Jan Gunnar Hoff
was educated at NTNU, Jazzdep in Trondheim 1986-89 and studied arranging and composing at NMH, Oslo 2001-2002. His career as a jazz musician started in 1976 with piano trio and as a backing musician for drummer Jon Christensen and other jazz artists at the local jazz club. Hoff became a professional musician in 1979 and toured with Arild Andersen and Nils Petter Molvær in 1982. In 1987 Hoff participated in an all star Norwegian combo presenting Jan Garbarek’s commission for the Federation of Norwegian Jazz musicians, FNJ. Hoff´s debut CD Syklus was recorded in 1992, based on a commission for the Arts Festival of North Norway. Since 1993 Hoff has worked as a bandleader presenting original compositions. Major band events include Hoff´s highly acclaimed Vossajazz-debut in 1995, Oris London Jazzfestival and Molde Int. Jazzfestival 1996 with EBU-broadcast to 12 European countries (link to TV-program). Another highlight is the successful collaboration with Pat Metheny in Molde 2001. Excerpt “Extraditon” (Metheny) from the official NRK broadcast.
Hoff and his band toured Norway, Estonia and Ukraine with Mike Stern in 2006, 2007 and 2008. From 2008 Hoff has been working with percussionist Alex Acuna and bassplayer Per Mathisen in the new trio “Acuna/Hoff/ Mathisen”. February 2010 the trio recorded a concert DVD at Drumchannel in Oxnard California. This trio has released two albums, “Jungle City” and “Barxeta”.
As a composer he has made works for chamber orchestra, sinfonietta, choir and other settings, in addition to compositions for his solo recordings. Hoff did the prestigous annual commission for Vossajazz 2005 “Free flow songs” and received an Edvard (Grieg) -prize for his jazzmazz “Meditatus” in 2006. “Meditatus” has been performed in Norway, Iceland, Canada, USA and recorded on CD in Norway and CD/DVD in Riga, Latvia.
Several duo constallations a.o with Maria Joao in Norway, Croatia and France 2008. Worth mentioning is also the Harstad festival in Northern Norway 1995 where Hoff did a spontanous duo session with Chick Corea. Other collaborations include Norwegian artists like Unni Wilhelmsen, Frode Alnæs, Jarle Bernhoft, Jan Eggum, Halvdan Sivertsen.
From 2008-2014 Hoff has performed and toured in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Croatia, Iceland, Austria, Italy, Sweden, USA, Slovakia, Kazakhstan, Kirgisistan, Peru, England, Japan and Norway. Concerts in major cities such as New York, London, Stockholm, Zagreb, Los Angeles, Moscow, St.Petersburg, Tokyo, Istanbul, Vilnius.
In 2011 Hoff contributed as bandleader, arranger and pianist for the album “Quiet winter night”, later nominated for US Grammy Awards 2013 (Best surround sound album, Morten Lindberg, 2L). Hoff continued his collaboration with 2L on the solo piano album LIVING, released April 2013. Hoffs quartet-recording “Fly North” was released in January 2014, followed by the solo album “Quiet light/Stille lys” (2L December 2014). In January 2014 Hoff received the Buddy prize, the highest distinction in Norwegian jazz. May 2014 he was appointed as an official Steinway Artist and August 2014 he was selected as Artist in residence at Ingmar Bergman Estate, Fårö (Sweden). Hoff released two more albums late 2016 and early 2017: Stories, a solo piano album for 2L and Terra Nova, a crossover duo project with mezzo soprano Marianne Beate Kielland. April 2018 Hoff´s trio album Polarity was released by 2L, receiving great reviews. In June Hoff was part of the trio Mathisen/Hoff feat. Horacio Hernandez, releasing the album Barxeta II. In September 2018 Hoff will release his third album this year, Jan Gunnar Hoff Group feat. Mike Stern.
Hoff also works as a professor at the University of Tromsø and Agder, and is the head of Bodø Jazz Open.