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Jan Lundgren is a triumph of musicality over virtuosic display. Known for his quiet and subtle playing, the Swedish pianist brings to his instrument together with his trio rhythmically intricate music with complex harmonies and structures in a new Album that has been released on April the 26th.
In his youth, Jan Lundgren was often seen as one of the greatest talents in Swedish tennis since Björn Borg, Mats Wilander or Stefan Edberg. Fortunately for us and the jazz community, he has since changed allegiances.
Born in southern Sweden on march 22, 1966 he had his first piano lessons at age five. After a long classical training he discovered jazz more or less by chance in the late 80's. Instantly hooked he rapidly absorbed the entire jazz piano tradition and acquired an amazing knowledge of the Great American Songbook.
While sailing through his studies at the Royal College of Music he immediately built up a strong reputation in Sweden.
After his stunning debut album Conclusion, released in 1994, he recorded 7 very successful trio albums for Sittel until 2003. Swedish Standards, linking folk music influences and jazz improvisation (1997), has become a classic since.
Lundgren has accompanied such greats as Johnny Griffin, Benny Golson or singer Stacey Kent.
He has been honored with an impressing number of prestigious awards as the Thore Ehrling Award in 2010 and most recently the Skåne Cultural Award 2012.
The pianist has visited a long list of renown festivals, concert halls and clubs all over Europe as well as in the US, Korea and Japan.
In 2008 he released a very sucessful album with Paolo Fresu and Richard Galliano on the German ACT label. Mare Nostrum has become a major success, reaching rapidly gold status and a German Jazz Award in 2011. The « first European supergroup » continues to perform on the most prestigious stages in Europe and elsewhere (Salle Gaveau, Paris -- Tonhalle, Zurich -- Victoria Hall, Geneva -- S. Caecilia, Rome -- North Sea Jazz Festival -- Istanbul Jazz Festival).
Since 2010 Jan Lundgren is the artistic director of the Ystad Sweden Jazz Festival : after three editions the festival has rapidly become one of the most important jazz events in Scandinavia.
Lundgren is part of a long tradition of innovative pianists from Scandinavia like the influential Jan Johansson in the 60's, and in more recent times Bobo Stenson and Esbjörn Svensson.
Whether it's contemporary classical music, the inexhaustible northern folk tradition or the pulsating groove of jazz: Lundgren has a unique way of leading the listener on a voyage of discovery through his highly individual soundscapes.