For the first time in a few years I returned to the jazz festival that initially sparked my interest for jazz, Dølajazz! It is nine years now since the first time I attended their jazz-seminar for teens. This year was a little different for me, as I came not only as a student, but as a part of the main program of the festival. With my own quartet and my own set of tunes I performed at midnight the second night of the festival. It was a great success. The band, consisting of some of the best jazz players in Norway these days, gave me a lot of inspiration, and with my new Selmer Mk VI tenor sax from 1967 between my lips I had a great time on stage. With me I had Helge Lien (piano), Frode Berg (bass) and Roger Johansen (drums), and I have to say I really enjoyed their interpretations of my tunes.
Not only did I play with my own group, but I was also asked to sit in on two tunes during the opening concert with Beate Elstad and band. Every year they give away a talent-award during this concert, and this year it was given to me! In addition to the prize money I also now have the opportunity to pick an artist to perform a duo concert with next year during the festival.
I also performed my first full length solo concert (45 minutes) at a shopping mall the day after my main performance with my group. This was a challenge, as breathing into a saxophone for 45 consecutive minutes can be hard on your chops. But it went surprisingly well. As I played I also noticed a man drawing something on the side, and after the show he came up and gave me a drawing of me playing my sax. It also turned out that he was the one who drew the jazz festival logo back in the day when they started up. To put an end to the whole festival I joined the final concert of the jazz-seminar for teens, that I myself had attended years ago. I met two of the teachers the night before at a jam session, and they asked me to come sit in. It was a really great end to a very inspiring weekend back home.