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Sollid Receives Honorary Buddy Award

Musician and teacher Torgrim Sollid has been presented with an Honorary Buddy Award, an extra prize that is part of the highest award given in the Norwegian jazz community.

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. The year 2020 has been a special one in many ways, including the fact that the Norwegian Jazz Forum has awarded an Honorary Buddy Award for the first time since 2003, to a person who has had an enormous influence on the development of Norwegian jazz and the Norwegian jazz community.

Musician and teacher Torgrim Sollid was surprised at his Oslo home by the Norwegian Jazz Forum’s board chair Ingrid Brattset and general manager Gry Bråtømyr.

“For a long time, many members of the Norwegian jazz community have been very eager to honour Torgrim Sollid’s efforts on behalf of Norwegian jazz. We, as representatives of the Norwegian Jazz Forum, are pleased to be able to say that we are now doing just that. With a long list of musicians and colleagues supporting us, who have all sent their highest recommendations and warm words about your position and importance in the jazz community, we would now like to present you with an Honorary Buddy Award,” Brattset said when presenting the award to Sollid.

“A driving force in the Norwegian jazz community, as a musician, composer, innovator, teacher and mentor for several generations of Norwegian jazz musicians.”

Jury, Honorary Buddy Award, 2020

For many years, Torgrim Sollid has been a driving force in the Norwegian jazz community as a musician, composer, innovator, teacher and mentor for several generations of Norwegian jazz musicians. This year’s other two Buddy Award winners, musicians and composers Maja S. K. Ratkje and Solveig Slettahjell, have only positive comments to make about Sollid:

“Torgrim was a prince throughout the entire period I studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and opened musical doors for all of us with tremendous warmth and consideration – and a solid dose of avant-gardism,” Slettahjell says.

“Torgrim was one of the important people for us, who had a positive attitude toward everything we were doing,” says Maja S. K. Ratkje.

Winners of the Honorary Buddy Award receive a statuette of the legendary jazz musician Buddy Bolden, recreated by artist Lise Frogg.

Jury’s Grounds for the Honorary Buddy Award, 2020

“For many years, Torgrim Sollid has been a driving force in the Norwegian jazz community as a musician, composer, innovator, teacher and mentor for several generations of Norwegian jazz musicians.

His list of accomplishments as a musician is long, but he is perhaps best known for his pioneering work with the record Østerdalsmusikk in the mid-1970s, one of the first musical projects to combine Norwegian folk music with jazz. This recording led to the establishment of the band Søyr, and among his many collaborative efforts his work with saxophonist Warne Marsh merits special attention. Torgrim Sollid has, throughout his entire life, been an ambassador for both specific historical styles and rebellious modernism in Norwegian jazz.

His role as a teacher is absolutely unique. Sollid has been instrumental in developing and teaching at the summer programme in jazz improvisation in Søgne, which has become an institution in the Norwegian jazz community, and which has meant a great deal to both professional and amateur musicians. Since the early 1990s he has built up the jazz and improvisation programme at the Norwegian Academy of Music, which is now one of the country’s leading specialist environments for these styles of music. Sollid has always worked with collective interests, and has been involved in establishing a community and supporting young performers. He has taught and inspired several generations of Norway’s foremost jazz musicians. Sollid’s former students, among whom are many of today’s leading jazz musicians, refer to him as a guru and a guiding star, a pillar of strength with a deep understanding of and love for the history of music, who is nevertheless always open to new influences.

It is a great pleasure for the Norwegian Jazz Forum to present an Honorary Buddy Award to Torgrim Sollid.”

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