together with a former Ambassador to China, playing the saxophone..

In October 2024, we are marking 70 years of diplomatic relations between China and Norway. For this occasion, a Norwegian big band – the SLEMDAL BIG BAND – has been invited to take part in the celebration. A former Norwegian ambassador to China, Mr. Haakon Hjelde, is participating, as a «rank and file» member of the band, together with 18 other enthusiastic musicians from Oslo. With this visit to China, our aim is to celebrate friendship, cooperation and the value of «people-to-people» contact between our two countries. Mr. Haakon Hjelde served as the Norwegian Ambassador to China from 1999 to 2003. He later served 4 years as Chief Negotiator towards a comprehensive Trade Agreement between the two countries.

Above: Ambassador Haakon B. Hjelde playing his clarinet leading the May 17th National Day parade at the Norwegian Embassy premisses in Beijing 2003 & performing on the baby grand piano of the Ambassador’s Residence.

For the occasion, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) is hosting Slemdal Big Band to China for a 5-day program in Beijing, which includes a China-Norway 70 Years seminar & dialogue forum, with a reception and friendship concert at the CPAFFC Peace Palace.

The Slemdal Big Band

The SBB is an Oslo-based Norwegian musical ensemble of jazz music which includes 20 musicians consisting of four sections: saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and rhythm section (base, guitar, percussion and keyboard) and a vocalist.  SBB consists of amateur musicians from all walks of life and performs at a variety of occasions and ditto audiences. In many ways, Slemdal Big Band is representative of the well-established civil manifestation of artistic activities – not least musical – within local communities throughout Norway.».

The music genre is mostly Classical Jazz that includes different themes within jazz. Eg: Duke Ellington, Latin music, Frank Sinatra. However, SBB has a broad spectre in its repertoire including traditional Norwegian compositions. The band often plays with choirs and vocalists often in the many beautiful churches of Norway. For this occasion the band will have its own repertoire and perform with local Chinese musicians.

To support us in covering the SBB musician’s international flight and our 70 Anniversary musical creative production costs, please donate to our 70 anniversary crowd funding campaign, with our funding goal of NOK 250 000. We are deeply grateful for everyone’s generosity and contribution to the event.

Please see Information flyer for sponsors in link here.

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