Nordic Noise

June 19, 2012

Summers in Nordic countries feature an explosion of music festivals. After winter’s darkness, the longer days mixed with an institutional devotion to supporting creativity — most events receive government help — mean many sonic throwdowns across Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland.

For six summers, D.C. has also benefited from these countries’ adherence to the arts, with their embassies banding together for the always-excellent Nordic Jazz fest (June 22-30, Norway.org/nordicjazz).

The majority of the concerts are at Twins Jazz, but the big show is always on House of Sweden’s rooftop. With the Potomac as a backdrop, guitarist Björn Thoroddsen (Iceland), saxophonist Håkon Kornstad (Norway; pictured above), pianist Søren Møller (Denmark) and trumpeter Goran Kajfeš (Sweden) will play up there June 26.

Møller, Kajfeš, Kornstad and Thoroddsen will also play Twins (June 23, 24, 28 and 29, respectively), as will the experimental Norwegian quartet IPA (June 22) and Icelandic pianist Sunna Gunnlaugsdóttir (June 30). Gunnlaugsdóttir and pianist Iiro Rantala will also swing the Finnish Embassy on June 27.

The only thing missing is the midnight sun.

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