Welcome to Frode Kjekstad homepage
THE NORWEGIAN JAZZ GUITARIST FRODE KJEKSTAD IS ONE OF THE MODERN JAZZ GUITARISTS OF TODAY, IN THE SAME GENERATION AS JONATHAN KREISBERG AND KURT ROSENWINKEL.
DUE TO HIS UNIQUE BACKGROUND, IN THE BORDERLAND BETWEEN AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN INFLUENCES, AND NOT BELONGING TO ANY SPECIAL “SCHOOL” OR TREND, HE HAS A PERSONAL, UNIQUE SOUND, THAT CONTRASTS BETWEEN BEAUTIFUL TENDERNESS AND FORCEFUL OUTBURSTS.
Frode Kjekstad was born in Lier, Norway in 1974. He was already captured by the music of Charlie Parker and Joe Pass when he picked up the guitar at the age of 14, and the year after he started studying jazzguitar.
He moved to Oslo in 1994. Studying music at the University, teacher and trumpeter Torgrim Sollid introduced him to New York-guitarist Randy Johnston. This meeting was a great inspiration, leading to lessons as well as a great friendship.
Playing regularly for 4 years with Sandvika Bigband, considered Norway's best band in it's genre, Frode had the opportunity to play with international jazz stars as Diane Shuur, Frank Foster, Johnny Griffin, Don Menza, Rob McConnel, Jim Morrison, Mark Nightingale, Claire Martin, Deborah Brown, Uffe Johanson and many others.
Frode has played with a number of american players in Norway in different settings, among these Gerald Willson, Wendell Brunious, Grant Stewart, Randy Johnston, and others!
In 1999 he joined a trio led by Scandinavian jazz-organ king Paul Wagnberg's trio.
Working as a freelance jazzguitarist at cafés, in bigbands, trad-bands, and be-bop combos from 1990, Frode also started teaching jazzguitar in 1992, and has been teaching guitar in many different institutions since then. He is now teaching guitar at the college Rud vgs near Oslo.
In 2002 Frode received great reviews in USA and Italy for his bootleg CD "Presenting Frode Kjekstad".
In 2004 Frode released his CD "New York Time", featuring Dr. Lonnie Smith, Eric Alexander and Byron Landham. This has led to increasing international activity.A CD featuring Frode´s compositions and arrangements for bigband was released the autumn 2005, a production done by "Sandvika Bigband". He also recorded with Ski Bigband in 2009.
In 2010 Frode recorded the album “The Italian Job” with Italians Alberto Marsico (organ) and Enzo Zirilli (drums). They soon teamed up with saxophonist Alex Garnett (UK), forming the quartet “Frode Kjekstad´s Italian Job Trio + Alex Garnett". After the release of the CD, this quartet has played in several European venues, among these Ronnie Scott´s in London.
Establishing himself at the top level of European jazz, Frode is one of very few Scandinavian guitarists working on the international jazz scene today.