Per Mathisen (born 7 October 1969 in Sandefjord, Norway) is a Norwegian jazz musician (upright acoustic bass and electric bass) and composer, known from collaborations with great jazz musicians like Terri Lyne Carrington, Geri Allen, Gary Thomas, Bill Bruford, Alex Acuña, Gary Husband, Ralph Peterson, Nguyen Le and Terje Rypdal. He is married to pianist Olga Konkova, and the brother of jazz musicians Hans Mathisen (guitar), Nils Mathisen (keyboards, guitar and violin) and Ole Mathisen (saxophone and clarinet).
Mathisen was educated on the Jazz program at Trondheim musikkonservatorium 1991–93, followed by a period at the Berklee School of Music in US, and returned to Norway in 1994.
He played in various bands in the Oslo region, e.g. “Erlend Gjerde Quintet”, “Inge Stangvik Quartet” and “Storeslem”, and the records Her point of view (1997), Northern crossings (2000) and Some things from home (2001), as well as Unbound (2002/2006), with Olga Konkova.
In 2001 he toured in Europe with Terri Lyne Carrington, has also played with a number of international names, such as Geri Allen, Gary Thomas, Bill Bruford, Gary Husband, Ralph Peterson, Nguyen Le and Terje Rypdal. From 2003 he was member of the transatlantic jazz collective NYNDK (with a release in 2006), so-called because the musicians come from New York, Norway and Denmark.
Mathisen has otherwise participated on recordings with the band “String Zone” (Mystery bag, 2003), Hans Mathisen (Quiet songs 2002–04), Helge Sunde & Norske Store Orkester (Denada, 2005) and Roy Powell Peak Experience Trio (2006), and has been a regular feature as bassist and leader of “workshops” in Groove Valley (annually held in Beiarn in Nordland) where artistic director is Jan Gunnar Hoff.
2013 Played with Joseph Williams, Bill Champlin and Peter Friestedt All Star Band. In the last couple of years Mathisen joins forces on the stage with one of the most recognised Scandinavian jazz names in the world – a Swedish guitarist, Ulf Wakenius. In December 2016 together with Utsi Zimring (drums) and David Kikoski (piano, synthesiser, Fender Rhodes, minimoog) he released a studio album New York City Magic under Alessa Records.
The Klangforum Wien – an Austrian chamber orchestra, based in Vienna at the Konzerthaus, which specialises in contemporary classical music, invited Mathisen to play on the latest opera of an Austrian composer Bernhard Lang‘s opera named “ParZeFool/MONDPARSIFAL Alpha 1-8” that was premiered June 4th 2017 at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, Austria. The orchestra was conducted by Australian condoctor Simone Young, and the piece was directed by German painter, sculptor and performance artist Jonathan Meese.
In October 2017 Mathisen announced a short tour with Jan Gunnar Hoff featuring on the drums one of the greatest Cuban drummers, Horacio (“El Negro”) Hernandez, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music. Recording a studio album under Loosen Records in Barxeta (Spain) will follow the tour.
Has been a freelance electric and acoustic upright bassplayer with base in Oslo, Norway, since 1994, and has performed in over 30 countries worldwide with some of the most famous musicians on the planet. He is often referred to as Norway’s answer to Jaco Pastorius on electric bass and Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen on acoustic upright bass.
Since October 2016 Mathisen resides both in Oslo (Norway) and Vienna (Austria).
Per’s current bands and projects:
1. MATHISEN – WAKENIUS – HUSBAND
Per Mathisen b, Ulf Wakenius g, Gary Husband d
2. MATHISEN – HUSBAND – VALIHORA
Per Mathisen b, Gary Husband k, Martin Valihora d
3. MATHISEN – ALNÆS – PILOTO
Per Mathisen b, Frode Alnæs g, Giraldo Piloto Barreto d
4. MATHISEN – ZIMRING – KIKOSKI
Per Mathisen b, Utsi Zimring d, David Kikoski k
Member of bands:
1. Olga Konkova Trio
2. Ensemble Denada
3. Hans Mathisen Quartet
4. Frode Alnæs Trio
5. Dance With a Stranger
6. Guiffre Zone
7. Tan Go Go
8. Haakon Graf Trio