Heidi Skjerve is a versatile vocalist, working with jazz, improvised music, traditional Norwegian folk music and theater, both as a soloist and as an ensemble musician. She compose her own music, and also teach jazz vocals.
Heidi Skjerve was born in 1979 and raised in Rennebu, a small village on the country side in Mid-Norway. She now lives in Trondheim.
She studied jazz singing in the Institute for Music, NTNU, Jazz Department in Trondheim (1998-2002), with teachers such as John Pål Inderberg and Eldbjørg Raknes.
Alongside jazz she has been singing Norwegian folk tunes in the old traditional way, learning from old archive recordings.
In 2006 she released her critically acclaimed debut CD "Coming Home" on the jazz label Curling Legs, featuring her own compositions. The quintet consisted of Espen Reinertsen - Saxophone, Erlend Slettevoll -Piano, Roger Arntzen - Bass and Truls Rønning - Drums. Two years later she released "Morning News of the Woods" with a new rythm section Rune Nergaard on Bass and Gard Nilssen on Drums, also featuring Nidaros String Quartet and the Norwegian pop artist Tom Hell.
"Norwegian singer Heidi Skjerve has put together a top-notch collection of young jazz musicians who are making a real name for themselves in Scandinavia (...) The singer also composed all the quintet’s songs. Although she has clearly been influenced by jazz standards (“Love’s Philosophy”), Skjerve also employs modal chord structures and folk sensibility (“The Gypsy”) to create echoes of everyone from Miles Davis to Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake. This warm and very personal brand of music will likely appeal to longtime jazz fans and provide a nice entrée for those less familiar with the genre."
– The Wire - rewiev of "Coming Home"
Skjerve has been a member of the improvising vocal ensemble Trondheim Voices since 2001. Trondheim Voices is working with the possibilities of vocal improvisation, exploring the edges of what can be done with the voice and searching for new expressions. In 2010 they released the CD "Improvoicing". They have performed commission works for Norwegian festivals and collaborated with composers and musicians such as Jon Balke, Maja Ratkje, Ståle Storløkken, Mats Gustafson, Marilyn Mazur and more. In 2014 they participated in the musical "Hundre Hemmeligheter" ("Hundred Secrets") by Cirka Theater with music by Eirik Hegdal, a performance for wich they won the norwegian theater "Hedda" award. They have also been commissioned to sing for Nobel -prize winners, for the Japaneese Emperor and in other great official events.
In 2011 Skjerve started the project "Jazz from the woods" with her reputable former teacher John Pål Inderberg (bariton sax), the acknowledged pianist Vigleik Storaas and the up and coming bass player Trygve Fiske. The quartet is playing old Norwegian folk tunes and hymns in a jazz manner. In 2012 they released the critically acclaimed CD "Vegen åt deg" ("The road to you"). They have since performed at festivals such as Olavsfestdagene, Jazzfest in Trondheim, Dølajazz and Kongsberg Int. Jazz Festival. In 2015 they are planning to release a new album.
"She challenges herself and her masters by making folk tunes and cool jazz into a higher unity, and creates a highly personal expression. Yes indeed, Heidi Skjerve sets the course for a new and distinctively Norwegian improvisational music." - Erling Wicklund, NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation), review of "Vegen åt deg"
Skjerve has frequently been a soloist with the Norwegian Air Force Band, Trondheim Jazzorchestra and other big bands. She has performed the soloparts in Duke Ellingtons "Sacred Concert" several times with big bands and choirs around in Norway.
She was awarded the Geir Digernes' Memorial Award in 2008.