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KARL SEGLEM (f.1961)

komponist, tenorsaksofonist, bukkehornist,poet og produsent


Karl Seglem is described as one of the most exciting contemporary tenor saxophonists and composers in Norway. This country has spawned quite a plethora of distinctive musicians that have made it their enterprise to merge musical traditions, often from their respective homesteads, with contemporary expressions, world music, and improvisational jazz. Karl Seglem looms prominently among these and he is unquestionably one of the great innovators and visionaries of Norwegian music; reinvigorating both Norwegian traditional genres and jazz with his unwavering will to fuse expressions, pursue crossover ventures and embrace new instruments, sounds, and perspectives. 

Seglem's main instrument is the tenor saxophone and he has played an important role in the Norwegian jazz scene. His CD-production counts 19 solo-albums and 17 albums with different ensembles (2017). Already at an early stage in his career, he became interested in more diverse and genre-crossing perspectives of music. Especially he has been deeply involved with Norwegian folk music and has explored it as a basis for improvisation and composition. For Seglem is much more than an instrumentalist, he has worked widely and diversely as a composer -developing new contemporary forms on the basis of jazz, folk music, and more eclectic inspirations- and has also been instrumental to the growth of cross-over expressions and projects as a producer and record label manager for NORCD. 


International renown has grown steadily and not least his releases Ossicles, Som Spor, JazzBukkBox, and Nordic Balm have captivated international critics and audiences. On these records, the use of goat horns and other traditional instruments -notably the Hardanger fiddle- is masterly and excitingly blended with a plethora of modern and eclectic elements; electronic loops, jazz improvisation, world music traits, and rock characteristics. Seglem often returns to the notion of the acoustic heart of his music, which is the grounded and timeless leitmotif. With this heart intact electronic elements and engineered sounds, as well as genre-specific traits, create a dynamism that is reciprocally enhancing.  

In 2010 he received THE BUDDY AWARD, Norwegian highest Jazz award. In 2012 Egil Storbekkens Musikkpris for his work with goat-horns and årets Musikkverk from NOPA, for his comission work to Vossa Jazz 2012 "Som spor" (Like traces). He was awarded the EDVARD prize for his work "Tya" (with R.Skår), and have received other National and local prizes, grants and awards for his work. 


Karl Seglem has toured Norway, Scandinavia and Germany, played in the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Japan, Pakistan, India, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Iceland, The Pharaoe Islands, USA among other countries.  


“It’s formidable and must have been like a revelation in concert”

Roy Ervin Solstad, Stereopluss, about Nunatak

“A full score has rarely been this obvious” 

Svein Andersen, Aftenposten, about Nunatak

“This (Nunatak) is great art and almost unearthly to listen to - pure magic.” 

NPS Music

“Karl is such an imaginative musician. I love the way his music makes me feel I’m in a smokey jazz cafe one minute, and a deserted valley the next. Truly haunting and innovative.”

BBC Radio 3

 "Karl Seglem has long established himself as one of Norway´s most exciting saxophonists and effectively detrhoned Jan Garbarek"      



"Perhaps more than any other Norwegian musician, including Jan Garbarek, Karl Seglem has been succesful in working towards a confluence of the strong folkloric traditions of Norway and jazz" 


United Kingdom

"A National Music Treasure"



“At the heart is Seglem’s passionate yet restrained blowing. The more I listen to this, the more subtle detail I hear, and the brighter this fine session shines for me.”



“There are a number of people operating in these murky jazz-folk waters, not without some measure of success, but apart from Jan Garbarek at his best there is virtually no-one who approaches Karl Seglem’s eloquence and power.”



"One of the finest voices in Nordic Jazz" 



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