Haftor Medboe

haftor medboe

Prof Haftor Medboe



Haftor Medbøe is Head of Screen & Performing Arts and lectures across a broad portfolio of subjects within the School of Arts and Creative Industries. He holds the post of Jazz Musician in Residence and is director of Edinburgh Napier University Jazz Summer School and founding organiser of the Continental Drift Conference series. Haftor is founding chair of the Scottish Jazz Archive and member of the Board of Directors, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival. Since gaining his Doctoral degree in 2013 Haftor has been published internationally and presented research papers in Europe and the UK on pedagogy, and cultural identity and commercial infrastructures in jazz.

Prior to being appointed full-time lecturer at Edinburgh Napier in 2008, Haftor enjoyed a twenty-year career in the music industries as a composer for film, television, theatre and contemporary dance for, amongst others, Channel 4, ITV, Tern TV, Scottish Ballet and Scottish Dance Theatre. Other composition credits include the 2014 son et lumiere production, A Night at The Botanics, collaborative installation pieces with artists Alan Kilpatrick and Michele Marcoux, dance/video productions by choreographer/film-maker Katrina MacPherson and a series of commissioned responses to exhibitions curated by the National Galleries of Scotland. Past professional appointments include Lead Tutor for the Princes’ Trust, Music Industry Consultant to Scottish Cultural Enterprise, Musician in Residence for The Queen’s Hall and Drake Music Scotland and project designer/tutor for Artlink Scotland.

Haftor remains active as a musician and composer on the international jazz scene and has recorded five studio albums with Haftor Medbøe Group. Recent releases include 'Bitter Together' (2014) with bass clarinetist Pete Furniss, the 2016 release on Norwegian Losen Records with pianist Espen Eriksen and trumpeter Gunnar Halle, a collaboration with Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon in 2019, and an album celebrating the poetry of Danish poet Martin N Hansen in 2020. Haftor tours extensively in the UK and abroad and runs his own record label, Copperfly.



Conference Organising Activity

  • Conference Organiser - Continental Drift Conference: festivals edition
  • Conference Organiser - Continental Drift: 100 years of jazz on record
  • Conference Organiser - Continental Drift: 50 years of jazz from Europe


Editorial Activity

  • Editorial Board Member, Jazz Research Journal


External Examining/Validations

  • External Examiner to MA Music, University of Salford
  • External Examiner for BA (Hons) Popular Music, Perth College, University of the Highlands and Islands


Fellowships and Awards

  • Fellow of the RSA
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Invited Speaker

  • Keynote Speaker - Thrill Confence
  • Invite Speaker - Jazz From Scotland Conference - Jazz Horizons
  • Invited Speaker - European Jazz Network - Lisbon
  • Guest Speaker - BA (Hons) Performance Industries, Academy of Music and Sound
  • Researcher in Residence - Festa Do Jazz, Lisbon, PT


Non-executive Directorship

  • Founding Chair, Scottish Jazz Archive
  • Board Director, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival



26 results

Islay Jazz Festival

Journal Article
Medboe, H., & Maclean, D. (2020)
Islay Jazz Festival. Jazz Research Journal, 12(2), https://doi.org/10.1558/jazz.40304
This article considers the ecologies and stakeholder interests that overlap in the staging of an annual jazz festival on a small Scottish island in the Outer Hebrides. Through...

Haftor Medbøe Scandinavian Group: live at Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2013

Digital Artefact
Medboe, H. (2019)
Haftor Medbøe Scandinavian Group: live at Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2013. [Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album]
Musicians: Haftor Medbøe: Guitar Gunnar Halle: Trumpet Espen Eriksen: Piano Eva Malling: Bass Benita Haastrup: Drums Konrad Wiszniewski: Tenor sax on "New Happy" Recorded li...

Cold commodities: Discourses of decay and purity in a globalised jazz world

Book Chapter
Medboe, H. (2019)
Cold commodities: Discourses of decay and purity in a globalised jazz world. In T. Howell (Ed.), The Nature of Nordic Music (123-138). London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315462851
Jazz has been a global music since its inception. In conflating Scandinavian jazz with the production of the ‘Nordic tone’, several accounts of European jazz present the music...

Will of the People

Digital Artefact
Medboe, H. (2019)
Will of the People
Will Of The People features four furious live improvisations by Haftor Medbøe (guitar and effects), Pete Furniss (clarinet and electronics) and Tom Bancroft (drums and percuss...

Medbøe | Halle | Malling - Hvor En Var Baen

Medboe, H. (2019)
Medbøe | Halle | Malling - Hvor En Var Baen. Edinburgh
Haftor Medbøe (guitar), Gunnar Halle (trumpet/voice) and Eva Malling (bass) join creative forces in the recording of music inspired by the Danish poet Martin N Hansen. The alb...

Medbøe | Karlzon

Medboe, H. (2019)
Medbøe | Karlzon. Edinburgh
Norwegian/Scottish guitarist Haftor Medbøe and Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon join creative forces in the recording of a set of original compositions. The album is released on ...

Promotion anxieties: Jazz promoters within the UK scene

Journal Article
Medbøe, H., & Moir, Z. (2017)
Promotion anxieties: Jazz promoters within the UK scene. Jazz Research Journal, 11(1), 7-27. https://doi.org/10.1558/jazz.32504
Definitions and roles of the promoter within the ecology of the music industries have over recent years become the subject of attention by academics working within the eld of...

Continental Drift: 50 years of jazz from Europe

Conference Proceeding
Medboe, H., Bares, W., Webster, E., Frost Fadnes, P., Inglis, C., Kahr, M., …Heyman, M. (2017)
Continental Drift: 50 years of jazz from Europe. In Z. Moir, & C. Atton (Eds.), Continental Drift: 50 years of jazz from Europe - Conference Proceedings. , (v-vi
Following popular exposure in France to the proto-jazz of James Reese Europe and his 369th “Harlem Hellfighters” Infantry Regiment during the latter years of WW1, the jazz bug...

Beyond Borealism: New Perspectives on the North

Book Chapter
Medboe, H. (2016)
Beyond Borealism: New Perspectives on the North. In Beyond Borealism: New Perspectives on the North (149-166). Norvik Press
Since the 1970s, jazz from Scandinavia has represented a distinct reimagining of the erstwhile American music form with the term “Nordic tone” being liberally applied in the m...

Medbøe/Eriksen/Halle - The Space Between

Medbøe, H. (2015)
Medbøe/Eriksen/Halle - The Space Between. Norway
An album of original compositions performed by Haftor Medbøe (guitar), Espen Eriksen (piano), Gunnar Halle (trumpet) Released on Losen Records, November 2015 with financal su...

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