Paal Nilsen-Love awarded the Jazz Ambassador Prize

Recognized for his use of music as a bridge between people and cultures.

Written by Tina Brodal 19.04.2023

Paal Nilssen love foto peder Ebbesen
Paal Nilsen-Love wins the Jazz Ambassador Award (Photo: Peder Ebbesen)

Jazz drummer Paal Nilssen-Love received the prize on Saturday April 15th at Ibsenhuset in Skien at The Jazz Awards. Nilsen-Love received the prize for his ability to cross borders; “not only in terms of genre, but also across national borders” the jury reasoning says. The Jazz Ambassador Price is an export prize hosted by Norsk jazzforum in cooperation with Music Norway.

The Jazz Awards was held for the first time in 2023, and 11 prizes were awarded during the ceremony which aims to honor, collect and highlight the broad, flourishing musical life of jazz.

Se all prize winners HERE

Tine Skolmen Aslak Paal Nillsen Love foto Ketil Hardy63
The Jazz Ambassador Price is hosted by Norsk jazzforum and Music Norway. (Photo: Ketil Hardy)

Here is the jury's reasoning:
Throughout his musical work and artistry, the Jazz Ambassador has crossed borders, not only in terms of genre, but also across national borders. With the ability to look beyond exporting oneself and one's own music, and understand the importance of music as a bridge between people and cultures.

He has made a deep dive into musical traditions, incorporated these into his own music, put together countless band projects and toured the world. Through this extensive activity, he has created a reputation for Norwegian jazz and a whole generation of Norwegian musicians internationally, and mutually brought the world with him to Norway.

Not only is he a pioneering drummer and improviser, he has helped establish two internationally recognized festivals in All Ears and Blow Out! Paal Nilssen-Love is the Jazz ambassador!

Peder Elias AIS foto Henning Lefsaker
Peder Elias has been referred to as pop phenomenon in Asia. (Photo: Henning Lefsaker)

Peder Elias wins International Success Of The Year
The Norwegian Grammy Awards (Spellemannprisen) also took place on the same night as The Jazz Awards, and 26-year old Peder Elias received his first award in the category this year’s international success. The prize is a collaboration between Spellemann and Music Norway which aims at honoring international success stories that contribute to increasing Norwegian music exports. For the past two years, Peder Elias has built up a significant international fan base and has been referred to as a pop phenomenon, specifically in South Korea.

Previous award winners in the category are Aurora (2021), girl in red (2020), Lise Davidsen (2019), Stargate (2018), Ina Wroldsen (2017), Alan Walker (2016) and Kygo (2015).

The prize also consists of a grant of NOK 100,000 given by the Ministry of Culture, which the winner must pass on to a person, an organization or an environment that has helped to inspire and stimulate the winner's interest in music. The grant goes by the name "It was here it began".