Håkon Kornstad has been a spearhead for an entire generation of jazz musicians, making an international name for himself with innovative bands like Kornstad Trio and Wibutee in the late 90s and early 2000s. He has also won critical acclaim for duo-collaborations with, among others, Sidsel Endresen and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and has been a key figure in Anja Garbarek’s and Bugge Wesseltoft’s bands.
Kornstad was definitively considered one of Norway’s most critically acclaimed saxophonists with a burgeoning jazz career. So what happened? In 2009, he finds himself in New York listening to the Italian Opera Cavaleria Rusticana at The Met. Two weeks later, he is under the tutorship of a retired soprano singer on the Upper West Side. Some years later, Kornstad completes his opera training and is a regular figure at the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet.
Despite a new career in an entirely different musical genre, Kornstad never abandoned jazz. Instead, he discovered his own entirely unique way of combining the two schools. With Tenor Battle, tenor sax meets tenor voice. Opera arias by Gluck and Bizet share the same scoresheet along with Scandinavian jazz tones. The result is ground breaking and totally distinctive.
Line-up: Håkon Kornstad – tenor sax/flute/loop machines; Sigbjørn Apeland – harmonium; Lars Henrik Johansen – cembalo/cimbalom; Per Zanussi – double bass/saw; Øyvind Skarbø – drums