The Buddy Award has been presented annually since 1956, with a few exceptions, and looking back on the recipients is like reliving the high points of Norwegian jazz of the past seven decades. In 2020 the national organisation Norwegian Jazz Forum chose to honour two musicians with Buddy Awards.
“We are blessed with a multitude of fantastic musicians in Norway. This year, which has been a very different sort of year, we want to take advantage of the opportunity to honour more than one,” says board chair Ingrid Brattset. The Buddy Award consists of a statuette of the legendary jazz musician Buddy Bolden, recreated by artist Lise Frogg, and NOK 50 000 from the Norwegian Jazz Forum.
Due to the current infection prevention restrictions there will not be a public presentation of the Buddy Awards as there has been in previous years. Instead, the two prize winners were surprised at their homes by the Norwegian Jazz Forum’s board chair Ingrid Brattset and general manager Gry Bråtømyr. Using a cover story about wanting to conduct an interview about living as a musician during the coronavirus pandemic, Bråtømyr and Brattset arrived at the musicians’ doorsteps with a film team, and surprised both Slettahjell and Ratkje with Buddy statuettes wrapped up as Christmas presents.