Norwegian saxophone player based in Oslo, Norway. Winner of Norwegian Jazz Grammy 2018 with 'GURLS'. Has freelanced with musicians and projects such as Bugge Wesseltoft, Bobo Stenson and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. New Hanna Paulsberg Concept album "Daughter of the Sun" with trumpeter Magnus Broo out now!

Monday, April 8, 2019


This week, I am on the cover of french jazzmagazine Citizen Jazz. They have published an interview with me, and a review of "Daughter of the Sun". Read it all in french here:

Or read the interview in english:

1 / Hanna, can you introduce yourself?
I am a saxophone player and composer from Rygge, Norway. I grew up on a small farm with a father who was a jazz drummer, and started playing saxophone at the age of 16. I have two bands of my own that I write music for, Hanna Paulsberg Concept and GURLS. I have a bachelor degree in jazz from Trondheim Jazz Conservatory, and currently I am studying a master degree in jazz at the Jazz Conservatory in Oslo.

2 / In your last album, Daughter of the Sun, we are captivated by your very warm sound, and by this mix of energy and determination. Does this positive way of approaching music reflect your personality?
Haha, that is hard for me to say. I think I can be both warm and cold, but for me, the warmt in music has always been very important. That is why I love the african-american jazz tradition so much. There is a warmt there that I often find is lacking in more modern european jazz. As for the mix of energy and determination, I guess that reflects some of my personality. There is no doubt you need both to be able to survive in this business..

3 / How was the meeting with Magnus Broo, who accompanies you in this album? How did you choose the musicians from your Concept orchestra?
Having Magnus join us was a special experience. The four of us (Hans, Trygve, Oscar and me), have been playing together for nine years now, since we were quite young. We have been through alot together, the road to finding your own sound as a musician, and as a band, and we have had good times and bad times. Sometimes when you play together that long you can also go into some patterns that you keep repeating, both socially and musically. Magnus is older than us, and a very relaxed person. He has no need for showing off, even though he can outplay anyone if he wants to. I think his warm and kind personality, and his openness to music and how to express oneself made all of us interact in a different way than we were used to. We became more relaxed, and we dared to do things differently. I think you can hear that in the music.

4 / The Norwegian scene is booming right now, maybe more than twenty years ago, how do you explain it? Do you feel at the forefront of this movement? Has the renaissance of the Odin label contributed to it?
 I don't think I have ever felt like I am in the forefront of anything. But we are lucky in Norway to have good funding systems for jazz, at least for now. That gives musicians the opportunity to explore the music they want to, however alternative and not commercial it is. I think this freedom is extremely important, it brings a diversety that benefits everyone, and from that suddenly something completely new and different pops up.

5 / Was an orchestra like the Trondheim JazzOrkester, of which you were a part, very important in this visibility?
Maybe it has been. It is always hard to see things from the outside, but I imagine that the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra has played some role in Norways visibility on the international jazz scene. Again, this is a project which stands firmly rooted with a good and solid system around it, with sponsors and a board and everything. That again gives the opportunitly to play alot of concerts abroad, be visible, pay musicians and composers properly, do projects with big stars and dare to take the chance on new music.

 6 / You often quote Sonny Rollins or Stan Getz in your models, are there any more contemporary? What is your view on the current European scene?
Wayne Shorter has also been a very big influence, both as a player and composer. It feels like he has a very open way of seeing music, and the world. Also, the people close to me here in Norway that I meet often are very inspiring. Some of the teachers I had in Trondheim, Eirik Hegdal for example, is one of my biggest inspirations. For me, I get inspired just as easily by people who play totally different music than I do, sometimes maybe even more inspired. I am not sure if I am up to date on everything that is happening on the european scene right now. But if I should mention some of the people I dig, I could say Eve Risser, Laura Jurd, Heida Mobeck, Signe Emmeluth, Mette Rasmussen, Matilda Rolfsson and Anja lauvdal, just to name a few cutting edge people that are truly awesome and happening right now.

7 / You have also worked with Bugge Wesseltoft. How do you approach electronics when you have your more classical jazz background?
Working with Bugge was extemely fun, he is a interesting guy, different from all the other people I have played with. The music was very groove-based, which was alot of fun. And Bugge also has a openness that is very inspiring.
And it is interesting that you ask, because I found working with electronics a little bit challenging. Maybe it mostly has to do with the volume, that it was higher than I am used to. I mainly work with acoustic jazz, and I think it is very challenging to keep the acustic feel where overtones and details get the space they deserve when things get to loud. It is also difficult to find the bridge between electronic and acoustic instruments that gives both parties the space they deserve. But it can be liberating as well, maybe it gives you a freedom to play different than you usually do. I have a new project that I am a part of, where there is tuba and electronics, and alot of synths, in addition to two horns and drums. It is truly a very exciting project to play with, because it is so different from everything else I do.

8 / With Daughter of The Sun, you pay homage to the figure of the Egyptian Queen Hatchepsut for what she represents, a powerful woman in a patriarchal society. With Gurls, you animate a feminist trio ... Does the current jazz leave enough room for the woman?
I think we have to take the room we want. And I think it is very different in the different countries how far things have come when it comes to equality. Some countries they dont even let me carry the equipment because I am a girl. In Norway have come to the place where most journalists have stopped asking me questions about being a female musician. But there is no doubt that the history and the ways things are done on the jazz scene in general has been shaped by men, and it can feel challenging at times for women to find their own. I have found that the best thing for me is just to focus at what I want to do, which is to play saxophone and make good music.

9 / Recording Daughter of The Sun, is it to perpetuate the tradition of a jazz that fights domination and alienation, on the ground of feminism?
Not at all.

10 / What are Hanna Paulsberg's upcoming projects?
There is alot of touring with GURLS at the moment, and I am getting ready for a tour in Norway and Sweden with Hanna Paulsberg Concept. These are the two projects I am playing most with at the moment, but I will also do some ad hoc stuff, and a couple of other projects during the spring/summer. Meanwhile, I am trying to finish my master degree at the jazz conservatory in Oslo, which is also alot of fun.


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Click on cover to buy Hanna Paulsberg Concept + Magnus Broo's new album "Daughter of the Sun" on iTunes!