Born: June 8, 1977 Primary Instrument: Sax, soprano
Saxophonist and composer Frøy Aagre is a rising Norwegian jazz star. Despite her young age she has developed a highly individual expression and her compositions are both imaginative and original. Reviewers have compared Aagre with saxophone legends such as Jan Garbarek, David Liebman and Wayne Shorter. Frøy Aagres recent album Countryside has received world-wide acclaim from critics and musicians alike. The album was rated as one of the top ten albums in 2007 by the Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen.
Born in Tønsberg, Norway, Frøy Aagre began playing saxophone at the age of twelve and later moved to England to study saxophone at Birmingham Conservatoire. Her fascination of tango music, resulted a semester as an exchange student at Conservatoiro Nacional Lopez Bouchardo in Buenos Aires. After receiving Bachelor of Music with Distinction at Birmingham Conservatoire, she moved to London to pursue a Masters degree at Middlesex University. Back in Norway, she studied Twentieth-Century Composition at Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. In 2001, she studied with the world famous saxophonist David Liebman in New York.
Besides being leader for Offbeat, Frøy has performed with such musicians as Pee Wee Ellis, Mike and Mark Mondesir, Kris Davis, Jeff Davis, Annette Aguilar, Eivind Opsvik, Michael Bates, Thomas Strønen and Bjørn Kjellemyr. Aagre has toured in Europe, USA and Africa and played at festivals like Copenhagen Jazzfestival, Aarhus Jazz Festival and Prague Jazz Open.
She has received numerous prizes and scholarships. In 1999 she received the annual jazz prize from the Norwegian Association of Jazz and in 2005 she received the prestigous 1-year Composition Scholarship from the Norwegian Government.
Featuring finely crafted compositions and precise, yet stirring performances, Countryside is an ambitious and lovely followup to Frøy Aagre Offbeat's debut album, 2004’s Katalyze... Countryside is dense but far from inaccessible, due to the sheer tunefulness of the writing and the pithy inventiveness of the playing... This unit truly functions as a band, each member playing off one other and, above all, serving the songs. Stephen Latessa, All About Jazz (US)