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About Cecilie

Cecilie Grundt has performed and recorded with artists such as Vigleik Storaas, Knut Riisnæs, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & Come Shine, Nils-Olav Johansen, Benny Bennack III, Bjørn Vidar Solli, ØyvindLAND, Cosmic Swing Orchestra and Alternatilla All Woman Jazz Band. As a solo leader, she has toured extensively in Europe and released the four albums 'Contemporary Old School', 'Order and Chaos', 'Live at Dokkhuset' and 'Cecilie Grundt & Vigleik Storaas' to critical acclaim.

Saxophonist and composer Cecilie Grundt (July 13, 1991) was born 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 the local school band, 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 at age 17. 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 in Bjergsted Jazz Ensemble. The band performed with John Surman at The Stavanger Jazz Festival (Maijazz 2010).

In August 2010 Cecilie moved to Trondheim to attend architecture studies at NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), where she simultaneously immersed herself in the city’s stimulating jazz environment. She attended frequent jam sessions and played in various bands and big bands. In 2013, she studied at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), 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 at NTNU. Being around some of the finest jazz musicians in Northern Europe, she got the opportunity to take both her musical and personal skills to new levels.

Cecilie graduated from the Trondheim Music Conservatory in June 2018. Two months later, in August, she recorded her first album as a leader, ‘Contemporary Old School’ at the Rainbow Studio in Oslo. The album introduced her first quintet which included some of her friends and former students at the Trondheim Music Conservatory: trumpeter Øyvind Frøberg Mathisen, pianist Håvard Aufles, bassist Morten Berger Stai, and drummer Åsmund Mattias Smidt. The quintet had been playing together for more than three years, developing an original sound as well as a strong communicative interplay. The album was released at AMP Music & Records in June 2019 and gained a very positive response, from among others, Downbeat, saying “Cecilie Grundt’s eclectic arrangements offer a taste of Norway’s innovative jazz scene”. Cecilie was introduced as a rising star at the Kongsberg Jazz Festival in 2019, and her quintet was invited for a showcase at the BMW Welt Jazz Award 2020 in Munich.

Her second album, ‘Order and Chaos’ was recorded in March 2019 and released at AMP Music & Records in July 2020. The album introduced Cecilie's first quartet, which included the award-winning pianist Vigleik Storaas (an important educator at the Trondheim Music Conservatory), and two of her friends from Trondheim: bassist David Andersson and drummer Martin Heggli Mellem. The album paid tribute to the classical jazz quartet, inspired by the American 50's and 60's jazz, in particular the albums of saxophonists John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson from Blue Note and Impulse. The album received excellent reviews, from among others, Jazz Journal, writing “Superior modern jazz from the saxophonist, making her second appearance as leader”.

During her studies at the Trondheim Music Conservatory, Cecilie also experimented with incorporating effects pedals into her playing. She formed an electrified baseless quartet, named Matrjosjka, which included Ingrid Øygard Steinkopf on fender Rhodes and synth, Tore Hodneland on guitar, and Åsmund Mattias Smidt on drums and percussion. The band recorded the EP 'Matrjosjka' in March 2019, which was released in January 2021.

In October 2022, her third album 'Cecilie Grundt & Vigleik Storaas' was released on Grundt Records. The duo album was recorded in February the same year and consisted entirely of classic jazz songs. The album received very good reviews, from among others, Textura, writing “A strong chemistry has developed between Grundt and Storaas since they first met at the Trondheim Music Conservatory, and their new recording shows their rapport to be at a high level", and Salt Peanuts saying: "This has become a recording with the student and the mentor, and they have clearly found the tone, both among themselves and in the choice of jazz standards."

Her fourth album, 'Live at Dokkhuset' was released 1 May 2024 on Grundt Records. The album was recorded live 29 March 2019 at Dokkhuset in Trondheim, and it contains six original compositions performed by Cecilie Grundt and her eclectic quintet, featuring jazz star Nils-Olav Johansen on guitar, banjo and vocal. Nils-Olav Johansen is considered a central figure in modern jazz and improvisational music in Norway, and he is one of the co-founders of the group Farmers Market, which incorporates elements from pop, rock and Bulgarian folk music. 

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