Haftor Medboe

haftor medboe

Dr Haftor Medboe

Associate Professor


Haftor Medbøe is Programme Leader, BA (Hons) Popular Music and lectures across a broad portfolio of subjects within the Music School that include Composition Studies, Jazz Improvisation, Music in the Community, Entrepreneurship in the Music Industries, and General Music Skills. He holds the post of Jazz Musician in Residence and is director of Edinburgh Napier University Jazz Summer School in association with Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, and founding organiser of the annual Continental Drift Conference, welcoming the leading lights of the international jazz studies community to Edinburgh Napier University.

Since gaining his Doctoral degree in 2013 Haftor has published in the USA and the UK and presented research papers in Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy and the UK on pedagogy, and cultural identity and commercial infrastructures in jazz. Since 2015, Haftor has been Researcher in Residence at Festa Do Jazz, Lisbon PT. He is currently working towards the publication of a book, Jazz From Scandinavia.

Prior to being appointed full-time lecturer at Edinburgh Napier in 2009, 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 commissioned responses to a number of exhibitions for 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 tutor for Artlink Scotland.

Haftor remains active as a musician and composer on the international jazz scene and was a featured artist in Creative Scotland’s “Made in Scotland” showcase in 2013. He has recorded five studio albums with Haftor Medbøe Group and has featured on numerous others as sideman. Recent recordings include 'Bitter Together' (2014) with bass clarinetist Pete Furniss, his regular collaborator at the National Galleries of Scotland, where they present improvised responses to visiting exhibitions. In 2016 Haftor released an album of original compositions on Norwegian Losen Records with pianist Espen Eriksen and trumpeter Gunnar Halle. Haftor also runs his own record label, Fabrikant Records. Haftor tours extensively in the UK and abroad with a variety of projects and is a Yamaha endorsed artist.



Conference Activity

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


External Examining/Validations

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


Fellowships and Awards

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


Invited Speaker

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


Non-executive Directorship

  • Board Director, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival


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