Full Bio in English
Born in Motala, Sweden, in 1955, Håkan is an alto, soprano, and tenor saxophonist, arranger, and composer.
Already at the age of 8, Håkan started playing the piano, and when he was 15, he began playing the tenor saxophone and flute. One year later, he played the alto saxophone in various blues bands in Motala and the baritone saxophone with the Motala Big Band.
In 1972, he moved to Malmö to study at the music high school there, where his teacher was Helge Albin, a saxophonist and arranger with the Tolvan Big Band. He also started playing the soprano saxophone and collaborated with the Raj Montana Band and Dan Hylander. In 1977, he started studying at the Malmö College of Music and began composing regularly. He became a member of the Gothenburg group "Waves," led by the legendary drummer Conny Sjöqvist.
In 1978, Håkan joined trombonist Eje Thelin's group, which made sensational appearances at the Jazz Jamboree festival in Warsaw in 1979 and the prestigious jazz festival in Molde, Norway, in 1980. Håkan also participated in the group's album "Bits and Pieces."
In 1979, he formed the quartet "Equinox" together with saxophonist Tomas Franck. Other groups Håkan played with at this time included a quartet with saxophonist Helge Albin, guitarist Ewan Svensson's group "Albatross," and guitarist Jan Tolf's "Resa." He also collaborated with the Swedish Radio Jazz Group and American saxophonist Jimmy Heath.
In 1984, "Equinox" was chosen to record the "Jazz in Sweden" album of that year. Håkan then decided to move to Stockholm, where he began playing with Bernt Rosengren's big band, the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, and Mikael Råberg's big band. Additionally, he played with the Tolvan Big Band, which performed concerts with guest soprano saxophonist Dave Liebman. In 1986, Håkan joined Peps Persson's group called Peps Blodsband, a collaboration that lasted for many years. He also joined Gustavo Bergalli's quintet, which later toured in Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, and Uruguay. The group recorded three albums, most of the music composed by Håkan. One of the albums was recorded in Buenos Aires. While playing with the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, he worked with American guests Bob Mintzer and Bob Brookmeyer. Håkan was one of the participants in the composer-project Comp-87, where his music was played by Eje Thelin, Bobo Stenson, Palle Danielsson, and Bengt Arne Wallin, among others.
In 1988, Håkan formed the group "In and Out," with pianist Esbjörn Svensson, bassist Christian Spering, guitarist Max Schultz, and drummer Leif Fredriksson as members. He recorded an album with Bob Brookmeyer and the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra featuring Brookmeyer's compositions. "Equinox" toured in Canada, and "In and Out" played for three weeks in Athens. The group's first CD under its own name, "Dark Light," was recorded in 1990. Håkan toured with the Swedish Radio Jazz Group, with trumpeter Kenny Wheeler as the guest soloist. He also recorded an album with Mikael Råberg's big band, featuring guest drummer Adam Nussbaum. The album received a "Grammis" award, as did another album that Håkan recorded with Peps Persson, "Spela för livet."
In 1993, Håkan began playing with the Norrbotten Big Band in Luleå, led by Örjan Fahlström. Guest artists with the band included trumpeter Bobby Shew and guitarist Philip Catherine, followed by a project with Maria Schneider and Toots Thielemans. In 1994, Håkan's group "In and Out" recorded their second album, "Celestial Nights," and performed at the Skeppsholm Festival in Stockholm. The Norrbotten Big Band toured in Spain with Maria Schneider and Toots Thielemans, and "In and Out" toured with American pianist Joey Calderazzo.
In 1995, Håkan had a busy year. He recorded an album with Jan Wallgren, "Raga, Bebop and Anything," and his own project with trombonist Nils Landgren and singer Viktoria Tolstoy broke attendance records at Jazzclub Fasching in Stockholm. He formed a group with American musicians, trumpeter Tim Hagans, pianist Marc Copland, and drummer Jeff Hirshfield, and toured in Sweden and Norway while also recording the album "Still Dreaming." He also formed the group "Blues Transfusion," where he played with, among others, organist Pierre Svard, guitarist Max Schultz, and the legendary drummer from Peps Blodsband, Bosse Skoglund. In 1996, he wrote arrangements for a concert project with the American singer Carmen Lundy and the Norrbotten Big Band.
