Magnus Wiik & Open String Department
“Magnus Wiik is one of our time’s most innovative and ingenious music interpreters” – Peter Sjöblom, Mono Magasin
Magnus Wiik debuted as a solo artist with two records in 2020 to unison enthusiasm from the Americana and folk music press. Although to call this a debut is an understatement; Magnus has been a strong voice on the scene since the mid-2000s. He distinguished himself as a banjo player, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in the legendary bluegrass band Julie & The New Favorites from 2008. Since then, he has worked with a long list of big names in bluegrass, jazz, Irish and Norwegian folk music, and played on several of the biggest stages for this music in Europe.
“It’s a Norwegian version of Béla Fleck, Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice in one and the same person, and his name is Magnus Wiik” – Leiv Solberg, Folkemusikktimen
As a solo artist, Magnus plays a number of string instruments and sings, and with him he has the band Open String Department, who have been his main collaborators for fifteen years. Through hundreds of concerts, they have created a razor-sharp interplay and a completely unique expression that ranges from driving bluegrass to goods and transparent moods.
«What really struck me about this album was the fact that Wiik plays guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, dobro, bass, cello, flute and keys to a very impressive level.» – Tabitha Benedict, Bluegrass Today
Aksel Jensen (kontrabass) is one of the country’s most used bass players in jazz and folk music. He is widely used as a session musician and works with bands such as Game of Drones and Martin Högberg Trio.
Espen Bjarnar (gitar) distinguished himself at a young age as a very rare guitar talent, and his unmistakable guitar playing has been heard in ESP and Arne Torvik’s Northern Sounds in recent years.
Magnus Wiik – Banjo, dobro, mandolin, guitar
Aksel Jensen – Upright bass
Espen Bjarnar – Guitar