Ola Rokkones (saxophone--Norway)
Education and musical work
Ola Asdahl Rokkones (born 10th of 1983) is originally from Oslo, Norway. His main instruments are the alto-, tenor- and baritone saxophones. He studied classical saxophone from 2000 – 2001 in Paris with Jean-Yves Fourmeau at the conservatory of Cergy-Pontoise (CNR). In 2002 he moved to Tromsø to follow studies of musical performance on the classical saxophone, with Vibeke Breian at the University College of Tromsø, studies which he accomplished in 2007. Between 2005 and 2006 he also followed studies in musical performance on jazz.-saxophone, with John-Pål Inderberg as his main professor. In addition to his studies of jazz- and classical saxophone, he has a bachelor in instrumental
pedagogics, with a particular attention to musical learning abilities among adults. He also followed
courses in music technology (30 sp).
After he accomplished his bachelor degree in 2007, he is now working as a full time musician and artist, mainly with Tromsø and Northern-Norway as his working area. He is one of few saxophonists in Norway working professionally within both jazz- and classical music. Furthermore he is also a renown performer within world- and folk-music.
In 2013 he received grant from the culture industry fund INTRO, and in 2015 he received a grant from Innovation Norway and Sparebankens Kulturnæringsstiftelse for his lancing as an international artist.
Activity as a classical musician
As a classical musician he has commanded and premiered music by several composers, such as
Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen, Lars Skoglund, Alexander Manotskov, Martin Romberg, Bodvar
Drotninghaug Moe, Bjørn Breimo, Kjell Habbestad and Erik Stifjell.
He has appeared as soloists with the orchestras Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (2007), Akademische OrchesterVereiningung Göttingen (2009), Arkhangelsk Chamber Orchestra (2010, 2013 and 2014), Tromsø Chamber Orchestra (2011), Ensemble Opus Posth under the direction of Tatiana Grindenko (2014), and Orchestre Regional de Normandie under the direction of Jean Deroyer (2015).
Concerts with Arkhangelsk Chamber Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and AOV Göttingen have all been broadcasted in Norwegian National Radio (NRK). The concerto by Martin Romberg has in short time been very accalimed internationally, and has been released as sheet music in a reduction for saxophone and piano by the biggest publisher in France – Editions Billaudot in July 2010, only one
year after the premiere.
Here is a list over his commands and premieres, several are performed more than once:
Jan 2016 – Erik Stifjell: ”Zwei-Mann Orchester” for saxophones, cello, clarinett and two perk, 12 min
Nov 2015 – Kjell Habbestad: “Un rêve Norvégien” for alto sax and chamber orchestra, 30 min
Nov 2014 – Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen: “Bør” for alto sax and string orchestra, 17 min
Aug 2011 – Alexander Manotskov: “Seven Portraits” for alto sax and string orchestra, 35 min
Feb 2011 – Bodvar D. Moe: “Every creature has a song” for baritone sax and marimba, 9 min
Feb 2011 – Bodvar D. Moe: “Stories from the north” for alt-, tenor sax and percussion, 26 min
Jun 2010 – Erik Stifjell: “Vi hever våre hoder i skam”, 5 voices, tenorsax, accordion and guitar, 60 min
Jun 2009 – Martin Romberg: “The Tale of Taliesin” for alto sax and symphonic orchestra, 25 min
Jun 2007 – Lars Skoglund: “Surfaces” for alto sax and organ, 7 min
Jun 2007 – Bjørn Breimo: “Purgazione” for tenor sax and cello, 15 min
May 2005 – Kjell Habbestad: “Cinq emotions” for alto sax and piano, 20 min
Apr 2002 – Bjørn Breimo: “Orazione” for alto sax and organ, 10 min
Activity as a jazz musician
As a jazz musician he has been quite central at stages and festivals in Northern-Norway, with high activity in different bands and constellations. His main projects are the bands Rio de Trokkones
(Balkan/folk/classical), Mike del Ferro Quintet (jazz), Magyar Hot Club (Hungarian/gypsy) and Marit Sandvik & Nova Onda (Brazilian samba/bossa/MPB).
