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