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Norway´s very first jazz band, the Bodø Jazz Band, was established in Bodø, Northern Norway as early as 1921. Bodø has a long history of jazz and popular music. From 2011 the city also hosts a new exciting festival, the Bodø Jazz Open.
Surrounded by spectacular Northern lights, mountains and the ocean, Bodø this modern city above the Arctic circle exposes great jazz and musical highlights during 5 days in January every year.

Artists 2011-2014 include Eivind Aarset, Hanne Hukkelberg, Arild Andersen, JazzKamikaze, Alex Acuna, Marilyn Mazur, Arve Henriksen, Audun Kleive, Anders Jormin, Jaga Jazzist, FOCUS, Jan Gunnar Hoff / Mike Stern Quartet, John Surman and many others. The 2014- program was our most ambitious so far, with 38 arrangements. We featured the world famous Cuban group KLIMAX. We have artists like Terje Rypdal, Ståle Storløkken, Palle Mikkelborg, Bushman´s revenge, Petter Wettre/Jason Rebello, Steve Gadd, JØKLEBA and more. The program also includes a lot of local acts in addition to popular Norwegian artists Frode Alnæs, Unni Wilhelmsen a.o. The legendary Norwegian group LAVA that performed with Randy Crawford in the 80s, visited Bodø for the very first time.

Our festival philosophy:

We want to create an OPEN musical atmosphere and environment for jazz and related rhythmical music. Our “frame” of music includes progrock, NU-jazz, ethnic and of course jazz in all it´s flavours. Our goal in the festival projects is to bring together the very best of national, local and international performers for collaborations, jam sessions and workshops.

In addition, BJO want to produce more activity in January, normally connected with darkness, winter and “low profile” on concerts and festivals. People stay at home at this time of the year but the jazzfestival make them come out from “hiding”. And statistics prove us right, an overwhelming 3.700 audiences attended Bodø Jazz Open 2014, which was considered a great success, as was 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Bodø has fantastic surroundings and there is a lot to be seen. Not at least the Northern lights, really something to experience!

In January 2011 the legendary Dutch progrock band FOCUS visited Bodø Jazz Open. The band played a great concert but before the gig they made a trip to Saltstraumen close to Bodø, the worlds strongest maelstrom. An amazing sight according to FOCUS and of course according to all visitors during the year.

Saltstraumen has become an all year attraction and is now Bodø and Nordland´s most important tourist asset, in addition to the Lofoten islands. This fantastic archipelago is easy accessible from Bodø in many ways, by boat, plane or car. Bodø is the gateway to Lofoten!

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