Cecilie Grundt has in the recent years made a name for herself on the Norwegian jazz scene as a rising saxophone player and band leader with her personal sound and innovative approach to composing.
Saxophonist and composer Cecilie Grundt grew up in Stavanger, Norway. Her family enjoyed listening to both classical and jazz music from their record collection, introducing her to music of Dexter Gordon and Charlie Parker from an early age. No wonder she began playing alto saxophone at the age of nine. She took lessons at the Stavanger Performing Arts School, while playing in different marching bands, where she often performed as a soloist. Cecilie was playing both the alto and soprano saxophone at age 14, before the tenor became her obsession a few years later. She listened carefully to numerous jazz recordings, and played along with them. She cites John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Jan Garbarek as her main influences at that time. While finishing her last year in high school, she took lessons at the Department of Music and Dance in Stavanger, where she also played the tenor in Bjergsted Jazz Ensemble.
She moved to Trondheim in 2010 to attend architecture studies at NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), where she simultaneously immersed herself in the city’s stimulating jazz environment, playing in various bands and attending frequent jam sessions. In 2013, she studied at The Polytechnic University of Valencia, before moving back to Trondheim in 2014, enriched by many new experiences. In 2015, while getting her Master’s degree in architecture, Cecilie was accepted into the highly acknowledged jazz department at Trondheim Music Conservatory. Being around some of the finest and most talented young jazz musicians in Northern Europe, she got the opportunity to take both her musical and personal skills to new levels.
Since graduating from the Trondheim Music Conservatory in 2018, she has toured in various countries with her own projects; Cecilie Grundt Quintet and Cecilie Grundt Quartet, as well as working with a diverse range of other bands, such as Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & Come Shine, ØyvindLAND, Matrjojska, Starlight Big Band, Trøndelag Big Band and Bjergsted Jazz Ensemble, among others.
Her debut solo album ‘Contemporary Old School’ was released at AMP Music & Records in June 2019, gaining a very positive response, from among others, Downbeat, saying “Cecilie Grundt’s eclectic arrangements offer a taste of Norway’s innovative jazz scene”, and Tor Hammerø, with the statement “Cecilie Grundt has something very special as a composer, band leader and soloist”. She was introduced as one of tomorrow's rising jazz stars at the Kongsberg Jazz Festival 2019, and was in January 2020 selected for a showcase at the BMW Welt Jazz Award 2020 in Munich.
Her second solo album, ‘Order and Chaos’ was released at AMP Music & Records in July 2020, featuring the veteran jazz pianist Vigleik Storaas, an important educator at the Trondheim Music Conservatory. The album received excellent reviews, from among others, Jazz Journal, writing “Superior modern jazz from the saxophonist, making her second appearance as leader on CD”, and Tor Hammerø, saying "A band and an expression that struck me immediately during the first hearing of "Order and Chaos" was Eastern Rebellion, with either George Coleman or Clifford Jordan as saxophonist. Since it has always been one of my favorite bands, it is not a small stamp of approval.”
In November 2021 Cecilie was invited to play at Alternatilla Jazz in Mallorca, where she played in the festival's opening show as a member of the Alternatilla All Woman Jazz Band on November 17th, at Teatre Principal de Palma.
Her third solo album ‘Cecilie Grundt & Vigleik Storaas’, releases 21 October 2022 on Grundt Records.
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