Ingebrigt Håker Flaten
Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (b. 1971) — The award winning Norwegian bassist, improviser, composer and bandleader Ingebrigt Håker Flaten has been at the forefront of modern creative music both in his native country Norway and internationally since the early 1990s. Perhaps best known as a founding member of the Scandinavian super group Atomic, Håker Flaten has merged post-free jazz explorations and experimentation with skillful use of attributes from many other idioms in countless collaborations, bands and projects.

An innovative practitioner of both the double bass and electric bass, Håker Flaten studied at the highly respected jazz program “Jazzlinja” at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. Early on, he gained attention as part of the groups The Source and Element, the latter formed with fellow students and life-long collaborators Paal Nilssen-Love and Håvard Wiik. Both Nilssen-Love and Wiik would later join Håker Flaten in Atomic, which the three Norwegians formed together with the two Swedes Magnus Broo and Fredrik Ljungkvist. Making their recorded debut in 2001, Atomic has since been celebrated and treasured by jazz enthusiasts and critics alike, and won many accolades along the way.

Throughout his career, Håker Flaten has reached beyond boundaries, both musical and geographical. In his musical approaches, grounded in the innovations and liberations of American and European jazz and improvised music of the late 50s and early 60s, he often takes on board other styles and idioms, such as the gnarl and heft of rock, the rhythmic bounce of hiphop, the atmospheric and melodic tones of folk music, and much more, taking the music into even new realms of discovery. Through such boundary breaking explorations, his many musical collaborations has taken him to many corners of the world, and in 2006 he moved from Norway to the USA; initially to Chicago and later settling in Austin, until returning to Norway in 2020. Through these moves, he has nurtured old and fostered new collaborations and interactions with musicians, both veterans and up-and-coming stars, based in and around those local, fertile scenes.

Ingebrigt Håker Flaten has performed all over the world and appeared on more than 200 recordings. Along with Atomic, he leads US based groups like the genre busting Young Mothers and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten Chicago Sextet, and plays in groups like Icepick, I.P.A., and Dave Rempis Percussion Quartet. He was previously a core member of the powerjazz trio The Thing with Nilssen-Love and Mats Gustafsson, as well as Free Fall, just to mention just a few past and present projects. Additionally, he often performs solo and in duos.

In group settings as well as on his own, he has collaborated with a wide array of stellar musicians like Joe McPhee, David Murray, Peter Brötzmann, Ken Vandermark, Rob Mazurek, Frode Gjerstad, Neneh Cherry, Mette Rasmussen, James Blood Ulmer, Bugge Wesseltoft, Paul Lytton, Chris Potter, Hamid Drake, Akira Sakata, Tony Malaby, and many others.

In 2015, Håker Flaten founded Sonic Transmissions. Initially a music festival that has since evolved into a concert and event series that runs throughout the year. Between 2015 and 2020, Sonic Transmissions has presented over 100 musicians from Norway, the US, Latin-America and Europe. Since Håker Flaten’s move back to Norway, Sonic Transmissions has been expanded into the Trondheim based festival Sonic Transmission North and label Sonic Transmissions Records.

In 2018 Ingebrigt Håker Flaten was awarded the Buddy Prize, the most prestigious award in Norwegian jazz. With Atomic, he has won the Norwegian Grammay award, Spellemannprisen, twice, and he has appeared in the Down Beat’s Annual Critics Poll on several occasions.