Slav to The Rythm
The band started out as a free-jazz quintet sprung out from the conservatory in Trondheim, but now incorporates a wide variety of genres, such as jazz, rock, pop music, bluegrass, classical and – most significantly – Bulgarian folk music. Humorous arrangements, virtuosity and odd time signatures are characteristic to their style. Multi-instrumentalist Stian Carstensen is a sort of front figure, though guitarist Nils-Olav Johansen performs most of the lead vocals.
The band’s original saxophonist Håvard Lund left the group in 1995, and they looked to Bulgaria for a replacement. Trifon Trifonov joined the band after auditioning by telephone.
They have performed at several international jazz festivals, including the Kongsberg Jazzfestival (in 1993, 1995 and 2009), Moldejazz (in 1994, 2003, 2004 and 2010), the North Sea Jazz Festival (in The Hague, Netherlands, in 2004) and the Berliner Festspiele (in 2005). The band’s debut album, Speed/Balkan/Boogie, was released in 1995. It is a live recording from two concerts held at Moldejazz 1994 with members from Grammy Award-winning.
Bulgarian female vocal group Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares and two Bulgarian folk musicians. Their fourth studio album, Surfin’ USSR, was awarded an open-class Spellemannpris (Norwegian Grammy Award equivalent) in 2008. It was released on Ipecac Recordings, a label distributed by the Universal Music Group.