Carl Petter Opsahl is one of the most original and prolific clarinet players coming from Norway. He is equally at home in jazz and traditional Norwegian folk music. His music is a unique blend of tradition and innovation, flowing from deep spiritual sources. He has collaborated and recorded with artists such as Wendell Brunious, Ellen Brekken, Oddrun Lilja, Tord Gustavsen, Jon Christensen, Henry Kaiser, David Lindley, Anders Rogg, Zotora, Jokke & Valentinerne, Åsmund Reistad and Jo Asgeir Lie. Her is a short musical bio:
A short bio
Beginning his professional career in 1982, he started out in the New Orleans tradition. Early influences were musicians such as Edmond Hall, Barney Bigard and Willie Humphrey. After numerous visits to New Orleans, including gigs at the prestiguous New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival, he lived there for a while. During this time he played with several of the city’s jazz musicians and brass bands.
Later on, he studied traditional folk music from Gudbrandsdalen with master fiddler Aslak Brimi at the Ole Bull Academy in Voss. Much of his music in later years are strongly influenced by rythms and colors derived from this tradition. His first three album features his own compositions, in the intersection jazz, fri impro and traditional norwegian music. On two of these, he collaborates with the famed jazz pianist Tord Gustavsen (Indigodalen and Love the Blues). His new album, «Kyrkja» has earned international recognition and was named by Jazz Network Europe as one of the hottest album. His next album will be released in the fall of 2023.
Much of Carl Petter Opsahl’s music is inspired by a spiritual and social commitment. He composes liturgical music, hymns and music addressing social and ecological issues. His sixth and newest album, Kyrkja, is a musical amalgam of traditional norwegian rhythms, jazz and free impro.