OkWorld started out as a project initiated by Bugge Wesseltoft and Oslo World for the twentieth anniversary of the festival. The idea was for Wesseltoft to meet up with musicians from, among other places, India, Spain, Lebanon and Mozambique. They visited each others home countries, developed music along the way and performed the result at the opening concert of Oslo World that year. Luckily, that wasn’t the end of the story. When Jazzland now announces their new subsidiary label and celebrates it with a concert at Victoria this Oslo World, OkWorld has become a home for music without borders. A musical microcosm, consisting of such acts as Sanskriti Shresta Avatar, Harpreet Bansal band, Bendik Baksaas, Bugge and Adama Barry, to mention a few.
That Bugge Wesseltoft and his label Jazzland is at the centre of something like this is to be expected. Musical meetings are essential to Wesseltoft – the initial concept behind the OkWorld project was music as the original language – and the best tool we have for bridging cultural divides. Over the course of a long career, Bugge has thrived in the gaps between jazz and club music, he has combined sounds from different continents and ages. That kind of ambition permeates the artist roster of OkWorld, who this night will be able to present six new releases. We will hear sounds both ancient and modern, from all over the globe.
Majaz is a project consisting of Syrian musicians Saleh Mahfoud (Guitar/Voice), Rola Bakheet (Voice) and Shble Saleem (Oud) who came to Norway as refugees and started playing together there after their arrival. They have collaborated with the Norwegian artists Knut Reiersrud (guitar, bass, Fender Rhodes) and Håkon Kornstad (saxophone) in a project that has been documented by the film maker Lene Midling-Jenssen. Also appearing on the album is Rune Arnesen (drums).
Adama Barry grew up in Burkina Faso, belongs to the Fulani people and carries on their musical heritage with pride and love. The Fulani are one of Africas largest ethnic groups and spread from Mali to Sudan, all across the Sahara Belt. The music is a unique blend of impulses and largely influential from east to west on the African continent. Adama builds his own flute and string instruments.
The album "Lembi" features a set of original songs by Adama, performed by him and Solo Diarra (Djembe, Ballaphone). These 8 songs are then recontextualised and remade by an array of outstanding musicians and remixers, including Prins Thomas, Mental Overdrive, Henrik Schwarz, Sex Judas & Ricky Rerub, Bendik Baksaas and Bugge Wesseltoft.
Avatar is a sextet helmed by the Oslo based Nepalese tabla virtuoso Sanskriti Shresta. Just like Harpreet Bansal Group, the music originates from a common interest between musicians from eastern traditional music and musicians from the contemporary improvisation scene. Avatar will release its début record at Oslo World.