Sofia Jernberg i Cecilia Persson: susret jazza i srednjeg vijeka u Švedskoj.
The group Paavo releases hereby its second record Cançó del Paó (Song of the Peacock in Catalan). On the 26st of January the group start an extensive tour in Sweden.
– There is nothing I want more than to spread the Paavo word, says Sofia Jernberg, one of two bandleaders.
– The music Sofia and I write is in constant change, I can hear movement in different directions in every tune, says Cecilia Persson, who is the other bandleader.
The band then makes the music become Paavo with everything that that implies, particularly when it comes to improvisation, energy and sound. On Cançó del Paó, the seven-piece band Paavo – backed by three guests – for the first time makes a cover: O virgo miserere mei.
– Jazz meets music of the middle age in Paavo's way, says Sofia.
When Paavo’s debut record was released in 2007, the word was spread about an unknown bird that flew in the Swedish jazz sky. Record label director and professor Joakim Milder had previously claimed the band to be ”by far the brightest new appearance on the Swedish Jazz scene”. The much spoken of debut record with handsewn and numbered covers received many and great reviews and was chosen as jazz record of the year by Swedish newspapers Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet. Reporters from near and far catched on with cameras, notebooks and pencils. Paavo received Swedish national radio’s award ”Jazzkatten” in 2008, in the category "Group of the Year", and Sofia has received the Royal Musical Academy’s jazz award.
Paavo thanked the Swedish establishment and took off out into the world. Besides clubs and festivals in the Nordic countries, Paavo visited festivals in France, Belgium, Holland, Finland and Ireland. With help from the other musicians in the band, the group sound has further been developed and Sofia and Cecilia have written new material. That the record’s title is in Catalan is no coincidence, parts of the music on Cançó del Paó accompanied a theater play in Barcelona.
When I first saw piano player Cecilia Persson and singer Sofia Jernberg, they came across as sweet and somewhat timid. That was until they started to play. As they did, I almost got dizzy adding to that first impression of mine. They were nice people, all right. But that night they also turned out to be some of the most advanced, fearless and creatively strong jazz musicians coming out of Sweden in at least a decade.
Together they form a duo and lead a band, in both cases under the name of Paavo. As the band, they perform with a drummer, a bass player, and three saxophone players. The music is at once intimate and fiercely complex, with fast and intricate lines demanding of the musicians to be on the absolute top of their game.
On the other hand there is a feminine quality to the music, a certain vibe and sensibility that steers clear of the predominantly male tendency to turn execution of complicated music into show-off. Instead of ending in itself, the complexity of Paavo’s music is musically motivated and serves as a catalyst for the improvisations as well as the overall performance.
The band’s new release “Cancó del Paó” (“Peacock song” in Catalan) takes the listener on a journey into the wild but beautiful and almost naturalistic scenarios projected by Persson’s and Jernberg’s combined imagination. You don’t have to analyze it intellectually in order to appreciate it. Rather just listen to it. Feel it first, think about it later.
You just might get hooked on these young musicians and their special take on modern jazz. Swedish women are often said to be strong and independent. Cecilia Persson and Sofia Jernberg make the music that proves it.
Sofia Jernberg (born 5 July 1983, Ethiopia) is a Swedish soprano, voice-artist, improviser and composer.
Between 2002 and 2004, Jernberg studied jazz at Fridhems Folk High School. Later she studied for Per Mårtensson and Henrik Strindberg at The Gotland School of Music Composition. In 2008, she received the Royal Swedish Academy of Music's jazz award.
Jernberg is the leader (together with the pianist Cecilia Persson) of the chamber jazz group Paavo. The group received the "jazz group of the year" award from Swedish Radio.
Jernberg is also working on the contemporary classical music scene, in which she serves as both singer and composer. As a singer she has premiered pieces by composers such as Lars Bröndum. She was a soloist with Norrbotten NEO when they performed Arnold Schönberg's Pierrot Lunaire. Jernberg has composed for several established ensembles such as Duo ego and Norrbotten NEO.