Through 2015 Rokkones has been musical director and composer for the Barents collaboration band put together by Tromsø International Film Festival, where Norwegian musicians work together with Russian musicians to compose and perform music for silent movies. The band consisted also by Andrey Kondakov (piano), Vladimir Volkov (double bass) and Jakop Janssønn (drums). There were concerts in Tromsø, Murmansk, Apatity, St.Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Moskva and Arkhangelsk.
With support by the Norwegian Culture Council, he brought the Mike del Ferro Quintet on tour
through the entire Nordland county (“fylke”). All in all 9 concerts; Mosjøen, Lovund, Nesna, Mo I
Rana, Misvær, Gildeskål, Sortland, Bodø and Svolvær. There was also a recording session during the tour.
Previously he has toured a lot with the jazz quartet DripP (2006-2012), playing original compositions.
They released their album “Pirate Bay” in November 2010 to great reviews. Of other releases may be mentioned the recording “JazzPoetry” from 2013 with the band “Cats vs. Kitchen Utensils” (freejazz).
He was chosen as the Norwegian representative to the prestigious European Broadcasting Union
(EBU) Big-Band 2010, touring through Europe in April/May under direction by Tadej Tomsic. The
band consisted largely of one musician from every European country, and recordings by the band were broadcasted in all EBU countries. In 2009 he was chosen as Tromsø city’s gift to the city of Stavanger.
A hand picked musician, from each of the major cities in Norway, were put together in a national
ensemble, playing at the “Ramadanfestivalen”.
With different constellations, he has toured Norway, the Nordic countries, Europe and Russia several times, and he has played and collaborated with several renown Norwegian and foreign artists such as Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Marit Sandvik, Konrad Kaspersen, Øystein Norvoll, Mike del Ferro, Dan Johansson, Anne Paceo, Nasra Ali Omar, Thomas Clausen, Thomas Fryland, Nils Landgren, Danilo Memoli, Art Lillard, Jeff Silvertrust, Karsten Bagge and Easterine Kire.
From 2009 he has collaborated with the dance ensemble IntuIt, through the band DripP. This has resulted in several large performances combining contemporary dance and jazz. He is regularily performing at festivals all over Norway and in different projects as a freelance musician such as in combined ensembles, with choir, big-band or as a church musician.
When it comes to world music, he worked together with Benoit Tamba from 2004 to 2010 in the band Djiromansa, playing the traditional music of the Wolof and the Djola people of Senegal. Rokkones was also an important part in the tango group 44tango (2005 – 2010) and Orquesta Salsa de Tromsø (2004 – 2010). He also played in the Oslo-based salsa band Sonora Cimarrón (from 2009).
In 2012 he received the culture price of Tromsø Municipality for his broad work in the local cultural life. Rokkones was also one of six finalists in “De Unges Konsert” (young peoples concert) in Bergen in 2007, with a grant from the Kavli foundation. In 2005 he got the first price in “Ungdommens Musikkmesterskap” (the young peoples music competition) in Northern Norway, and followed up with a second price in the national final. In 1996 he received the youth grant from “Ris Velforening”.
Other art related work
Besides his performing career, from 2006 to 2012 he initiated and directed the festival No Siesta –
Fiesta. Furthermore, from 2008 until 2012 he was a part of the direction of Barentsjazz, From 2008
until 2011 he was engaged as a project coordinator in the EU-project “Music on Top”, aiming to unite
jazz-institutions and jazz-musicians across the northern regions of Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Together with the Norwegian Seafood Council he initiated a project to reopen the bacalao-trade
between Norway and Cuba, in exchange of Cuban bands and other artists. In 2010 he established the production agency and management OM-PA AS together with Mette-Marith Aspmo, and he also took part in the establishment of the record company Finito Bacalao Records DA. From 2011 to 2013 he worked as head of productions for Tromsø Chamber Orchestra in NOSO AS.
A jour: mar 2016