16 May 2023, 8.00 AM
Organized by the Embassy of Sweden in Tokyo and Spice of Life, Sweden Jazz Week offers a unique opportunity to listen to eleven of the best jazz musicians Sweden has to offer.
Sweden is famous for its rich music history, and especially its vivid jazz scene. Swedish jazz is deeply connected to old, often melancholic folksongs, and at the same time contemporary in its expression.
The Sweden Jazz Week takes place on 16-23 May at several classic jazz clubs and concert halls in Tokyo. For the first time ever, you can also experience a fusion of Swedish jazz and traditional Noh theatre. So, if you’re into Swedish music, or if you’re a jazz fan, or a Noh lover, don’t miss this exclusive happening!
The coordinator of the Sweden Jazz Week, Spice of Life, is a label company focusing on Swedish jazz. Its president, Tom Sassa, was awarded with the Order of the Polar Star by the King of Sweden for his contribution to spreading Swedish music culture in Japan.
Dates: 16–23 May 2023
Venues: Hōshō Noh Theatre, Cotton Club, Body & Soul, Sometime, Satin Doll Hamarikyu Asahi Hall, Embassy of Sweden etc.
Production: Spice of Life
Co-organizer: Embassy of Sweden, Tokyo
Lars Jansson Trio
Lars Jansson is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and educator. His trio has long been one of the most renowned jazz groups in Sweden. In 1998, Lars was nominated to the Danish Jazzpar Prize and he became the first jazz professor in Aarhus, Denmark. He was honored in Denmark with a Grammy in 2001 for the ”Best International Album,” Hope, the Lars Jansson Trio.
Other than jazz piano trio, Lars has composed music for small jazz groups, big bands, choirs, saxophone quartets, woodwind quintets, string quartets and chamber orchestra. The original music in this collection of selected piano transcriptions and lead sheets are from his numerous recordings to date with the Lars Jansson Trio.
Isabella Lundgren & Her Trio
She is one of Sweden’s foremost jazz singers, with a unique ability to enthrall an audience. Isabella Lundgren debuted in 2012 with the album It Had to Be You, and she has since then received numerous awards, scholarships and been nominated for a Swedish Grammy, twice.
As a Swedish music journalist once said: “If the 20th century belonged to Monica Zetterlund, the 21st century belongs to Isabella Lundgren “.
2014 she released Somehow life got in the way, it was named one of the 100 most influential albums in Swedish jazz history. In 2016 Where is home, containing her original songs was released and also Grammy nominated. The Swedish Daily news then called her “one of the greatest things to ever happen to the Swedish jazz scene”.
Isabella Lundgren has a great love for the American Songbook and American folk & blues tradition. This showed in Out of the Bell Jar, her 2019 album where she interpreted the works of Bob Dylan, and this year she continues on the theme with a bunch of timeless classics.
Her new album, Look for the silver lining is out spring 2021 on Ladybird/NAXOS.
Ulf Wakenius Group
Ulf Wakenius was guitarist in the quartet of the legendary Oscar Peterson for almost 11 years, until Peterson's death in 2007. He also played together with bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen for many years. His most important musical partner at the moment is the Korean singer Youn Sun Nah, with whom he has now played hundreds of acclaimed concerts around the world, mostly as a duet. On his recordings as leader, the masterful guitarist often shows himself from his quiet, melodic side, generally on the acoustic guitar with interpretations of music by Esbjörn Svensson or Keith Jarrett, and with his own atmospheric compositions, which often have a world-music flavor.
And some additional Japanese-Swedish jazz surprises!
For concert schedule etc., please check Spice of Life’s homepage:
Hosho Noh theater：Isabella Lundgren & Her Trio “Noh meets Swedish Jazz”
Cotton Club: Sweden All Stars
Body & Soul: Ulf Wakenius Group
Sometime: Lars Jansson Trio
Satin Doll: Isabella Lundgren & Her Trio
Body & Soul: Lars Jansson Trio
Sometime: Isabella Lundgren & Her Trio
Satin Doll: Ulf Wakenius Group
Body & Soul: Isabella Lundgren & Her Trio
Satin Doll: Lars Jansson Trio
Billboard Live Yokohama: Ulf Wakenius Group
Sometime: Ulf Wakenius Group
Billboard Live Yokohama: Lars Jansson Trio
Hamarikyu Asahi Hall Seiko Presents “Seiko Starry Night Concert” Vol.28
Isabella Lundgren & Her Trio and Ms. Ryoko Moriyama
For press inquiries, please contact the Embassy:
Adam Beije (Mr)
Officer, Press and Culture
Hiromi Nakamura Johnson (Ms)
Assistant, Press and Culture