Born: March 20, 1962 Primary Instrument: Drums
Drummer and composer Martina Almgren is described as a colourful addition to the contemporary Swedish jazz scene. ”RHYTHM AND BEAT have always fascinated me...... Surrounded by music as a child I started to play the piano soon followed by the flute. In my late teens I was caught entirely by the drums and the freedom in jazz and improvised music. Some years later I started to compose my own music.” Drummer and composer Martina Almgren is described as a colourful addition to the contemporary Swedish jazz scene. Her passion for playful improvisation, enticing rhythms and expressive melodies reflects her drumming as well as her compositions. She has for years been the head of her own quartet ( Björn Almgren-s, Tommy Kotter - pi and electric bass player Owe Almgren) Martina Almgren Quartet has released four albums, ”September” 1999, “Leaving Home” 2001, “Unden” 2003 and “Bingo” 2005. She is together with Owe Almgren leader of Oh Yeah Orchestra comprised of ten of the top jazzers on the Swedish scene. In 2009 she was commisioned to compose for Swedish Jazz Celebration for Oh Yeah Orchestra. The album with the music “Freedom of Movement” was released in 2011. Martina entered the European scene in 2007 when she teamed up with Scottish saxophonist Laura Macdonald (album Open Book 2008) and Laura Macdonald & Martina Almgren OYP 2012. She has participated in other international projects, for example Tom Bancroft´s Band of Eden and Nikki Iles Quintet. MOZ Trio is a new collaboration with British pianist Zoe Rahman and Swedish bassist Owe Almgren. The debut album “Sparkling Water, Please” was recorded in London in November 2012 and released on the new Swedish label Oh Yeah Records in april 2013.
Swedish drummer Martina Almgren declares that she wants to combine strong rhythms with expressive melodies. With her quartet of sensitive musicians, she achieves that goal in a bubbling lyrical mood. All About Jazz 2003 Almgren's constantly shifting patterns are so strong in their commitment, it's hard to imagine they are immediately considered. She drives, suggests, points, comments, challenges and makes everything shine, neat and tidy. And she does it with the extraordinary articulation one would expect from someone so musically sure. Roger Spence Jazz Scotland 2008 Almgren can really make the music breathe, opening up the rhythms with an industry tempered by a light, musical touch. Her drumming, very much from the Nordic school of rhythm, emphasises a composition's contours and supports the soloists' creativity without drawing unnecessary attention to itself. Rob Adams The Herald, UK 2008
Oh Yeah Orchestra Freedom of Movement (Imogena, 2011)
Martina Almgren & Laura Macdonald, Open Book (Imogena, 2008)
Martina Almgren Quartet, Bingo (Imogena, 2005)
Martina Almgren Quartet, Unden (Imogena, 2003)
Martina Almgren Quartet, leaving Home (Zebra Art Records, 2001)
Martina Almgren Quartet, September (Imogena, 1999)
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