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Biography

Asmund Bjørken (19 August 1933 – 29 January 2018) was a Norwegian musician who played the accordion and saxophone in the genres of jazz and folk. He was self-taught.

Bjørken was part of Harry Waagens Orchestra, a big band on the Trondheim jazz scene in 1949–53. He later had his own orchestras in Steinkjer (1956–57) and Trondheim (1957). In the lineups were, among others, Karl Holst (clarinet and saxophone, 1957), Kjell Johansen (drums, 1957) and Bjørn Alterhaug (bass, 1966). In 1990 the orchestra consisted of Oddmund Finnseth, Ove Bjørken (guitar), Per Olaf Green and Rolf Skogstad, Bengt Hallberg, Benny Bailey and Mads Vinding.

In the 1980s he played in the Egil Kapstad/Rowland Greenberg Quartet, and since 1990 he has led his own Asmund Bjørken Swing Sextet, with Ove Bjørken, Bjørn Alterhaug and Bjørn Krokfoss, and Erling Aksdal (piano).

He released the autobiography Spellemann in 2003, and a portrait of him was on the Norwegian television channel NRK in 2003, called Asmund i Himmelriket, by Andreas Lunnan.

Honors
1972: Buddyprisen
1998: Nord-Trøndelag fylkes kulturpris
2002: Vågåfatet
2003: Verdal kommunes kulturpris
2004: Trondheim Jazz Festival honorary Award

Discography

Solo albums
1976: Accordeon to my heart
1990: Gammeldansens Perler, within 'Asmund Bjørkens Orchestra (Sonor Records)
1992: Pot's on, within Asmund Bjørkens Sextet
1997: Jazz Accordion – My way, (Sonor Records)

Collaborative works
1979: Frösöminner, (ARC)
1981: Old news, within Bjørn Krokfoss Oktet
1982: All the things you are, with Arvid Genius

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