and keyboards with field recordings|
|2017||Nahnou Houm||ECM||Second album with the Siwan concept|
- 1991: On and On (Odin)
- 1993: JøKleBa! (Norsk Plateproduksjon)
- 1996: JøKleBa Live (Curling Legs)
- 2011: Nu Jøk? (EmArcy, Universal Music Norway)
- 2014: Outland (ECM)
- 2012: Magnetic Works 1993-2001 (ECM), compilation
- 2005: Statements (ECM)
- 2011: Say and Play (ECM)
- 2016: On Anodyne (Grappa)
- 2018: Delights of Decay (Jazzland)
With Radka Toneff
- 1979: It Don't Come Easy (PolyGram)
- 2008: Butterfly (Curling Legs), recorded 1976–77
- 1983: Masqualero (Odin)
- 1985: Bande a Parte (ECM)
With Oslo 13
- 1983: Anti-Therapy (Odin)
- 1987: Off Balance (Odin)
- 1992: Nonsentration (ECM)
- 1994: Oslo 13 Live (Curling Legs)
- 1975: Clouds in My Head (ECM), with Arild Andersen Quartet
- 1977: Hi-Fly (Compendium), with Karin Krog and Archie Shepp
- 1978: Høysang (NorDisc), with Lars Klevstrand and Guttorm Guttormsen Kvintett
- 1978: Club 7 jubileumsplate (Club 7), with Kråbøl and E'olén
- 1979: E'Olen (Mai), with E'Olen
- 1986: A Hip Hop (Dragon), with Göran Klinghagen
- 1991: Live at Rockefeller (Odin), with Jazzpunkensemblet
- 2002: Joko (ACT), with Miki N'Doye Orchestra feat. Paolo Vinaccia, Bugge Wesseltoft and Cissokho
- 2003: Trialogue (Imogena), with Lars Møller and Morten Lund - trio
- 2007: The Door (ECM), with Mathias Eick
- 2010: The Adventures of a Polar Expedition (Cowbell Music), with Hans Ulrik, Benjamin Koppel, Palle Danielsson and Alex Riel
- Jon Balke Biography (in Norwegian). Norsk Biografisk Leksikon. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
- "Europe Jazz Orchestra". EuropeJazz.net. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
- Kelman, John (2012-08-15). "Jon Balke: Magnetic Works 1993-2001 - Extended Analysis". AllAboutJazz.com. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- "Jon Balke Biography - Music Information Center Norway - MIC.no".
- "Jon Balke - alene med et flygel - Jazz". NRK.no (in Norwegian)
- "Jon Balke - Artist in Recidence". Moldejazz.no. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
- "Jon Balke – Magnetic Works" (in Norwegian). Jazz NRK.no.
- "Warp". ECM Records. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Nahnou Houm". ECM Records. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Jon Balke and Magnetic North Orchestra: Diverted travels - Listen to Norway MIC.no". Archived from the original on 2010-05-28. (by Tomas Lauvland Pettersen)
- "Magnetic Works 1993-2001". ECM Records. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
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