Jon Larsen

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Jon Larsen
Jon Larsen.jpg
Jon Larsen, 2008
Background information
Born (1959-01-07) 7 January 1959 (age 60)
Bærum, Norway
GenresJazz, gypsy jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, painter, scientific researcher
Years active1976–present
LabelsHot Club
Associated actsHot Club de Norvège

Jon Larsen (born 7 January 1959) is a gypsy jazz guitarist, record producer, painter, and amateur scientific researcher. He is the founder of the group Hot Club de Norvège.[1] In 2007 he received the Buddy Award for his lifelong contribution to jazz.[2]


When he was in his early teens, he learned rock and soul songs on an acoustic steel-string guitar. Through friends, he learned about blues, jazz, flamenco, and classical guitar. After he heard "Tears" by Django Reinhardt on the radio, he decided that this is how he wanted his guitar to sound. At seventeen he formed a string trio and had his first professional job.[3]

In the 1970s, Larsen worked mainly as a painter.[4] He started the Hot Club de Norvege in 1980 with guitarists Per Frydenlund and bassist Svein Aarbostad. They had a hit record when they performed with pop singer Lillebjørn Nilsen. Larsen started the label Zonic Entertainment to record musicians who have been influenced by Frank Zappa.[3] He has worked with Chet Baker, Philip Catherine, Stéphane Grappelli, Warne Marsh, Biréli Lagrène, Babik Reinhardt and Jimmy Rosenberg.[3] He has produced more than 450 jazz records for the label he founded, Hot Club Records.[2]

He has led a group of musicians who played with Zappa, including Arthur Barrow, Jimmy Carl Black, Bruce Fowler, Bunk Gardner, Tommy Mars, and Don Preston.[5] They recorded the album Strange News from Mars.[4]

Symphonic Django was released in 2008 by Storm Films, which also produced a documentary about Larsen and guitar virtuoso Jimmy Rosenberg titled Jon & Jimmy. In 2012, the documentary won the Dutch Edison Award.[2]

After eight years of research, his book on cosmic dust in urban environments – In Search of Stardust: Amazing Micro-Meteorites and Their Terrestrial Imposters – was published in 2017.[1]


Solo works[edit]

Within Hot Club de Norvège[edit]

  • String Swing – 1981
  • Old, New, Borrowed & Blue – 1982
  • Gloomy – 1984
  • Swing de Paris – 1986
  • La Roue Fleurie (with Angelo Debarre) – 1992
  • Swinging with Jimmy (with Jimmy Rosenberg) – 1994
  • Portrait of Django – 1995
  • Vertavo (with Vertavo String Quartet) – 1995
  • Hot Shots (with Babik Reinhardt) – 1997
  • Moreno (with Moreno and Angelo Debarre) – 1998
  • Presenting Ola & Jimmy (with Ola Kvernberg and Jimmy Rosenberg) – 2000
  • Angelo Is Back in Town (with Angelo Debarre) – 2001
  • White Night Stories (with Tromso Symphony Orchestra) – 2002
  • White Night Stories Live – 2002
  • Django's Tiger (with Jimmy Rosenberg and Andreas Öberg) – 2003
  • A Stranger in Town (with Bjørn Vidar Solli) – 2004
  • Hot Cats (with Camellia String Quartet) – 2005
  • Django Music – 2008
  • Caution HOT! – 2013


  • Maler I Solnedgang (Painter in the Sunset) – 2009
  • Norske Meteoritter – 2014
  • Zappa I Norge – 2015
  • In Search of Stardust – 2016
  • Robert Normann - Tusenkunstneren fra Sundløkka – 2016


  • Symphonic Django – Storm Studio – 2007
  • Jon & Jimmy – Storm Studio – 2010, Winner of the Dutch Edison Award 2010


  1. ^ a b Broad, William J. (10 March 2017). "Flecks of Extraterrestrial Dust, All Over the Roof". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Lauvland Pettersen, Tomas (13 December 2005). "Jon Larsen Biography". Norsk Biografisk Leksikon. Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Yanow, Scott (2013). The Great Jazz Guitarists. San Francisco: Backbeat. p. 117. ISBN 978-1-61713-023-6.
  4. ^ a b Meredith, Bill (1 April 2008). "Jon Larsen: Strange News from Mars". JazzTimes.
  5. ^ "Jon Larsen on 28-October-2007 recalls working with Jimmy Carl Black just before his death". Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Jon Larsen Review". Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  7. ^ Westengen, Rune (25 January 2010). "Jon Larsen: A Portrait of Jon Larsen (Hot Club Records) Review" (in Norwegian). Romerikes Blad. Retrieved 2 December 2012.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Paal Nilssen-Love
Recipient of the Buddyprisen
Succeeded by
Frode Gjerstad