Born: March 22, 1980 Primary Instrument: Piano
Pianist Joakim Simonsson was born 1980 in Umeå, a small town in the north of Sweden. After music studies in Umeå and Bollnäs Joakim found himself in Stockholm in his early twenties, struggling to do music fulltime. In 2004 Joakim released his first album with Open Trio, featuring Pär-Ola Landin on bass and Daniel Olsson on drums. The trio was at that time called Saga.
Joakim started as a jazz piano student at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and stayed there for four years. During this time he studied for teachers Ove Lundin, Alvaro Is Royas, Joakim Milder, Fredrik Ljungkvist and others.
Since the start with Open Trio in 2002, Joakim has been busy as a composer. The original music of Joakim Simonsson has mainly been heard through the trio and other small groups. Beside Sweden, Open Trio has toured in Germany, Scotland and Poland and has done several live concerts on Swedish national radio. During the years 2005-07, the group Pidgin, featuring Joakim Simonsson, piano, Joakim Milder, sax, Pär-Ola Landin, double-bas, Daniel Olsson, drums and Thomas Opava, percussion, toured a lot in Sweden and also released the CD When We Still Believed In Magic. Another still ongoing project has been the free-jazz duo, the Two Sounds Ensemble featuring Joakim Simonsson, piano and Stefan Wistrand, reeds. Their first CD, Inversions, was released in -04 and the follow-up, Fictions, is yet to be released in March 2009.
The latest group involving Joakim as both pianist and composer is quintet The Country. This group feature tenor player Fredrik Nordström, drummer Johan Käck, bassist Palle Sollinger and guitar player Alex Simm.
As a sideman Joakim has been found on stage and/or on CD with artists and groups as Adam Tensta, Asha Ali, Anthony Mills, Carolina Wallin Peréz, Charleston Sisters & the Golden Boys, Elmo, Jeanette Lindström, Hanna Hedlund, Ictus, Magdalena Konefal, Lena Swanberg, Tanaka and more.
All the time beautiful, all the time unexpected. - Sonic
Joakim Simonsson's ensemble is a genuine working group, which together has made one of this years best records. - Nerikes Allehanda
Open Trio plays jazz that mixes Scandinavian folk flavors, neoclassical influences, and free playing in an enticing way... If Saga continue to produce jazz of such emotional depth, exhilarating freedom, and memorable melodicism as they do on Farger, they certainly will be seeing me and, I suspect, many of you, tomorrow. - All About Jazz
Brilliant moment with Joakim Simonsson! - DN
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