Drummer Hakon Mjaset Johansen is the first musician that can officially call himself NTNU-Ambassador. In addition to the title he gets 50 000,- NOK (about $10 000,-) The award and title is bestowed upon outstanding musicians that have a strong connection to the Jazz-arena of Trondheim and NTNU (The Norwegian University of Science and Technology), and will annually be celebrated at the Trondheim Jazzfestival.
The award was celebrated at 7th June, sending Johansen down the Nidelven river, in the middle of Trondheim, playing his heart out on a 'never-ending drum solo', at the deck of the fire brigade's boat Anne Kathrine". The stunt created quite a buzz in downtown Trondheim bringing the jazz festival out on the streets, and down the river.
It was just me and my drums, out on the water in beautiful surroundings," Johansen says. A very special and inspiring experience..."
Exhausted from the boating drum-off, Johansen went straight into the local jazz club Dokkhuset to play with his band Excess Luggage
Johansen is, with 260 days a year on the road, one of Norway's most active musicians. Although his name is not among the stars yet, his music is. In 2002 he won the Spellemannsprisen, the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammys, for his work with Come Shine. He has recorded and played with bands like Jan Garbarek Group, Chick Corea and Trondheim Jazzorchestra, Come Shine, Urban Connection, Bugge Wesseltoft, Ola Kvernberg Trio, Jens Arne Molvarr, Atle Nymo/Frode Nymo Quartet, Excess Luggage and Maryland. At only 32 years, Hakon Mjaset Johansen has set his mind on playing great jazz, and is one of the best jazz-drummers out there. He is currently involved in some 12 bands and will be touring Asia, South-Africa and Europe this summer (Visit Johansen's MySpace Page).
For more than thirty years the jazz education at NTNU, have given birth to excellent musicians like Nils Petter Molvaer, Erlend Skomsvoll, Frode Alnaes, Maria Kannegaard, Ola Kvernberg, Mathias Eick, Kjetil Moster, Kristin Asbjornsen, Dadafon, Supersilent, The Core and Trondheim Jazzorkester. Two years in a row a NTNU-student, Mathias Eick (2005) and Kjetil Moster (2006), has been awarded the prize for Best international jazz talent under 30 years" by IAJE.
The freedom you get as a student at NTNU in Trondheim is very special and stimulating. You get to play with some of the best jazz-talents there are, and this enables you to develop yourself at a fast pace and it keeps you very motivated. I'm proud to be an official ambassador for this great environment," says Hakon Mjaset Johansen.
A video of the river drum-solo will be released at YouTube later this summer. But a short clip can be seen at the news channel NRK here.