Haftor Medboe

haftor medboe

Dr Haftor Medboe

Associate Professor


Haftor Medbøe is Head of Humanities & Culture and lectures across a broad portfolio of subjects within the Music School that include Composition Studies, Jazz Improvisation, Music in the Community, and Entrepreneurship in the Music Industries. 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 been published internationally and presented research papers in Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy and the UK on pedagogy, and cultural identity and commercial infrastructures in jazz.

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, Copperfly. 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

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



26 results

Islay Jazz Festival

Journal Article
Medboe, H., & Maclean, D. (in press)
Islay Jazz Festival. Jazz Research Journal, 12(2),
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: Taylor & Francis (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
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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