Bobo Stenson Solo*
Bobo Stenson - piano
We find it an honor to have Bobo Stenson as our Festival-artist of 2022. This pianist has done so many musical projects and remarkable concerts and recordings that we love to present him in two different concerts. One with his trio and one solo.
Bo Gustav Stenson (Västeras, 1944) was born in a musical family. As a child, he studies classical piano. In his early teens, Bobo comes into contact with jazz. At grammar school, he meets one of Scandinavia's greatest tenor saxophonist Borje Fredriksson, who during his short career (he died in 1969 at the age of 31) has a major influence on the development of modern jazz in Sweden. Bobo agrees to join Fredriksson’s innovative band together with Palle Daniellson on bass and Frederik Norén on drums.
Having passed the university entrance exam, Stenson sets off for Paris, at that time the mecca of jazz. For six months Bobo performs every night, surrounded by American and European musicians, at the legendary jazz clubs such as the Bluenote, Le Chat qui Pêche and the Buttercup. Thereafter Bobo sets off on tour with a German company centred around vocalist Inge Brandenburg (1929-1999) with whom he makes his first recording in Berlin in 1965.
Around the same period Stenson moved to Stockholm. There he plays with local Swedish giants, such as the drummer Rune Carlsson and tenor saxophonist Bernt Rosengren. And when American bass player Red Mitchell (1927-1992) moved to Sweden in the late 1960s, he put together a trio with the 24 year old Bobo and drummer Rune Carlsson. Other eminent musicians, such as tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon (1923-1990) and Belgian jazz legend Toots Thielemans also invited Bobo to play alongside them.
At the beginning of 1970, Stenson toured Africa with the American tenor saxophonist Stan Getz (1927-1991). Musicians such as Sonny Rollins, Gary Burton and Sheila Jordan, also passing through Scandinavia, are keen to get Bobo on stage with them. And so a career with and endless list of projects and cooperations follows. With recordings of Manfred Eicher’s German record label ECM. With more musicians than we can mention here. OK we mention some: Jan Garbarek, Arild Andersen, Jon Christensen, Swedish Radio Jazz Orchestra, George Russell, Don Cherry, Palle Danielsson, Rena Rama, Anders Jormin, Rhune Carlsson, Charles Lloyd, Tomasz Stanko, Paul Motian, Lars Danielsson.
He has won many prizes, played at countless festivals and made many many albums on ECM and other labels. To get a more complete bio check his website www.bobostenson.com or the numerous articles and reviews that are written about him and his music. We end with a quote of Thomas Conrad in JazzTimes of 2005: "the greatest living jazz pianist born outside the United States. He is a poet of the first order. Stenson's spontaneous melodic and harmonic discoveries, his trajectories and distant departures, arrive at a breakthrough to lyricism that, once found, sounds like it has always been there".
In his long career he has given several acclaimed solo concerts, several of which have also appeared in an album. We hope for such an iconic concert again tonight, that will reverberate in our memory for a long long time…