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MOTIF was founded in the fall of -99, and have since that time been working continuously with the creation of their own sound, a sound that echoes the acoustic outings of Miles Davis, the structures of Ligeti, and the electronic collage of Aphex Twin. The band members met studying at Trondheim Conservatory’s Jazz Department, and are now key players in the young European improvising scene.

Their two records on the indie label AIMrec received great reviews all over, and with their third record, Apo Calypso they are moving to their favorite label; JAZZLANDrec, and at the same time taking their music further into a world of intricate rythms and beautiful harmonies.

Since it’s founding, MOTIF has appeared on a variety of Norwegian and foreign festivals, the Copenhagen Jazz festival, where they received the award Young Nordic Jazz Comets 2001, Hanoi European Jazz festival, Kongsberg Jazz Festival, Moldejazz and countless clubs all over the map. They also did their first Asian tour in 2005, visiting China, Japan (where they played the renowned Pit Inn club in Tokyo) and Vietnam.

The musicians are a busy bunch also outside of this constellation, and are performing with/in: Jaga Jazzist, Bugge Wesseltoft’s NCOJ, Håvard Wiik Trio, Atomic, Free Fall, Urban Connection, Mathias Eick Quartet, Maria Kannegaard Trio, Pooka, Motorpsycho, Generator X and the Trondheim Jazzorchestra.

About the bandmembers:

Atle Nymo (1977)
In addition to his own quartet and other bands like Trio (with Ingebrigt Flaten and H.M. Johansen), Atle is a much appreciated session musician/soloist, for example with Pat Metheny during the Molde Jazz festival 2001. Nymo`s qualities as a saxophonist makes him a sought-after labourer for bandleaders across all of Norway; including big bands led by Geir Lysne, Hector Bingert, Erlend Skomsvold/Chick Corea, he also released a record with older brother Frode Nymo and Roger Kellaway.

Mathias Eick (1979)
is also a member of Norwegian electronica comets Jaga Jazzist, has worked with pop and rock acts like Motorpsycho, Thomas Dybdahl and Big Bang. Eick has toured the most of Europe and elsewhere in the world the last years, also playing with jazz bands like Erlend Skomsvolls project with Chick Corea, Jacob Youngs ECM group and occasional gigs with Trygve Seim Orchestra. He was the IAEJ’s pick for “most talented young jazz musician worldwide” in 2007, and his solo debut for ECM records is currently under production.

Ole Morten Vågan (1979)
has made a strong impression on the Norwegian jazz scene as an outstanding composer/arranger and bass player. His well-articulated bass playing makes him an appreciated player in various constellations, notably with pioneer Bugge Wesseltoft. He has performed with some of the key players in Norway, like Tore Brunborg, Audun Kleive, Arve Henriksen, Maria Kannegaard Trio, Håkon Kornstad, and international stars like Joshua Redman and John Scofield, and is a part of the thriving new jazz community in Norway.

Haavard Wiik (1975)
- is a pianist who has the rare ability to pleasantly surprise, sometimes even shock, his audience over and over again, every time he enters the stage. You might think “well, I’ve heard him at least 50 times before, now I must’ve heard it all” – and then, there he goes again, presenting his music in totally new wrappings, different styles, fresh angles – with never a dull moment, but always with a nerve that keeps you curious and impatient - “what will happen next?” Haavard has a musical gift that’s almost supernatural - it sometimes feels almost a bit unfair. Haavard is also a member of the Scandinavian hit quintet Atomic, and of the purely acoustic trio Free Fall, with clarinetist Ken Vandermark and bassist Ingebrigt Flaten.

Håkon Mjåset Johansen (1975)
was titled “young jazz musician of the year in 2000, the same year, his group Urban Connection won the "Avignon Jazz Contest '00". Håkon also plays in a variety of acoustic jazz bands and big bands, for example Come Shine, Haavard Wiik Trio, Mingus Ahh!Uhm!, Der Fuchs (with Per Zanussi), Trondheim Jazzorkester featuring Chick Corea, all of which are recording groups. In 2001, he received the Norwegian Grammy for Urban Connections debut album. One of the very few norwegian musicians to have hold a statefinanced lifetime engagement, he left in 2002 for a ravishing freelance career, ranging all over Europe. Amongst his collaborators are Jan Garbarek, Maria Kannegaard, to name a few.