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Grace Jones

Det er med stor glede vi kan offentliggjøre at Grace Jones kommer til Bergen torsdag 11. juni! Det er Grace Jones' første konsert i Bergen noensinne, og den første i Norge på mange år. Det vil også være hennes eneste konsert i Norge i sommer.

Hvordan oppsummerer man multikunstneren og stilikonet Grace Jones? Den eksentriske artisten har gjennom sin snart 40 år lange karriere jobbet både som modell, skuespiller og sanger. Jones vokste opp i en streng jamaicansk prestefamilie og som trettenåring rømte hun hjemmefra med en motorsykkelgjeng og sluttet seg til en teatertrupp i New York. 

Grace Jones går inn på det tidspunktet Sam Smith skulle gått på scenen på Bergenfest, altså kl 17.30 på festivalens hovedscene Plenen. Sam Smith måtte som kjent kansellere all konsertvirksomhet i mai, juni og deler av juli måned pga slitasje på stemmebåndet som medførte at han måtte opereres umiddelbart. 

Med sitt androgyne og mystiske utseende ble den høyreiste damen raskt lagt merke til i moteverdenen. Kort hår, kantete kostymer og iskaldt blikk. Med omgangsvenner som Andy Warhol og Karl Lagerfeld, ble hun kjapt en toneangivende skikkelse i mote- og kunstmiljøer. 

Som sanger slo hun først gjennom med albumet "Nightclubbing" med det ikoniske platecoveret som viser en androgyn Grace Jones kun iført en blazer. "Pull Up to the Bumper" og "Demolition Man" ble umiddelbart klubbklassikere med sine funky rytmer og hektende driv. Plata ble produsert av Chris Blackwell som også var grunnla Island Records og sto blant annet bak Bob Marley og U2s gjennombruddsplater. Trevor Horn-produserte "Slave to the Rhythm" står fremdeles som en bauta i 80-tallets klubbkatalog. 

Jones har gjennom hele sitt virke utfordret konvensjoner og kjønnsroller både gjennom musikkvideoer, teateroppsetninger og klesstil. I kjølvannet av dette har hun inspirert et uttall av det vi anser som samtidens viktigste pop-artister, se bare på Lady Gaga og Rihanna. 

Som konsertartist er hun intens, eiendommelig og fargerik. Bergenfestpublikummet kan med andre ord forvente seg noe utenom det vanlige når Grace Jones inntar scenen med ”Slave to the Rhythm”, ”Love is the Drug”, ”My Jamaican Guy” og ”La Vie En Rose”.

 

GRACE JONES ENGLISH BIO 

Acclaimed singer, songwriter and actress, Grace Jones is preparing to release “Hurricane”, a new album of original material, in the U.S. later this summer. Produced by Jones and Ivor Guest, “Hurricane” has received widespread praise in the U.K. and Europe where it was released last year. The tracks “Williams’ Blood” and “Corporate Cannibal” have emerged as hits as has the new video for “Corporate Cannibal” directed by Nick Hooker. Last July, Jones performed in a new show at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. Collaborating with acclaimed Academy Award-winning costume and production designer Eiko Ishioka, Jones debuted songs from the new album for U.S. audiences.  

The shows received overwhelming praise from audiences and critics alike.  Daily Variety wrote “...a commanding Grace Jones provided a finely tuned display of humanity” and “...the return of Jones was warm and uplifting”. The LA Times ran the headline “Grace Jones bowls over the Bowl” and the New York Times reported that Jones was “lithe, fierce and solid”. Rolling Stone wrote “So many performers are said to be larger than life, but the show biz cliché has never been truer than it is for Grace Jones…the crowd roared as if they’d seen the second coming”. 

Born in Jamaica before relocating to Syracuse, New York with her family, Grace Jones embarked on a successful career as a model in New York City and Paris. In 1977 Jones secured her first record deal resulting in a string of dance-club hits including “I Need A Man” and her acclaimed reinvention of Edith Piaf’s classic “La Vie En Rose”. The three disco albums she recorded, “Portfolio” (1977), “Fame” (1978) and “Muse” (1979), generated considerable success in the market and established her as a major recording artist.

During this period Jones became a fixture on the international club scene and was often seen at New York City’s famed nightclub Studio 54. Jones also became a muse to Andy Warhol who photographed her extensively and created a series of iconic portraits of her.

Towards the end of the 1970’s Jones adapted the emerging New Wave music to create a different style for herself. Working with Island Records producers Chris Blackwell, Alex Sadkin and Compass Point All Stars, she recorded the critically acclaimed albums “Warm Leatherette” (1980) and “Nightclubbing” (1981). These included reimagining’s of songs by Sting (“Demolition Man”), Iggy Pop and David Bowie (“Nightclubbing”), Roxy Music (“Love is the Drug”), Astor Piazzolla (“I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango)”) and Tom Petty (“Breakdown”).

Both albums included tracks co-written by Jones herself including “A Rolling Stone”, “Feel Up” and most notably, the post-disco dance track “Pull Up to the Bumper” which spent seven weeks as #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club play chart and became a Top 5 single on the U.S. R&B chart. 

Parallel to her musical shift was an equally dramatic visual makeover, created in partnership with artist Jean-Paul Goode, with whom she had a son. Jones adapted a severe, androgynous look with square-cut hair and angular, padded clothes. The cover photographs of “Nightclubbing” and “Warm Leatherette” as well as her subsequent albums exemplified this new identity.

Jones’ next release was the dub reggae-influenced “Living My Life” (1982) which featured the self-penned hit “My Jamaican Guy”. In 1985 she worked with Trevor Horn for the conceptual music collage “Slave to the Rhythm” and in 1986 she collaborated with Nile Rogers for “Inside Story” which produced the Billboard 100 Hit, “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect For You”), one of several songs she co-wrote with Bruce Wooley. “Bulletproof Heart” (1989) spawned the Number 1 U.S. Hot Dance Club Play hit “Love on Top of Love (Killer Kiss)” produced by C&C Music Factory’s David Cole and Robert Clivilles.

Jones is equally famous for her motion picture roles in such features as “Conan the Destroyer” (1984) co-starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, “A View to a Kill” (1985) co-starring Roger Moore as James Bond, the vampire thriller “Vamp” (in which Keith Haring famously painted her body for her role as an undead exotic dancer) and “Boomerang” (1992) co-starring Eddie Murphy (for which she recorded the song “7 Day Weekend”). Her television work includes appearances on “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special” (1988), “Beastmaster” (1999) and “Shaka Zulu: The Citadel” (2001).

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