Knut Værnes

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Knut Værnes
Knut Værnes at Oslo Jazzfestival 2016
Knut Værnes at Oslo Jazzfestival 2016
Background information
Born (1954-04-01) 1 April 1954 (age 66)
Trondheim, Sør-Trøndelag
Occupation(s)Jazz musician, composer
LabelsCurling Legs
Associated actsCutting Edge
WebsiteOfficial website

Knut Værnes (born 1 April 1954) is a Norwegian jazz musician (guitar), composer and band leader, known from several recordings in the jazz rock genre. He grew up at Bøler in Oslo, where he became an accomplished guitarist.[1][2]


Værnes was born in Trondheim, Norway. He is a graduate from the University of Oslo and has attended master classes at the Manhattan School of Music, and played within pop and rock bands like «Salt & Pepper», «Shimmy», and the fusion band «Vanessa» with the record release City Lips (1975). Then musical studies in Oslo and Bergen brought him on to the Norwegian jazz scene with albums like Anatomy of the guitar (1979), in collaboration with his guitar teacher Jon Eberson, within Nils Petter Molvær's funk band «Punktum» and Håkon Graf's «Graffiti». In the 1980s, he studied with John Scofield at the Manhattan School of Music.[3]

Værnes led his own Trio and Quartet with co-musicians Morten Halle (saxophone), Edvard Askeland (bass) and Frank Jakobsen (drums). The Quartet continued as the band Cutting Edge resulting in four album releases.[1] In duo with Terje Gewelt bass was released Admission for guitars and basses (1992) with their own compositions. KVT (with Kim Ofstad drums and Frode Berg bass) released Jacques Tati (1995), and with Danny Gottlieb, drummer of Pat Metheny Group as substitute for Ofstad, «8:97» (1997) as well as Super Duper (1999). Knut Værnes Band (Morten Halle, Nils Petter Molvær, Rune Arnesen og Gewelt) released Roneo (1993). The guitar quartet composed of Knut Reiersrud, Bjørn Klakegg and Frode Alnæs released «4G» (2000).[4]

Værnes has participated on numerous recordings in different generes, including Geirr Lystrup's Songen om kjærleika (1980), Etterlatte sanger (1986)together with Sidsel Endresen and Jonas Fjeld, Jan Eggum's (E.G.G.U.M. (1995) and Stilig (1986), and Gym (1997) with Di Derre. In 2001 he was awarded Gammleng-prisen in the category jazz. His latest release is A night in the cassis (2004), where his music is arranged for the Vertavo String Quartet.[5] Værnes trio played at the Trondheim Jazz Festival 2006, and recently he has cooperated with the Swedish double bassist Lars Danielsson.[1]

Værnes is co-owner of the music companies Curling Legs (1986- ) and Musikkoperatørene, members of FONO (the association for Norwegian independent record labels), sat as chairman of the Association of Norwegian Jazz Musicians for a period, and was chairman of the Committee for Spellemannprisen. He also teaches at the Nordic Institute for Stage and Studio.[6]



Solo albums[edit]

Within Knut Værnes Band
Within Knut Værnes Trio
Including Kim Ofstad (drums) and Frode Berg (bass)
  • 1995: Jacques Tati (Curling Legs)[3]
Including Danny Gottlieb (drums) and Frode Berg (bass)
  • 1997: «8:97» (Curling Legs)[3]
  • 1999: Super Duper (Curling Legs)[3]

Collaborative works[edit]

Within Vanessa
  • 1975: City lips[3]
With Jon Eberson
  • 1979: Anatomy of the guitar[3]
Within Cutting Edge
  • 1982: Cutting Edge[3]
  • 1983: Our man in paradise[3]
  • 1986: Duesenberg[3]
Duo with Terje Gewelt
  • 1992: Admission For Guitars And Basses (Curling Legs)[3]
With other projects


  1. ^ a b c Knut Værnes Biography (in Norwegian). Store Norske Leksikon. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  2. ^ "Værnes, Knut Biography" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 2013-02-22. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Knut Værnes Diskografi". Jazzbasen Archived from the original on 2013-10-04.
  4. ^ "Knut Værnes Press Release -".
  5. ^ "Knut Værnes - Vertavo: A Night in Cassis -". Archived from the original on 2006-10-26.
  6. ^ "Fretting Amongst the Fjords -".

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Kristin Asbjørnsen
Recipient of the Jazz Gammleng-prisen
Succeeded by
Vigleik Storaas