Gjertrud’s Gypsy Orchestra and Britt-Synnøve Johansen held a joint performance at Spor 5 back in 2014 which they named “Straight from the Heart”. It was a firecracker of a concert and marked the start of a close-knit collaboration. The two artists complement each other brilliantly, clearly thriving in each other’s company, and exhibit a strong musical chemistry. That chemistry has manifested with a fresh recording and release entitled “PÅ REIS, PÅ REIS.”
From each of their musical hemispheres, they bring together various gypsy music traditions from Eastern Europe via Portuguese fado, to Norwegian travelling peoples’ music (taterviser). As part of the release, Johansen has translated the lyrics from the various languages into Norwegian, performing them in her local Karmøy dialect. Together, they are now primed to present these songs in front of an audience with passion, tenderness and vulnerability – in Norwegian language.
Gjertrud’s Gypsy Orchestra is Norway’s most famous of its kind. An unusually fine interplay and extremely versatile musicians fronted by a driving, powerful Gjertrud Økland have helped the orchestra forge their own sound within the genre.
Johansen is probably best known for her robust and expressive Piaf interpretations, yet commands a broad musical register. A leading live artist with a fantastic presence, she is often described as the little woman with the big voice. Communication with the audience is of paramount importance to Johansen and without doubt one of her greatest facets as an artist.
Line-up: Gjertrud Økland – violin; Georg Reiss – clarinet/ tárogató; Tom Karlsrud – accordion; Pål Thorstensen – double bass; Trond Villa – violin; Helene Waage – cello/vocals; Ernest Bangó – cimbalom; Britt Synnøve Johansen – vocals