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ESBJÖRN SVENSSON DIES AT 44

By Culturekiosque Staff

STOCKHOLM, 17 JUNE 2008-Swedish jazz musician Esbjörn Svensson, 44, died during a diving accident Saturday outside of Värmdö near Stockholm. He was with a group of divers at a Swedish jetty/landing stage under supervision of a dive-leader when he was found severely injured at the bottom. Resuscitation was unsuccessful. The police are now awaiting a forensic examination and will investigate the cause of Svensson's death. The announcement of the death came as a shock for the chairman of the Swedish Jazz Society: "He was a big name way outside of Sweden." Esbjörn Svensson leaves a wife and two children.

In 1995 and 1996 Esbjörn Svensson was selected the jazz musician of the year in Sweden and was one of the most influential jazz artists in recent history and with his trio e.s.t. considered the most successful European jazz group.

In Sweden, the Esbjörn Svensson Trio has had a top 20 album, appeared on MTV and has built its reputation by playing in venues not usually associated with jazz. The trio is captivating and thought provoking with Esbjörn Svensson's seductive piano melodies, bassist Dan Berglund's use of bow and sound effects (with Hendrix-like results) and drummer Magnus Öström's accelerating beats.

Esbjörn Svensson was born on 16 April 1964 in Västeras, Sweden. His mother played classical piano, his father loved Ellington, and Svensson listened to the latest pop hits on the radio. In high school, Esbjörn played in his first bands, along with taking piano lessons for three years. There followed four years of musical studies at the University in Stockholm.

From the mid-eighties on, Svensson and childhood friend Öström established themselves as inspiring sidemen in the Swedish and Danish jazz scenes. They formed their first trio in 1990, but it wasn't until 1993 that they got the necessary lift to get a CD off the ground. It was then that they met Dan Berglund. Both were fascinated by the structural strength and creative diversity of his playing and were able to entice Berglund into joining the trio.

In 1993 the Esbjörn Svensson Trio recorded and released their debut album, "When Everyone Has Gone" (Dragon): in 1995, the live recording "Mr. & Mrs. Handkerchief" (Prophone), which has been released in the rest of the World six years later under the title "e.s.t. Live '95".

In the same vein as the Brad Mehldau Trio and The Bad Plus, E.S.T has produced some of the most innovative, thoughtful and intensely rigorous music while at the same time attracting an audience outside the usual jazz one, from rock to the youngest hip-hop fans

The Esbjörn Svensson Trio just finished the work on their 12th and now final album "Leucocyte".



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