Nils-Olav Johansen

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Nils-Olav Johansen
Johansen in 2012.
Johansen in 2012.
Background information
Born (1966-04-12) 12 April 1966 (age 54)
Bjugn, Sør-Trøndelag
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
LabelsJazzaway Records
WebsiteNils-Olav Johansen on Myspace

Nils-Olav Johansen (born 12 April 1966 in Bjugn, Norway) is a major Norwegian entertainer and jazz musician (guitar and vocals), known from several recordings and as orchestra leader. He is with Jarle Vespestad (drums) and Stian Carstensen (many instruments), central members of the Balkan-jazz orchestra Farmers Market.[1]

Johansen is from Sør-Trøndelag, where he eventually moved to Heimdal. His father was a sailor, and he had an early contact with Hawaiian music. This influence, from the floating string sound, has followed him throughout his musical career.[2]


He was a graduate of jazz studies at Trøndelag Conservatory of Music 1986–88. In Trondheim, he joined several groups that arose out of student life at NTNU, such as Close Enough (1987–88) and the Pentateuch (from 1989, later called Blix Band). Since 1992, he has been a regular member of three major orchestras: Farmers Market, Frode Fjellheims Jazz Joik Ensemble and "Storytellers",[1] and has also had guest appearances with numerous other bands, such as "Veslefrekk", "Embla", Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and with Ståle Storløkken. Since 1991 he has contributed to dozens of recordings, with among others Farmers Market, Blix Band, "TINGeLING" (Tinkerbell), "Dingobats", Transjoik (here also as a composer and producer), "Køhn/Johansen Sextet", Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, "The Core".[1]

He has led his own trio with Harald Johnsen (bass) and Sverre Gjørvad (percussion). Johansen has been a guest professor at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, at the request of Django Bates. His distinctive vocals and guitar playing, ever with elements from the Finnish and Eastern European folk music, make Johansen an easily recognizable artist.[3]

Johansen has been, along with Stian Carstensen, one of the profiles in the band Farmers Market. It impresses him with virtuosity and humor.[1] He made notable by its collaboration with Sigurd Køhn in Køhn/Johansen Sextet,[4] a collaboration that ended in 2004, when the tsunami struck Thailand, where Køhn was on vacation. In 2005, he became a permanent member of the Anglo-Norwegian band Food.[1]

In spring 2012, Johansen vent to India and the Jazz Utsav-festival with his own quartet put together for the occasion. It is a band consisting of the drummer Thomas Strønen, bassist Ole Morten Vågan and saxophonist Knut Riisnæs in addition to Johansen.[5]


Solo albums[edit]

  • My Deal (2007, Jazzaway), with: Andreas Bye, Mats Eilertsen and Reidar Skår)[6]

Collaborative works[edit]

With Køhn/Johansen Sextet
With Farmers Market (Stian Carstensen, Trifon Trifonov, Finn Guttormsen & Jarle Vespestad)
With Frode Fjellheims Jazz Joik Ensemble
  • 1994: Saajve dans

Under the name Transjoik

  • 2004: Uja nami
  • 2005: Bewafá
With Storytellers
With Blix Band
  • 1989: Big Bambus (1989/2001)
  • 1996: På en lyserød sky
  • 1997: Pinseria (1997/2010)
  • 1998: Texas
With Håvard Lund
  • 1995: Letters
With Niels Præstholm & Embla Nordic Project in København
  • 1997: Imagic
With Eldbjørg Raknes' TINGeLING
  • 1997: TINGeLING
  • 2002: So much depends upon a red wheel barrow, commissioned to Vossajazz (Platearbeiderne)
  • 2006: I live suddenly (My Recordings)
With Jon Balke
  • 1998: Saturation
With Solveig Slettahjell
  • 2001: Slow motion orchestra
With Christina Bjordal
  • 2003: Where dreams begin
  • 2009: Warrior of light
Within Børre Dalhaug's "Bigbandblast"
With Eirik Hegdal
  • 2004: Within Trondheim Jazz Orchestra
With The Core
  • 2005: The Core
With Trondheim Jazz Orchestra
  • 2008: Wood and water
  • 2009: What if[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Johansen, Nils-Olav – Biography," (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 12 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Nils-Olav Johansen – Farmers Market Website".
  3. ^ "Nils-Olav Johansen – Rikskonsertene, Den kulturelle skolesekken" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 7 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Køhn/Johansen Sextet – Review Dagbladet" (in Norwegian).
  5. ^ "Nils-Olav Johansen Quartet Ready for India – News" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2012. Rikskonsertene
  6. ^ "Nils-Olav Johansen – My Deal" (in Norwegian).
  7. ^ "Køhn/Johansen – Angels".
  8. ^ "Farmers Market – Speed/Balkan/Boogie".
  9. ^ "Farmers Market – Musikk Fra Hybridene".
  10. ^ "Farmers Market".
  11. ^ "Farmers Market – Surfin' USSR – Review". Archived from the original on 28 March 2008. (in Norwegian)
  12. ^ "Farmers Market – Surfin' USSR – Review" (in Norwegian).
  13. ^ "Farmers Market – Slav to the Rhythm – Review" (in Norwegian).
  14. ^ Gorseth, Olav (22 September 2004). "Dødelig presist – Storbandplate produsert lag på lag" (in Norwegian). Bergens Tidende. Retrieved 6 December 2012.

External links[edit]