Paal Nilssen-Love

at Café OTO

Jazz legend Paal Nilssen-Love may well be Norway’s most prolific drummer, and certainly one of our most talented. Born in Molde and raised in his parents’ Stavanger jazz club, Nilssen-Love has earned a reputation as ‘one of the most innovative, dynamic and versatile drummers in jazz’, playing countless festivals and clubs across Europe and the US and running his own dedicated festival for improvisational music, All Ears, in Norway.


Although solo work has played a significant part in achieving the renown he enjoys today, he has thrived on collaborative projects that allow him to explore various styles of music. Over the course of his 20-year career, he has played with well over 20 different bands, ensembles, trios and duos and this spring, two of his projects – Ballister and Large Unit – come to East London’s alternative-music hub Café Oto.

On 23 March, the trio project Ballister sees the drummer take to the stage with two other masters of their craft: Chicago-based cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and sax virtuoso Dave Rempis. Together, the three create a textured, high-energy soundscape of overlapping complementary rhythms and sliding grooves interspersed with snatches of melody.

Coming to the café for a two-day residency on 1 and 2 May, Large Unit is one of Nilssen-Love’s most recent projects. Formed last summer, the 11-piece ensemble comprises the latest generation of Norwegian musicians, playing a selection of the drummer’s own compositions – allowing space for their own improvisational contributions, of course.



Café OTO

18-22 Ashwin Street

London E8 3DL



Monday 23 March

Friday 1 May

Saturday 2 May

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