Jan Kaspersen (www.jankaspersen.dk)
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Biography

Jan Kaspersen

Born 22 April 1948 in Copenhagen. Studied piano with Duke Jordan, Kjell Olson, and Herman D. Koppel, and jazz theory with George Russell. Study trips to The Gambia, West Africa, in 1983 and 1985. Active on the jazz scene since 1969, primarily in Denmark, but also in Greenland, Faroe Islands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the USA, and Russia. Awarded DJBFA's composer prize in 1987, the JASA prize in 1988, Statens Kunstfonds 3-year work grant in 1993 and lifelong grant from 1998.

Kaspersen has played with such groups as "Blue Sun" 1969-72, "Alif" 1976-78, and "Nada" 1978-80. He has worked with Lone Kellermann and with Dan Turell during the 1970s. He has led his own groups since 1979, often under the name of "Space and Rhythm Jazz": from trio, quartet, quintet, and septet to the "Special Occasion Band" (12 musicians) and "Space and Rhythm Big Band" (16 musicians). From mid-1980s, he has worked in duos with Bob Rockwell, Simon Spang-Hanssen,Pierre Dørge, Horace Parlan,  and as solo pianist. Formed in 2004 a sextet w. Christina von Bulow, Jakob Dinesen and Peter Dahlgren, that plays Kaspersen´s arrangement of the music of Abdullah Ibrahim aka Dollar Brand.
From 2008 also sextet w. Henrik Sveidahl, Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard and Simon Spang-Hassen.

Kaspersen's name was established in the 1980s as one of the most distinctive and original profiles in jazz - as pianist, composer, and especially as bandleader. Time and again he has demonstrated his skill in bringing out the very best from his fellow musicians.

The music on the repertoire is mainly written and arranged by Kaspersen - music that has its roots in the jazz and blues traditions created by Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, Charles Mingus, and Horace Silver. Arrangements by Monk and Ellington/Strayhorn's music are also on the repertoire.Recorded as the first danish jazzmusician a whole album af Thelonious Monk compositions ("Memories of Monk" 1986). Furthermore  Kaspersen has studied and recorded the music of Erik Satie. He has composed works for his own ensembles since the beginning of the 1970s - around 400 pieces arranged for large and small groups. He has written music for the New Music Orchestra, New Jungle Orchestra, The Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra, Radiojazz Gruppen, Klüvers Big Band, the Orchestra of The Royal Theatre, Ny Dansk Saxofon Kvartet, Strange Party Orchestra,Toneart Ensemble, T.S. Høeg's Somesax,Copenhagen Policeorchestra and music for more than 30 films and theatrical performances.

Numerous recordings with his own groups, as solo pianist, and in duos with Simon Spang-Hanssen, Pierre Dørge, Horace Parlan, and Bob Rockwell. See discography.

Rockwell/Kaspersen's "Ballads and Cocktails" was chosen Danish jazz recording of the year in 1992 and "Heavy Smoke" was awarded a Danish Grammy for best jazz recording of the year in 1994. Kaspersen's music has also been played/recorded by the Lee Konitz/Jens Søndergaard Quintet, Bob Rockwell Trio and Quartet, Toralf Mølgård's Quintet, The Four, Strange Party Orchestra, Aske Jacoby Band, Verdensorkesteret, Orbit Big Band and the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra.


Some of the musicians who have worked with Kaspersen and his music:

Anders Bergcrantz, Jerry Bergonzi, Rob Rockwell, Finn Ziegler, Simon Spang-Hanssen, Fredrik Lundin, Tomas Frank, Christina Dahl, Niels Lyhne Lykkegaard, Jan zumVorde, Elith "Nulle" Nykjær, Jens Søndergaard, Jakob Dinesen,Kasper Tranberg, Christina von Bulow, Claus Waidtløv, Bent Jædig, Jesper Thilo, Henrik Sveidahl, Jens Hack, John Tchicai, Jesper Zeuthen, Mads Hyhne, Erling Kroner, Kjeld Ipsen, Peter Dahlgren, Lis Wessberg, Bjarne Roupé, Aske Jacoby, Peter Danstrup, Marc Davis,Billy Peterson, Anthony Cox, Lennart Ginman, Jesper Lundgaard, Nils Bo Davidsen, Jens Jefsen, Klavs Hovman,Ole Skipper Moesgaard,Hugo Rasmussen,Ole Rømer, Kresten Osgood, Ole Streenberg, Jonas Johansen, Ole Theill, John Betsch, Martin Andersen,Klavs Nordsø, Jacob Andersen, Flemming Quist Møller, T.S. Høeg, Kristian Jørgensen and Pierre Dørge.