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Tour in Belgium

Norwegian Tapas 2011

Torgeir Vassvik|Photo Tuula Sharma Vassvik

Torgeir Vassvik|Photo Tuula Sharma Vassvik

Seven Winds, Torgeir Vassvik and Kouame Sereba are all geared up for the second “Norwegian Tapas” tour

Norwegian Tapas was arranged for the first time in 2009 when Bruvoll/Halvorsen band, Gjermund Larsen Trio and Jorun Marie Rypdal Kvernberg toured Belgium and Luxemburg. The tour was organized by Toernee Mondial, a Belgian network of cultural houses, in association with Norwegian FolkOrg. The tour was a great success with sold-out concerts and a great demand for the artist’s records.

Pictures from Norwegian Tapas tour in 2009

Norwegian Tapas menu 2011

A second Norwegian Tapas tour is about to start now featuring Seven Winds, Torgeir Vassvik & Kouame Sereba. The selection of artists was made at Folkelarm in September 2009 by the head of Toernee Mondial, Roger Bouwens.
-I saw the artists performing live at Folkelarm. Together they cover a wide range of traditional Norwegian music and stand for top-quality music, Bouwens states.

Photo Nicki Twang

Seven Winds

Over the last twelve years, Unni Løvlid, Rolf Erik Nystrøm and Becaye Aw have performed together in a variety of duo settings. The three joined forces in 2008 following the commissioning of a work featuring music written to accompany the words of Norwegian writer Olav H. Hauge. Like the Hauge poems, Seven Winds’ music has its roots in Norwegian folklore, and much in the same way as Hauge employs his distinct dialect to add colour to poems and histories from the entire world, Seven Winds fuse their distinct musical dialects with global influences. During her career, Unni Løvlid has devoted much time to focus on local Norwegian vocal traditions, but she has also found time to collaborate with leading performers on the global stage. Rolf Erik Nystrøm is a highly respected saxophonist and contemporary post-classical composer with a resume that includes projects representing a wide range of styles and genres with an emphasis on new music. Becaye Aw originally hails from Mauritania but grew up in Senegal where he performed with such heavyweights as Baaba Maal and Masour Seck. In order to adapt the guitar to traditional Senegalese repertoire, he has developed a distinct playing style that adds colour and spark to this exciting trio. Seven Winds have collaborated with Chinese, Sri Lankan and Zanzibar performers and have successfully adapted Hauge’s poems for mandarin, Hindi and Swahili audiences.

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Torgeir Vassvik

Sami artist Torgeir Vassvik blends diverse styles to create a form of expression that is coherent and easily identifiable, combining joik and the characteristic Sami frame drum with Siberian throat singing and natural sounds. Many of Vassvik’s compositions revolve around a fusion of Sami joik and other music styles performed by different circumpolar minorities. Vassvik manages to marry the past and the present on through his live performances and on disc. The past does not conflict with present or the future, instead meshing and completing these dimensions in a magical way. 2006 saw the release of Vassvik’s debut album, ‘Sáivu’, which was produced by noted trumpeter and composer Arve Henriksen. ‘Sáivu’ has racked up an impressive list of rave reviews in the domestic as well as international music press – an allaboutjazz.com review sums is all up pretty well: ‘A beautiful and unique gem’. His second album 'Sápmi was out in 2009 receiving great appraisals. Torgeir Vassvik band are Torgeir Vassvik (vocals, frame drum), Jo Berger Myhre (bass), Jan Martin Smørdal (guitar) and Jonas Howden Sjøvaag (drums).

Photo Eivind Kaasin

Kouame Sereba

Vocalist/guitarist/percussionist/djembe and dodo player Kouame Sereba is a master of Côte d'Ivoire’s rich musical tradition. He was sent by his parents to their native village Tiegba at the age of 10. Living there he learned about traditional life, music and dance. By the age of 20, he travelled across the African continent where he visited and lived in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Cameron, Central African Republic, Sudan and Egypt, collecting musical inspiration in every corner. In 1983 Kouame moved to Norway, where he is based today. In addition to his solo projects he collaborates with musicians of many different styles; jazz, folk, contemporary, as well as traditional and modern African music.


The idea of setting up a Norwegian folk music tour in Belgium developed next to Roger Bouwens growing interest in Norwegian music.
- During my second visit to Folkelarm two years ago I was looking for a possibility to present several Norwegian artists together to the Belgian public. With Norwegian Tapas I can merge different artists in one project and make the result more than the sum of the ingredients. Joining instrumental artists with vocal artists/groups makes the concert more attractive to the public and also more known to our audience, says Bouwens.

Through the Norwegian Tapas idea Norwegian artists get a hold of the opportunity to perform outside Norway, and to convey Norwegian folk music to an audience in Belgium, people that are familiar to music from all over the world, but that hardly ever are exposed to music from Scandinavia.
- The Belgian public has a very open mind and is willing to get acquainted with music from all over the world. They will be surprised by the high quality of the Norwegian performers and the explicit joy they display while playing their music, Bouwens states.


February 22: Dilbeek, Belgium
February 24: Bornem, Belgium
February 25: Evergem, Belgium
February 26: Brussels, Belgium
February 27: Leopoldsburg, Belgium

Listen to the Norwegian Tapas artists

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