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Distinguished Artist Award 2015
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Distinguished ARTIST Award

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Nils Landgren | 2015 Distinguished Artist Award Recipient

Nils Landgren receives the 2015 Distinguished Artist Award at the Malmö/Copenhagen 2015 ISPA Congress, Visions for the Future: Building Bridges. View other ISPA Award winners.

Nils LandgrenAn impressive international career has helped Nils Landgren establish himself as one of Sweden's most distinguished and successful musicians, with a special position in the world of Swedish jazz. In 1981, Thad Jones invited him to join his "Ball of Fire" big band as lead trombonist. He has since played with talents such as ABBA, Eddie Harris, Crusaders, Herbie Hancock and more. Nils has been the artistic director of the NDR Big Band (Norddeutscher Rundfunk) and is now the artistic director of the Bohuslän Big Band in Sweden. Nils has made a significant contribution to ensuring that jazz has gained increased attention and a higher status.


In addition to being a musician himself, he has also helped developed the international careers of young Swedish musicians, both by promoting them in a dedicated company and by introducing them to agencies and artistic scenes. In addition to his successful international career, he is also involved at the local level, as an artistic director and organiser of the Jazz under Stjärnorna (Jazz under the Stars) festival in Brantevik in Sweden.

Nils makes a major contribution to community and societal issues, including in a project with Doctors without Borders in Soweto, South Africa. Funk for Life portrays life in the township of Khayelitsah and a series of video clips are used to highlight the incredibly difficult living conditions there. The project also includes providing instruments to a school in Soweto and 140 instruments have so far been distributed to the Magnetic Music Schools Program in the South West Township of Johannesburg at Thaba-Jabula Secondary School. Nils has also launched similar projects in Kibera (Nairobi, Kenya) and Brazil. The projects aims to raise public awareness about the acute and basic needs in the urban slums and has been endlessly advocated over the past years in various media and in front of public audiences all around the world.

Nils Landgrens Credo is “Music knows no borders, music is freedom” and it is hard to find anyone who make this more true.

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