Norwegian pianist Jan Gunnar Hoff has performed solo in Russia, Italy, Kirgisistan, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lituania, Latvia and the Nordic countries. Hoff´s solo concerts are meditative, yet with a content of composition and improvisation. Hoff has a classical background and creates a genuine and original mix of jazz, classical and folklore in his highly appreciated solo performances. Orginal material goes hand in hand with his beautiful versions of folk tunes and classics like “God only knows”. New solo piano album “Stories” released on the multi Grammy- nominated label 2L Desember 2016.
Jan Gunnar Hoff was born in Bodø in 1958 and began classical piano lessons at age ten. He studied in the jazz programme at Trondheim Conservatory of Music and later was a student of composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Since 1979 he has been a freelance musician, performing with international musical celebrities such as Alex Acuña, Mike Stern, Pat Metheny, Maria João and Marilyn Mazur. In 2014 he received the prestigious Buddy Prize, the highest distinction in Norwegian jazz, and the same year he was appointed an official Steinway & Sons Artist. He has performed in Los Angeles, New York, London, Zagreb, Milan, Stock-holm, Moscow, Havana, Lima and Istanbul and has toured in Scandinavia, Japan and Eastern Europe. Hoff has released a number of critically acclaimed solo albums and has written over 200 works, among them, a commissioned work for the Vossa Jazz Festival and the choral composition Meditatus (2004), which received the Edvard Prize awarded by the Norwegian copyright organization TONO. He was arranger and artistic director for the US Grammy-nominated album Quiet Winter Night (2L/Universal 2012). Among recent releases are Barxeta (Losen Records) with Acuña/Hoff/Mathisen, three solo piano albums on the 2L label, as well as Fly North (Losen), which was nominated in 2014 for Spellemannprisen, Norway’s Grammy. Jan Gunnar Hoff is professor at The Arctic University of Norway (UiT) and the University of Agder.
International press quotes: Mono and Stereo, Slovenia: ”For me Jan Gunnar Hoff creates a certain emotional bond between a listener and performer, transcends the labelling of pop, jazz, classical and simply work on evoking of feelings while cutting straight through any perceptions...” Allaboutjazz Jan 2014: ”Together these four master musicians travel deep into a land of beauty. Fly North is an enchanting musical journey in first class all the way through” John Kelman, Allaboutjazz March 2013 (Barxeta feat. Alex Acuna): “Hoff's Belarus blends a simple, haunting melody with an ascending and descending three-chord pattern before opening up into a pedal tone, driven frenetically by Acuña and Mathisen without losing its delicacy, leading to a piano solo redolent of keyboardist Lyle Mays' best work with Pat Metheny” AUDIO (Germany): ” The Norwegian jazzpianist succeds with Living in making a gentle, almost seductive debut. Varied melodics and magical depths, soundwise this is an absolute reference production” Progressive Rock Central.com 2012 (Barxeta feat. Alex Acuna): “First class fusion with a blend of passionate, high energy and gracefully elegant music performed by three world class musicians...Jan Gunnar Hoff combines the melodic sensibility and dexterity of Lyle Mays with the edginess of Chick Corea” Allaboutjazz February 2010 (MAGMA feat. Mike Stern): “Throughout, Hoff's writing and playing possesses an almost pop-like clarity and concision, but with a far richer vernacular”.
Allaboutjazz November 2009: “The thoroughly exciting Jungle City. From the higher velocity of Mathisen's title track and frenetically swinging “Jangala,” to Hoff's abstract, synth-laden ”Visions” and more upbeat, equally Zawinul-esque “Tribute,” Jungle City clearly reveals an unmistakable reference point for these two fine Norwegian players, on one of Acuña's best co-led sessions to date” Richard Palmer, Jazz Journal November 1998: “Hoff emerges as a keyboardist of considerable versatility and flair. Clearly a player and musical mind to watch. An intriguing and often rewarding album that is well worth checking out “ Boris Rabinowitch, Politiken (Copenhagen) 1993 Syklus: “An excellent album”