In 1997, Håkan frequently toured with both Blues Transfusion and the Norrbotten Big Band. For a tour with Viktoria Tolstoy, he was responsible for all the big band arrangements. He also toured with Tim Hagans and Jazz Unit. He had the opportunity to collaborate with the legendary pianist McCoy Tyner and his trio in a project with the Swedish Radio Jazz Group. In 1998, Håkan formed his own big band, featuring outstanding Swedish musicians such as alto saxophonist Johan Hörlen, trombonist Bertil Strandberg, trumpeters Magnus Broo and Anders Bergcrantz, as well as Viktoria Tolstoy. He participated in festival appearances with Peps Persson and "Blues Transfusion." The Swedish Radio Jazz Group did a project/tour in 1999 with Clark Terry, and Viktoria Tolstoy was the soloist. It was a tribute to Duke Ellington, and Håkan wrote two of the arrangements, Caravan and Sophisticated Lady.
In 2000, Håkan started the group "Birdsongs" together with alto saxophonist Johan Hörlen, celebrating the music of Charlie Parker. Håkan was one of the soloists on an album by Norrbotten Big Band and Tim Hagans, "Future Miles," released by the German record company ACT. In 2001, Håkan participated in guitarist Ulf Wakenius' "Groove Factor" and wrote arrangements for a collaboration between Norrbotten Big Band and trombonist Conrad Herwig. In 2002, Håkan received a grant from the Swedish SKAP and started playing in pianist/composer Nils Lindberg's Saxes Galore.
In 2003, he toured with Viktoria Tolstoy and was a member of the group "Sixtus," featuring guest pianist Herbie Hancock at the Skeppsholm Festival the same year. In 2004, he toured with the Norrbotten Big Band, playing with guest saxophonist Chris Potter for whom he wrote an arrangement of Potter's "The Source." He reformed his previous quartet with pianist Jacob Karlzon, bassist Palle Danielsson, and drummer Bengt Stark. He toured in Norway with the Swedish-Norwegian quartet SWAP. In 2005, Håkan was commissioned to record a "Composer Portrait" album for the Phono Suecia label, where he presented his compositions and arrangements performed by a big band and a string ensemble together with the rhythm section from his quartet. The CD is called "New Places." "Birdsongs" embarked on an extensive tour for Swedish Rikskonserter. Jazz clubs throughout the country praised the group's concerts as the best of the year. As a member of the Norrbotten Big Band, Håkan played in a project with saxophonist Joe Lovano, followed by another with clarinetist Putte Wickman. In 2006, a long tour took place where the Norrbotten Big Band collaborated with the soul group "Blacknuss," and some of Håkan's arrangements were featured. Saxophonist Bernt Rosengren was the next guest with the band, with music arranged by drummer Bengt Stark. In 2007, Håkan played extensively with Ulf Wakenius' group Groove Factor. They recorded "Fithy McNasty," released on Stunt Records.
In 2008, Håkan invited pianist Joey Calderazzo for a tour in Sweden together with bassist Martin Sjöstedt and drummer Daniel Fredriksson. A recording was made during that week in February 2008.
Håkan also toured with NBB/Maria Schneider and later the same year with bassist and composer Rufus Reid.
He also did a big band project with the students at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. In February 2009, Håkan also took his music back to his hometown and led the Motala Big Band in a concert.
Later that year, in April, Joey Calderazzo toured with Håkan's quartet again.
In October the same year, he met and played with Carla Bley and Steve Swallow in a big band project with the Norrbotten Big Band.
In 2010, Håkan formed his big band, New Places Orchestra, named after the album "New Places." The band performed a series of four concerts in the spring at the jazz club Fasching in Stockholm. Each concert featured three guest artists, such as Rigmor Gustafsson, Viktoria Tolstoy, Ulf Wakenius, Meja, LaGaylia Frazer, Movits, among others. The grand finale was at the Stockholm Jazz Festival that summer.
