Jan Gunnar Hoff started his career as a freelance musician in 1979 and has worked extensively as a bandleader and solo artist since 1992. Major band events include his highly acclaimed Vossa Jazz Festival debut in 1995, and performances at the London Jazz Festival and Molde International Jazz Festival in 1996, with TV broadcasts to twelve European countries. Another highlight was his successful collaboration with Pat Metheny in Molde in 2001 in a concert presenting Hoff compositions and Metheny classics in perfect union.
Jan Gunnar Hoff has released 15 recordings as a solo artist and co-leader. Albums in recent years include Magma, featuring Mike Stern and Maria João, Barxeta, where Hoff plays alongside Alex Acuña and Per Mathisen, and Fly North with Arve Henriksen, Anders Jormin and Marilyn Mazur, an album that was nominated for the Norwegian Grammy, Spellemannprisen. Hoff was the 2013 winner of the Buddy Award, the highest distinction in Norwegian jazz, and became an official Steinway & Sons Artist in 2014.
As a composer Hoff has written more than 200 works for different combinations of instruments. He received the prestigious Edvard (Grieg) Prize in 2005 for his choir piece Meditatus and the same year he wrote the main commissioned work Free Flow Songs for the Vossa Jazz Festival. He was the arranger and ensemble leader of Quiet Winter Night; on this album, which was Grammy-nominated for Best Surround Sound in 2013, he successfully merges elements of jazz, folk and popular music.
In addition to his career as pianist and composer, Hoff teaches jazz piano and improvisation at the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø and at the University of Agder in Kristiansand. John Kelman, writing for the jazz network All About Jazz in 2011, describes Hoff’s music in this way: “Hoff’s writing and playing possesses an almost pop-like clarity and concision, but with a far richer vernacular.”
photo: from booklet 'STORIES' (2L)