The Power of Norway’s Best-selling Jazz-artist

The Power of Norway’s Best-selling Jazz-artist

For almost 30 years her voice has captivated and fascinated a discerning audience. Silje Nergaard (b. 1966) has been successful both as a vocalist and songwriter. She is one of the best-selling jazz artists on the official sales chart in Norway and became known worldwide after the release of the international bestseller Tell Me Where You’re Going, featuring Pat Metheny on guitar. The power  of Norway’s Best-selling Jazz-artist Silje Nergaard has reached a world-wide audience.

She says, “I cannot live without music. It is like the air I breathe. Music is my way of existing in the world. Everything I do, experience and feel goes through a music filter. Could this be the inspiration for a song? Does it have a resonance I can use? Then starts the slow, intuitive process of creating music.  At the beginning I sit tinkling at the piano, fumbling my way forward. And suddenly it’s there – one or two key phrases. I can feel it in my whole body, that’s it. Then comes the time-consuming and laborious work of building a song around those key phrases. The foundation is there, but you have to build the walls and roof, and other instruments to my voice. And then the melody need to go off and get some clothes – a set of lyrics created by Mike McGurk.”

The Power of Norway’s Best-selling Jazz-artist
Silje Nergaard, “For You a Thousand Times”

Related: The Norwegian Wizard of Recorded Jazz

Tell me where you’re going
Silje entered the music scene at the age of 16, and her first hit single “Tell Me Where You’re Going” made it to no. 1 in Japan as well as top 10 in Norway and other countries. Part of what makes Silje an exciting artist is that her songs can float in a room like an atmosphere, cool, elegant and ingratiating. But then, suddenly, a note wakens you from your trance and challenges you: Hey! I’ve got something to say.

At first light
Her album “At First Light” (2001) is the best-selling Norwegian jazz album ever recorded and entered the official sales chart in Norway at no. 1 in its first week. The album “A Thousand True Stories”, which Silje recorded with the Metropole Orchestra in 2008, was a great success in both Europe and Asia. Silje is one of the few Norwegian artists to have been commercially released all around the globe, on most continents and major music markets including Japan, Brazil, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

The Power of Norway’s Best-selling Jazz-artist
Silje Nergaard & Espen Berg

Related: A Norwegian Jazz Masterwork

The Power of Norway’s Best-selling Jazz-artist
“Since I sing for an international audience, it feels right to sing in English,” she says. It is difficult to place Silje in any kind of box or genre. You could call her a jazz artist and point to her collaboration with the legendary Pat Matheney, and listen to her 2003 album “Night-watch”, which is more cool jazz than anything else.

But you could also call her a pop singer, and point to her version of Chicago’s “If you leave me now”, from her album “Be still my heart”. You could also point to her role model, Joni Mitchell, and simply call her a ‘singer’.

The Power of Norway’s Best-selling Jazz-artist
“I cannot live without music,” says Silje Nergaard

Silje’s special blend
Or you could mix all the different genres together and call it ‘Silje’s special blend’. Silje has recorded and performed songs with Al JarreauPat MethenyToots Thielemanns, and Morten Harket of A-ha. She has had Tord Gustavsen and Jarle Vespestad as two pillars in her bands. Vince Mendoza received a Grammy Award Nomination for the Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) Award for the song “A Thousand True Stories” in 2011.

Related: Nordic Balm

Now, Silje has ventured into an exciting collaboration with the great jazz pianist Espen Berg. Espen is considered a world class pianist and was the recipient of Molde Jazz Festival’s renowned music award in 2016.

EFG London Jazz Festival 22 & 23 November 2019
At the EFG London Jazz Festival 22 & 23 November 2019, the duo will perform carefully selected songs from Silje’s vast musical catalogue, including Be Still My Heart, The Waltz, Japanese Blue, and Tell Me Where You’re Going.



Espen is a masterful pianist, and Silje’s beautiful and expressive voice is truly allowed to shine in this wonderful musical landscape created with Espen’s dynamic and playful piano. This duo will give you a unique concert experience – nothing less than pure medicine for your ears, your heart, and your soul!

Rumors say, they also have surprises in store, with their very own interpretations of well-known classics.

The Power of Norway’s Best-selling Jazz-artist, written by Tor Kjolberg