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Valkyrien Allstars - Live in Bergen

Valkyrien Allstars - Live in Bergen

The Bergen International Jazz Festival, or Nattjazz as it’s now called, takes place in USF Verftet, a converted sardine factory on the shores of Norway’s beautiful west coast city.

There, on Saturday night, I saw the Valkyrien Allstars, an experimental folk rock band and one of Norway's best live acts. Consisting of Tuva Syvertsen on vocals, keyboards and hardanger fiddle, guitarist-fiddler Erik Sollid, bassist Magnus Larsen Jr. and drummer-banjoist Martin Langlie, all exceptional musicians, the group performed to a sold-out crowd with many in the audience, both young and old, singing along.

slutteAlthough steeped in traditional Norwegian folk music, the Allstars are every bit a modern ensemble, blending intricate harmonies and daring jazz improvisations with thrilling rock riffs and even African rhythms. I couldn’t understand the Norwegian lyrics, but it didn’t matter: I was soon swept up in the mystery and moodiness of their sound and unmistakable feelings of beauty and sadness.

Leaving the venue carrying the Valkrien Allstars’ latest album, Slutte Og Byne, I will be delving deeper into this group’s wildly original music.

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