Biography

Ulf Johansson Werre

Pianist, trombonist, vokalist, kompositör, arrangör och orkesterledare

Born in 1956. Pianist, trombone player, vocalist, composer and band leader. Ulf is one of the great, international jazzmusicians of Sweden. He combines high musical level with the skills of a charismatic stage personality. Multi-instrumentalist and wonderkid that started to play rockdrums at the age of six. Studied medicine at Uppsala University before being accepted as one of the first four to the first jazzeducation at the Royal Music Academy in Stockholm.

 

In 1978 Ulf got the music scholarship of the Sweden-America Foundation to study in the U.S.A. Ulf chose University of Pittsburgh where he studied with Dr.Nathan Davis and Kenny Clarke a.o. for two years. In Pittsburgh he also lead his own band at the famous jazzclub "The Encore".

 

Coming back to Sweden he got the Diploma at the Royal Academy in 1981, where he also held a teaching position between 1982 and 1986 besides working extensively as freelancing jazzmusician.

 

Ulf has performed as soloist at numerous international festivals, with big bands, numerous radio- and TV-shows, with symphony orchestras and choirs. He is considered to be world-class on both his instruments. He has worked with Mel Lewis (trio-record and soloist with the Mel Lewis Big Band), Hank Crawford, Jesper Thilo, Arne Domnérus, Hacke Björksten, Rolf Eriksson, Joe Newman, Buddy Tate, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Warren Vaché, Buddy de Franco, Pete Christlieb, Wendall Brunious to name a few. Ulf also collaborates with musicians from other ethnical music-cultures as in his multicultural group “Tellus Music”, for example the Indian tablasmaster Suranjana Gosh.

 

Ulf leads several own bands from trio to big bands. He is since 2004 Artistic Leader for the “Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra” and in charge of the big band curriculum at the University.

 

Ulf is known for his stylistic versatility ranging from New Orleans, Swing, Bebop, Mainstream, Contemporary and Fusion and writes with a strong personal touch in jazz as well as European art music.

 

Listed below are some achievements and honours:

1976 Louis Armstrong Scholarship

1978-80 Chairman of The University of Pittsburgh Big Band

1986 Member of first Swedish Jazz Composers Orchestra

1986-1995 Permanent cooperation with Arne Domnérus

1987 With Mel Lewis and Hacke Bjorksten at the Village Vanguard

1989 Swedish representative of European Broadcasting Big Band in Italy

1989 Uppsala County Cultural Scholarship

1990 One of four European trombonists in "trombone summit", den Haag

1990-91 Leader of jazzclasses at Uppsala University

1991 Member of the Swedish State Concert Tour "Swedish Jazz in the USA"

1994-95 Bandleader at Swedish TV-entertainment

1995 Anniversary scholarship of the Harry Arnold Foundation

1996 The Jazznobility Price of the FAME Association

1997 Guestsoloist at Scandinavian Promotion Weeks, Malaysia

1998 “The Rotary Foundation District Service Award” for arranging children cancer charity concert

1999-2004 Jazzteacher at Vasaskolan Music High School, Gavle

2000 Member of the concertseries "Swedish Jazz Salutes USA" with main concert at Carnegie Hall, New York

2001 Starts UJW Big Band Explosion with Swedish elite and arranges first “Great Jazz Party” with guests Phil Wilson

and Charlie Norman

2002 Concert “two masters, two grands” at Kristianstad Concert House with Hans Leygraf

2003 Uppsala County Cultural Scholarship

Permanent member of the all-european orchestra "Euro Top 8”

Musical coordinator at “Swedish Entrepreneurial Days”

Musical coordinator at project “Upplandsdagarna” in Minneapolis

Uppsala Cultural Fund Project Scholarship

2004 Projectleader for Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra (UUJO)

Scholarship from Swedish Composers Association

Lecturer at the symposium “The Art and the Senses”, Örebro University

2005 Ambassador of Equality at Uppsala County

The “Big Artistic Work Scholarship” from Uppsala Community

2006 Arranges “The Minnesota Jazz Tour” with Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra, where he also is featured as soloist at

“Jazz Celebration Month”

One of four international trombone players in “Trombone Kings” at the Lenk Festival, Switzerland

Honorary scholarship from “Uppsala Concert House Friends”

2007 Writes two large compositions for the Carl von Linné-anniversary on “Dalaresan” and Botan Brass & Fireworks

Tour with “European Jazz Giants” in Germany

Tour with American trumpeter Duke Heitger

Member of the Uppsala Music council

2008 Leads UUJO in concert “Big Band Bouquet” with original compositions.

UUJO performs at LIONS´60-year celebration.

Leads professional big band in “The Great Jazz Party” at Uppsala Concert House.

2009 Recieves the “Torgny Segerstedts Cultural Scholarship at the spring concert of male choir Orphei Drangar.

Leads UUJO in celebration concert for Duke Ellington “Happy Birthday, Duke!

Takes initiative and artistic responsibility for Rotary charity concert “Stora Rotarygalan 2009” which results in the immunizing of 160 000 children against polio. Gets a “Paul Harris Fellow” from Uppsala Rotary Club.

Leader of seminarseries “Live Jazz History” at Uppsala Senioruniversity.

Member of Collegue of Music in Practice at Uppsala University and starts concertseries “Blue Monday” at University Hall.

2010 UUJO performs original Johansson Werre composition “Fantasy over Midsommarvaka” at Hugo Alfvén

celebration

Guest soloist with Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, Taiwan.

Recieves “Medal of Honour” of Uppsala Community “for, as a versatile jazzmusician, leader of orchestras, composer and pedagogue, having enriched the musical life of Uppsala both nationally and internationally.”

 

Some extracts from critics and other statements:

"It's not often You get the chance to meet a worldclass pianoplayer and a worldclass tromboneplayer in one and the same person" - Phil Wilson

"…the marvellous, invigorating playing of Swedish pianist Ulf Johansson… myriad of diverse stylistic colorations… this fellow Johansson is a monster player who deserves to be heard from again soon" - Les Plantes

"Ulf Johansson is the best mainstream trombonist around" - Buddy Tate

"Ulf Johansson is a genious and a man of thousand arts" - Fride Jansson

"…Ulf has to be considered as world elite" - Bjorn Berge