Torun Eriksen

Biography Torun Eriksen

Torun Eriksen
made her debut with the album Glittercard on the well renowned label Jazzland Recordings in 2003. Since then, she has made her mark as a characteristic voice, with an ever-increasing audience on the Norwegian and international music stage.

Torun’s musical adolescence was spent in various gospel choirs, where she was given the chance to extend her potential as a singer and soloist from early childhood on. With a background in soul and gospel, her first introduction to jazz was as a music student in high school in her hometown Skien. Her encounter with The Real Book and jazz standards introduced a new world. Teacher and pianist Roger Jeffs spotted Torun’s talent, and encouraged her to write English lyrics to one of his melodies. The foundation for a career in song writing had now been laid.

When she in 1998 moved to Oslo and enrolled into the Norwegian Institute for Stage and Studio (NISS), she was already well under way with her composing. She made an impression as a soul and pop singer in various cover bands on several of the city’s stages, but her own material was still unknown to her surroundings. At this point in time she had begun working with bass player Kjetil Dalland, who is still today considered to be one of her closest musical partners, and along with a couple of others they formed a band and recorded a demo with three of Torun’s songs.

By a coincidence the demo was overheard by Bugge Wesseltoft, who was very excited about the song Glittercard and offered Torun to release a record on his label Jazzland Recordings. She then gathered the musicians who have since contributed to feature the acoustic image of her music: David Wallumrød (piano), Kjetil Dalland (bass), Torstein Lofthus (percussion) and Frøydis Grorud (flute/saxophone). Along with Bugge Wesseltoft as their producer they made the album Glittercard, which was released internationally in the spring of 2004.

In 2006 the sequel Prayers and Observations was released - this too produced by Wesseltoft – and in April of 2010 her third record Passage was released. This record was produced by Anders Engen, and with the addition of guitarist Kjetil Steensnæs, the acoustic image became more string oriented. Torun’s three solo albums, all of them released on Jazzland Recordings, have received good reviews in the press, and opened the door to foreign countries and an international audience. The Germans in particular have embraced her music, and she has toured Germany regularly since her debut.

Torun’s songs have also been arranged for chamber orchestras, big bands and choirs. The collaboration with German Jazzchor Freiburg started in 2007, and they have since toured with their project in Japan, Korea, Germany and France. Together they have also recorded a version of In Person (Glittercard 2003), which is to be found on the choir’s album A Cappella from 2010.

As a song writer, Torun has written in English up until November 2010, when she and Frøydis Grorud released the Christmas album Sanger om glede og fred (Songs of joy and peace), Jazzland Recordings. On this album we find Torun’s first song with Norwegian lyrics Vente på Jul (Waiting for Christmas), along with Elv (River), which is her translation of Joni Mitchell’s River.

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