Trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, along with her sister Christine Jensen, husband Jon Wikan, college friend Maggi Olin, and Mattias Welin build their music on family, friendships, relationships, and history, something rare in the "modern jazz" world. Their new album "Spirals" is a continuation of the first Nordic Connect record "Flurry" showing the evolution and connection of a band split up between three continents. ArtistShare recently interviewed Ingrid about the release of "Spirals".
ArtistShare: The Nordic Connect album "Spirals" has just come out, could you explain a bit about the formation and the concept behind this group?
Ingrid Jensen: The concept behind the group is kind of extended family. The band has been together now in different configurations for over 10 years. Maggi and I met at Berkeley and we have been playing ever since then. I worked with her in Sweden a lot before we put this band together. There was always a common thread between the people I seem to gravitate towards here in North America and the musicians that she chose to play with over in Sweden. Also in her compositions there seems to be a real affinity for musical connection. I had the idea at my wedding when my sister and Maggi first met, and of course my husband, and this whole thing evolved into a really important project that is always satisfying musically. We always get to new places because everyone is evolving in their own way as a very strong composer, arranger, and player and when we get together it's just another spiraling of our energies together in relation to where we're at. The new record is a continuation of the first record in the way that we've grown and connected at the same time even though we're so far apart. Half the band is in Scandinavia and the other half of us are in New York and Montreal. The spirals project on ArtistShare is really for us to maintain a strong group feeling.
ArtistShare: Have you found that this particular project has influenced the way you compose or improvise with other groups?
Ingrid Jensen: Well, these guys definitely free me up in my ability to bring something to the table.I can bring just a bass line and maybe a little melody and we can make something out of it. It definitely helps me get over the insecurities that burden my brain when it comes to writing and its also helped me to see that the tunes I contribute can give a breath of fresh air to everyone else's compositions.
To get a copy of Nordic Connect's new album "Spirals" or to gain access to behind the scenes content visit Nordic Connect's project page here.
Be sure to keep an eye out for part 2 of our interview with Ingrid Jensen!