Jan Garbarek

Jan Garbarek

Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek started playing saxophone as a teenager, influenced by the music of John Coltrane. After winning an amateur jazz competition in 1962, he joined various groups and met the American composer George Russell, with whom he worked for several years.

He signed with ECM in 1969, a young label of which he would become the star artist. His first great classic, Afric Pepperbird, was released in 1970. Triptykon (1972) and Witchi-Tai-To (1973) followed.

During the decade, Garbarek joined pianist Keith Jarrett's quartet, and recorded several albums that met with worldwide success, notably Belonging (1974) and My Song (1977).

Jan Garbarek incorporated more and more elements of world music into his playing in the following decades. He recorded two albums with the Indian violinist L. Shankar (from Shakti), and later collaborated with the percussionist Zakir Hussain and the flutist Hariprasad Chaurasia, as well as with Pakistani musicians and Norwegian traditional singers.

In 1993, he collaborated with the vocal quartet The Hilliard Ensemble for the album Officium, which met with great success with the public. His fame extends even more in 1995 with the release of Visible World (1995).

Photo credits: © Guri Dahl / ECM Records - Dimitris Papazimouris