Tord Gustavsen

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Tord Gustavsen
Tord Gustavsen (212043).jpg
Gustavsen with Simin Tander
and Jarle Vespestad at Cosmopolite Scene in Oslo during Vinterjazz 2016
Background information
Born (1970-10-05) 5 October 1970 (age 50)
Oslo, Norway
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, bandleader
Years active2003–present
Labels ECM
Associated acts Siri Gjære, Silje Nergaard, Kåre Nymark

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


Early life

Gustavsen was born on 5 October 1970 [1] in Oslo and raised in rural Hurdal, Akershus. [2] He "grew up playing church music". [3]

Later life and career

Gustavsen in 2007 Tord Gustavsen.jpg
Gustavsen in 2007

Gustavsen holds a bachelor's degree (mellomfag) in psychology at the University of Oslo, before he attended the Trondheim Musikkonsevatorium [4] 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). [5]

Tord Gustavsen Trio Tord Gustavsen Trio.jpg
Tord Gustavsen Trio
Gustavsen, Simin Tander and Jarle Vespestad at Vossajazz 2016. Gustavsen-Tander-Vespestad-Vossajazz2016.jpg
Gustavsen, Simin Tander and Jarle Vespestad at Vossajazz 2016.

Between 2003 and 2007 The Tord Gustavsen Trio released three albums on ECM Records. [3] The trio was made up of Gustavsen on piano, Harald Johnsen on double bass and Jarle Vespestad on drums. The albums "contained rapt, pristine, meditative music, which resonated with the inner needs of a large, discriminating audience": combined sales exceeded 100,000. [3] The trio won the Nattjazz prize in 2005.

A later ensemble was composed of Gustavsen, Tore Brunborg (saxophones), Mats Eilertsen (bass) and Vespestad (drums). [3] With vocalist Kristin Asbjørnsen added for some tracks, the album Restored, Returned was recorded in 2009. [6] The album was awarded with Spellemannsprisen (the Norwegian Grammy). [7] [8] The quartet's follow-up, The Well , was released in 2012. [7] That year, Gustavsen played over four days at the Montreal Jazz Festival: with the quartet, as a solo pianist and in a duo with vocalist Solveig Slettahjell. [9] The quartet album Extended Circle two years later "reveals a new edginess and dynamic impact that the quartet brings to Gustavsen's music." [3]

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, 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. Since 2014 Gustavsen has collaborated with the German-Afgan jazz singer Simin Tander, releasing the album What Was Said (2016). They also performed at the 2016 Vinterjazz and the 2016 Vossajazz in Norway.

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. [10]




AlbumPeak positions
2003Tord Gustavsen Trio Changing Places 32  
2005 The Ground 1141 
2007 Being There 3144 
2009Tord Gustavsen Ensemble Restored, Returned 15  
2012Tord Gustavsen Quartet The Well 4194100
2014 Extended Circle 24103 
2016Tord Gustavsen with Simin Tander and Jarle Vespestad What Was Said 31 [13]  72
2018Tord Gustavsen Trio The Other Side 40


aire & angels duo with Siri Gjære
Nymark Collective
Silje Nergaard
Carl Petter Opsahl
Other projects

Related Research Articles

Silje Nergaard

Silje Nergaard is a Norwegian jazz vocalist and songwriter. She is one of the best-selling jazz artists on the official sales chart in Norway. She became known worldwide after the release of the international bestseller Tell Me Where You're Going featuring Pat Metheny on guitar.

Susanna Wallumrød

Susanna Karolina Wallumrød is a Norwegian vocalist, known for her low key original songs. She is the sister of the drummer Fredrik Wallumrød and the pianist Christian Wallumrød, cousin of the pianist David Wallumrød, and is married to the music producer Helge Sten.

Jarle Vespestad

Jarle Vespestad is a Norwegian jazz musician (percussion), the younger brother of jazz musician Liz Tove Vespestad, and a central member of Tord Gustavsen's projects.

<i>Changing Places</i> (album) 2003 studio album by Tord Gustavsen Trio

Changing Places is an album by Norwegian jazz pianist and composer Tord Gustavsen recorded in 2001-2002 and released on ECM.

<i>Being There</i> (Tord Gustavsen album) 2007 studio album by Tord Gustavsen Trio

Being There is an album by Norwegian jazz pianist and composer Tord Gustavsen recorded in December 2006 and released on the ECM label.

Harald Gill Johnsen was a Norwegian jazz double bassist, known for his contributions in bands like Køhn/Johansen Sextet and Tord Gustavsen Trio, and a series of recordings with such as Sonny Simmons, Sigurd Køhn, Nils-Olav Johansen, Jan Erik Kongshaug, Frode Barth, Per Oddvar Johansen and Ditlef Eckhoff.

Kristin Asbjørnsen

Kristin Asbjørnsen is a Norwegian jazz singer and composer whose focus is on improvised music. She is known for musical projects like Dadafon including with Carl Haakon Waadeland, Krøyt, Kvitretten, and Nymark Collective among others.

Mats Eilertsen Norwegian jazz musician and composer

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Tore Brunborg Norwegian jazz musician and composer

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Siri Gjære Norwegian jazz vocalist from Levanger (born 1972)

Siri Gjære is a Norwegian jazz vocalist from Levanger, known for her collaborations with musicians like Tord Gustavsen, Stian Carstensen, Eirik Hegdal, Maria Kannegaard, Jarle Bernhoft, Eldbjørg Raknes, and Steinar Raknes.

Kåre Nymark

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Restored, Returned is an album by Norwegian jazz pianist and composer Tord Gustavsen Ensemble recorded in 2009 and released on the ECM label.

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Sigurd Hole

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Simin Tander German musician

Simin Tander is a German jazz musician and composer.

<i>What Was Said</i> 2016 studio album by , Tord Gustavsen , Simin Tander , Jarle Vespestad

What Was Said is an album by pianist Tord Gustavsen, vocalist Simin Tander and drummer Jarle Vespestad.

<i>The Other Side</i> (Tord Gustavsen album) 2018 studio album by Tord Gustavsen Trio

The Other Side is an album by pianist Tord Gustavsen 's Trio released on the ECM label in 2018.


  1. "Birthdays". The New York City Jazz Record (October 2014) p. 37.
  2. "Tord Gustavsen er månedens musiker i november! - Victoria Nasjonal Jazzscene". Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Conrad, Tom (February 2014) "Extended Circle – Tord Gustavsen Quartet (ECM)". The New York City Jazz Record. p. 25.
  4. "Jazzlinja". Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  5. "Tord Gustavsen Home Page". Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  6. Ross, Jon (May 2012) "Tord Gustavsen Quartet – The Well". Down Beat. p. 56.
  7. 1 2 Archived 2013-02-22 at
  8. "Biography - The Full Version". Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  9. Enright, Ed (September 2012) "Amazing Bass". Down Beat. p. 14.
  10. "Tord Gustavsen - Dialectics of Improvisation" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  11. "Tord Gustavsen discography". Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  12. "Tord Gustavsen discography". Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  13. "VG-lista - Topp 40 Album uke 5, 2016". Archived from the original on 17 February 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  14. "VG-lista – Topp 40 Album uke 36, 2018". VG-lista . Retrieved 8 September 2018.
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