RAOUL BJÖRKENHEIM & ANDERS NILSSON GUITAR DUO
Finnish guitarist Raoul Björkenheim and Swedish guitarist Anders Nilsson met in New York City 20 years ago where both were living at the time. They started playing together and immediately bonded after discovering a natural kinship. From that point their music has developed into a unique blend of ideas, a balanced synergetic guitar duo sound, with it's own Nordic identity.
Both are very experienced improvisers as well as composers, with a long list of recordings and works, including one live album together "Kalabalik", a trio with drummer Gerald Cleaver. As a duo Björkenheim and Nilsson have performed many times in NYC over the years.
Beyond the guitars, some commonalities between the two include a life long quest for sound and expression, love for similar types of music - jazz, blues, Brazilian, psychedelic, contemporary classical and beyond. Their performances are not limited to a single style or type of composition or jamming, but instead embrace a variety of ideas and idioms, dense-and-fiery to sparse-and-beautiful.
Raoul Björkenheim came to the attention of the international jazz community for his expressive and ethnically-inspired free jazz playing, combining conventional and extended guitar techniques with electronics to create what he calls “investigative guitarism”. He has recorded and toured Europe with his bands Krakatau, Scorch Trio, eCsTaSy and Blixt, and his symphonic works have been performed by the Avanti Chamber Orchestra, RSO (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra) and Helsinki City Orchestra. He has recorded for ECM, Virgin, Rykodisk, Rune Grammofon, Innerhythmic, Tum records and Cuneiform, with musicians such as Bill Laswell, Paul Schütze, Paal Nilssen-Love, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Lukas Ligeti, William Parker and Hamid Drake.
Anders Nilsson leads three bands which play his music; Anders Nilsson Group, with Satoshi Takeishi drums, percussion and David Ambrosio electric bass, bata; Outer Space Caravan with Stephanie Griffin viola, Michael Attias alto sax, Ken Filiano bass; Anders Nilsson’s AORTA, a jazz-rock band in Malmö, Sweden. He plays on over 40 albums and has performed and/or recorded with many artists such as Mohsen Namjoo, Gordon Beeferman, Jason Kao Hwang, Kalabalik, Paquito D’Rivera, Elliott Sharp, Fay Victor, and Angelblood. Nilsson’s work as a composer has produced 100+ compositions ranging from brief to epic solo works to large experimental ensemble works, many of which have been released on several acclaimed albums. He has also written music for string quartet, short films, butoh dance performances and theatre.