Vossa Jazz

Vossa Jazz
Photo: vossajazz.no
Vossa Jazz, also spelled as Vossajazz, is an annual international jazz festival held in the village of Vossevangen, the administrative center of the municipality of Voss. It is one of the longest-running and most prestigious jazz festivals in Norway.

The inaugural edition of the Vossa Jazz Festival was held on March 2 and 3, 1974, concurrently with the World Cup in Alpine skiing that was also held in Voss. Organizers believed ski and jazz fit together perfectly. The skiing championship helped attract attention to the new music festival. Since 1986, Vossa Jazz has always been held over three days during the Palm Weekend (a week before Easter). Besides, the festival holds a series of jazz concerts throughout the year.

Although Vossa Jazz is not so big as some major jazz festivals (around 14,000 visitors each year), it is regarded as one of Norway’s major jazz platforms. Although it is primarily known as a jazz festival, it features other genres such as folk music, ethnic music and world music which have become closely intertwined with jazz due to the increasing popularity of jazz fusion, a musical genre that combines elements of jazz with other musical styles.

Each edition of the Vossa Jazz Festival features about 40 concerts in different venues throughout Vossevangen. Some of the recordings made at the festival has been released by Vossa Jazz Records, a record label owned by the festival.

Along with the main program the festival features a variety of special projects such as Badnajazz (concerts for children), UNGjaJAZZja! (youth program), Eldrejazz (concerts for the older generation), and Ekstremjazz (an open air concert at a high altitude above sea level for those who prefer extreme entertainment). Every other year the festival hosts a competition for young musicians titled Jazzintro.

Since 1988 Vossa Jazz have been awarding the Vossajazzprisen Award. It is presented to outstanding musicians from the county of Hordaland (which includes the municipality of Voss) for their contribution to Norway’s jazz scene.

Vossa Jazz

Photo: vossajazz.no



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