Norwegian pianist, keyboard player, composer, arranger, bandleader and percussionist Jon Balke has an association with ECM dating back to his teens, when he joined Arild Andersen’s group to record “Clouds In My Head” (1975). Later he was a co-founder of the Masqualero group, with Andersen and Jon Christensen. He has been featured as leader/composer/arranger/keyboardist of Oslo 13, Magnetic North Orchestra and Siwan, and as solo pianist on Book of Velocities, a sequence of aphoristic pieces that have affinities with Kurtág and Ligeti. He has written extensive compositional works for a vast variety of ensembles and projects like ballets, theatre plays, symphony orchestras, singers, and jazz ensembles. His history as musician include accompanying singers like Radka Toneff, Sidsel Endresen, Anne Li Drecker, Karin Krogh and Trine-Lise Vaering, as well as live and studio sessions with people like Archie Shepp, John Surman, Airto Moreira/Flora Purim, Michael Urbaniak, Enrico Rava, George Russel, Paolo Fresu, Nguyen Le, Marilyn Mazur etc. Balke’s involvement with percussion, foregrounded in the group Batagraf, which he cofounded with Helge Andreas Norbakken and Snorre Bjerck as a sort of “percussion think-tank” and “forum for ideas”, dates back to his ten-year collaboration with West African musicians in the band E’Olen, between 1978 and 1988.
19 October Macedonian Opera and Ballet, 20:00 MOB, 20:00