Morten Gunnar Larsen
Oslo, Norway
Added 10/9/2014

Morten Gunnar Larsen studied classical piano at the Norwegian Academy of Music. In 1975 he made his debut record, Classic Rags and Stomps, for which he won Spellemannprisen (the Norwegian Grammy) for the year 1976. He next founded the Ophelia Ragtime Orchestra in 1977 and studied and performed with stride pianist Eubie Blake, to whom Larsen composed Memories of Eubie. Larsen worked in New Orleans over longer periods of time, resulting in tours and musical direction of "One mo' time" (1979–81) written by Vernel Bagneris.[2] Larsen's collaboration with Bagneris continued with the performance "Jelly Roll!! - the music and the man", dedicated Jelly Roll Morton, premiered at Oslo Jazzfestival 1990. It played eleven months in New York Off-Broadway (1994–95) and was published as CD (GHB, 1996). This work gave Larsen the OBIE Award for 1995. He had earlier received the Buddy Award and the Norwegian Jazz Federation's «Jazz musician of the year» award (1992) in his home country Norway. He participates on several recordings with the Magnolia Jazzband (1974–93), Ytre Suløens Jassensemble, is a member of Odeon Jazz Quintet, Union Rhythm Kings, participates often with Norbert Susemihl's Joyful Gumbo (2011-Present), in addition to his own fascinating Ophelia Orchestra (1977-present). With this group he has made several US tours. Special projects include excerpts from Scott Joplin's opera "Treemonisha" and "Sound & Smoke" - music from Berlin during the Weimar Republic era.

Mr. Larsen currently performs in duo with the jazz singer Karin Krog as well as clarinetist Georg Reiss and vocalist Ståle Ytterli. As a soloist he has also been featured with symphonic groups in works by Gershwin, Bernstein, et al, and has toured extensively in the US, Great Britain and Scandinavia, as well as in Germany, Italy, Spain etc.

Solo recordings:
Classic Rags & Stomps (1975)
Don't you leave me here (1978),
…plays Roberto Clemente... (1981),
Echo of spring (Hot Club Records, 1983),
Maple leaf rag (Herman Records, 1989),
Charleston Rag collection (Herman Records, 1995)
Hot Jazz, Pop Jazz & Ragtime (Pianomania/Disklavier,1996)
Fingerbreaker (Decca, 1999).
Ragtime and Rhapsody - live from a 1997 concert in Levanger (Herman Records, 2005)
In Duo:
Jelly Roll! - the Music and the Man; Original cast album (GHB Records, 1996) with Vernel Bagneris
Rhapsody (2000), with Georg Reiss.
In a Rag Bag (2012), with Karin Krog
Interview: has Bagneris and Larsen interviewed on National Public Radio (1995) including music from the 1992 performance.