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Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss – Norway
Swing your way through spring! MaiJazz is one of most important and oldest cultural events of southern Norway, attracting passionate artists and music lovers from all over. With acts like Brad Mehldau and Mulatu Astatke, they’re one step closer to putting Stavanger on the cultural capital map. This year, they are celebrating 34 years of talent, fun, and most importantly, jazz. By Celina Tran
In the south of Norway, where the vast, glittering ocean stretches to meet a colourful port town filled with classic, wooden homes and friendly people, lies the city of Stavanger. Stavanger is home to many things, from the historic Stavanger Cathedral to some of the best restaurants in Norway, but it also holds glory as the birthplace of the annual festival, MaiJazz. “MaiJazz is a jazz festival that takes place in May every year,” the festival director, Per Hasse Andersen says. “This is our 34th festival, which is very exciting.” 68 |
Following a pandemic that caged people inside, with nothing but screens for entertainment and communication, the MaiJazz crew is excited to reintroduce local and international audiences to the power of jazz again. Despite still putting on shows in 2020 and 2021, they were nowhere near as large as what they have got planned for this year’s festival. “We didn’t have international acts during the pandemic, which is something we’re looking forward to welcoming back,” Andersen says. “We have really invested in this year’s festival in order to guide people back into the cultural life. It’s important not only to us and them, but also to the artists and musicians on stage.” Jazz for all ages
Bill Evans + Mike Stern.
Andersen’s love for the jazz genre stems from its timelessness and status within