Tord Gustavsen

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Tord Gustavsen (born 5 October 1970) is a jazz pianist and composer. He tours extensively world-wide, and he has been a bandleader for a trio, ensemble and quartet at various times, all bearing his name.

Early life[edit]

Gustavsen was born in Oslo and raised in rural Hurdal, Akershus.[1]


Gustavsen holds a Bachelor's degree (mellomfag) in psychology at the University of Oslo, before he attended the Trondheim Musikkonsevatorium[2] for a three years study of jazz (1993–96). Thereafter he became a graduate (Cand.philol.) of musicology at the University of Oslo, where he was guest teacher of jazz piano and theory (1998-2002).[3]


Tord Gustavsen Trio
Tord Gustavsen Trio

The Tord Gustavsen Trio was made up of Gustavsen on piano, Harald Johnsen on double bass and Jarle Vespestad on drums. They released three studio albums on ECM Records. The trio won the Nattjazz prize in 2005.

Tord Gustavsen Ensemble

He followed them with an ensemble starting 2008. It was formed during Vossajazz that year and was composed of Gustavsen, Tore Brunborg (saxophone), Mats Eilertsen (bass) and Jarle Vespestad (drums). It released one studio album, Restored, Returned, which was awarded with Spellemannsprisen (the Norwegian Grammy).[4][5]

Tord Gustavsen Quartet

Gustavsen formed a new quartet with Tore Brunborg on saxophone, Mats Eilertsen on double bass, and Jarle Vespestad on drums. The album The Well was released in 2012.[4][6][7] followed by a new album in 2014.

Other collaborations and interests

In addition, he has recorded as a session musician, and guested on friends' albums. Collaborative projects have included Norwegian jazz vocalist and songwriter Silje Nergaard, musician Carl Petter Opsahl, singers Kristin Asbjørnsen and Solveig Slettahjell, actress Cecilie Jørstad and drummer Rune Arnesen, duo aire & angels and jazz vocalist Siri Gjære. He also took part in Nymark Collective established by Kåre Nymark.

Gustavsen continues to be highly interested in psychology and has written a lengthy thesis on the paradoxes of improvisation drawing on the dialectical psychological theory of Helm Stierlin and Anne-Lise Løvlie Schibbye.[8]




Year Formation
Album Peak positions
2003 Tord Gustavsen Trio Changing Places 32  –  –
2005 The Ground 1 141  –
2007 Being There 3 144  –
2009 Tord Gustavsen Ensemble Restored, Returned 15  –  –
2012 Tord Gustavsen Quartet The Well 4 194 100
2014 Extended Circle 24 103  –


aire & angels duo with Siri Gjære
  • aire & angels (1999)
  • aire & angels II (2002)
Nymark Collective
  • First meeting (2000)
  • Contemporary tradition (2002)
  • Bessie Smith Revisited - Live in concert (2008) - with Kristin Asbjørnsen
Silje Nergaard
  • Port of Call (2000)
  • At First Light (2001)
  • Nightwatch (2003)
  • The Essential + Live in Koln[DVD] (2005)
  • SKRUK / Rim Banna Krybberom (2003)
  • SKRUK / Torun Sævik / Cecilie Jørstad Sommerlandet (2004)
  • SKRUK / Nymark Collective dype stille sterke milde (2006)
Carl Petter Opsahl
  • Indigodalen (Heilo, 2001)
  • Improvisions (Park Grammofon, 2005)
  • Love, The Blues (Park Grammofon, 2008)
Other Projects
  • Whoopin (2001)
  • Humans & Places (2006) with Ulrich Drechsler Quartet
  • ID (2007) with Anna Maria Jopek
  • Sorgen og gleden (2008) with various artists
  • Natt i Betlehem (2008) with Solveig Slettahjell (Peaked in NOR: #32)


  1. ^ "Tord Gustavsen er månedens musiker i november! - Victoria Nasjonal Jazzscene". 
  2. ^ "Jazzlinja". Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  3. ^ "Biography - Summary". Official website. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  4. ^ a b "Tord Gustavsen -".  (in Norwegian)
  5. ^ "Tord Gustavsen - Biography, on Official Website". 
  6. ^ "Mann for god melodi - The Well Review, Oslopuls, Aftenposten".  (in Norwegian)
  7. ^ "Tord Gustavsen - The Well - Review, NRK Jazz".  (in Norwegian)
  8. ^ "Tord Gustavsen - Dialectics of Improvisation, on Official Website" (PDF). 
  9. ^ "Tord Gustavsen discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Tord Gustavsen discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
First award in 2005
Recipient of the Nattjazzprisen
Succeeded by
Kjetil Møster
Preceded by
Helge Lien Trio
Recipient of the Jazz Spellemannprisen
Succeeded by