JOn Balke biography


JON BALKE biography

Jon Balke (born 1955 in Norway), pianist, keyboardplayer, composer,

arranger, percussionist, has been professionally active active since

1974, when he joined Arild Andersens group in a studio session for the

german ECM label. Since then his musical life has moved through several stages:

Co-leader or leader of of several  groups in Scandinavia, among others:

E´OLEN a collaboration with west-african musicians(1978-1988), 

SURDU a trio inspired by ethnic sounds(1977-1979)

OSLO 13, a 13-piece composers orchestra (1980-1993)

MASQUALERO a quintet with Jon Christensen and Arild Andersen.

JØKLEBA with Audun Kleive and Per Jørgensen


BATAGRAF percussion ensemble

POINT4 "double duo" with 2 pianos 2 percussionists

SIWAN with Amina Aaloui /Jon Hassell/Mona Boutchebak/Derya Turkan

Extensive compositional works for a vast variety of ensembles and projects

like ballets, theatre plays, symphony orchestras, singers, and jazz ensembles.

He has collaborated with visual artists like Kjell Bjorgeengen, Tone Myskja, Francesco Scavetta, Giorgio Rossi etc.

His history as musician include accompanying  singers like

 Radka Toneff, Sidsel Endresen, Anne Li Drecker, Karin Krogh, and Trine Lise Vaering, as well as  live and studio sessions  with people like Archie Shepp, John Surman, Airto Moreira/Flora Purim, Michael Urbaniak, Enrico Rava,George Russel, Paolo Fresu,Nguyen Le, Marilyn Mazur,  etc.

Selected recordings:

"Nonsentration"  ECM 

"Further"  ECM

"Solarized" Emarcy

"Diverted Travels" ECM


"Book of velocities" ECM

“SIWAN” ECM records 2009

“Warp” ECM records 2016




Over the years Tronheim Voices has comissioned and performed a series of compostions from Jon Balke. The latest “On Anodyne” from 2012 was based on the poem Anodyne by Yusuf Komunyakaa , and has led to the comission of a new piece with Trondheim Voices, Munchen Chamber orchestra and Jon Balke, where the string group merges with the voices to become one instrument, carefully surrounded by Balkes electronics. First performance in Munich on 9th october 2019.


JOn Balke /Jaga Jazzist


Jaga Jazzist , a highly successful music collective that has toured Europe and Usa for 20 years comissioned in 2017 Ståle Storløkken and Jon Balke to create a collaboration peace each. The music was supposed to be premiered at Big Ears festival in Knoxville , USA but due to visa problems Balke and Storløkken could not travel. So the premiere is scheduled to novemer 2019 at Parkteateret in Oslo.