The same year, in 2010, Håkan had the pleasure of meeting and playing with the legend Phil Woods, who highly appreciated Håkan's playing both as a soloist and first alto saxophonist.
In 2011, Norrbotten Big Band did a project with the singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, a true jazz diva with an explosive stage presence. Håkan led the band and wrote most of the arrangements.
In December of the same year, Håkan was invited to lead a production with the WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany. All the arrangements were written by Håkan, and he was also the soloist alongside Finnish vibraphonist Severy Pyysalo.
In 2012, an exciting and busy year for Håkan, he led Norrbotten Big Band in many projects with different guest artists, such as the French drummer Anne Paceo, the Swedish singer-songwriter Rebecka Törnqvist, Made in Sweden with singer Tommy Körberg, and guitarist Jojje Wadenius.
But his two "heart projects" were with percussionist Marilyn Mazur and with Joey Calderazzo and Jeff "Tain" Watts.
For Marilyn Mazur Håkan wrote a suite called "Episodes from the Future and the Past," which is also the title of his CD, released in June 2014 by Art of Life Records.
The big band project with Calderazzo and Tain was preceded by a quartet tour with bassist Martin Sjöstedt as the fourth member.
Håkan also received financial support from Musikverket to do three projects with New Places Orchestra and three Swedish composers, Cecilia Persson, Anna-Lena Laurin, and Monica Dominique.
In 2013, he did a project with the Swedish singer and rock star Ebbot Lundberg. Håkan, together with producer/guitarist Johan Lindström, wrote 14 arrangements for the production, which was a great success.
Since then, Ebbot and Håkan have performed together at clubs, concert halls, and festivals with New Places Orchestra.
Later the same year, he toured with the NBB and Swedish pop star Mikael Rickfors, for whom he also wrote some fine arrangements.
In 2014, Håkan started with two projects with Visby Storband. In the first project, Håkan led the band and also brought some of his own music pieces. The second project was led by the Swedish soul singer Eric Gadd.
In February, Håkan was asked to contribute a composition to a project that paid tribute to the legendary Swedish trumpeter Jan Allan, who was celebrating his 80th birthday. The project was recorded and released in 2014. In June 2014, the CD "Episodes from the Future and the Past" was released on Art of Life Records. It received very good reviews.
Another exciting project in 2014 was the European tour with Håkan's quartet with Joey Calderazzo and Jeff "Tain" Watts.
A new version of Blues Transfusion was formed with Leo Lindberg on organ and Chris Montgomery on drums, along with Håkan and Max Schultz from the original band. Later, singer Anna Sahlene joined the band. In June 2015, Håkan returned to WDR Big Band in Cologne. This time, together with Marilyn Mazur performing the music from the album "Episodes from the Future and the Past."
Bassist Mai Leisz and Håkan started writing music together and decided to form a band. At that time, she was named Mai Agan. The band they formed was called Agan/Broström Spirit. They played at clubs in Sweden, but later, she moved to California. Hopefully, the collaboration will continue in some way.
Another tour with pianist Joey Calderazzo took place in December 2015. Håkan was commissioned by singer Tommy Körberg in 2016 to write three arrangements for the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. It was a big challenge, but the result was fantastic.
A quartet led by Icelandic pianist Anna-Greta Sigurdardottir toured Iceland in the summer of 2016.
Mai, Håkan, and the duo Sisters of Invention successfully carried out a project called Double Duo in 2017.
Håkan led Norrbotten Big Band in a production with Swedish singer/songwriter Edda Magnason. The arrangements were shared equally between Johan Lindström and Håkan.
During the fall of 2017, Håkan went to Cologne and WDR Big Band for the third time. This time, together with singer Viktoria Tolstoy. Half of the repertoire was from the American songbook, and the other half was Swedish folk melodies. All arrangements were written by Håkan.
Håkan formed his new quartet in 2019 with Britta Virves, Jon Henriksson, and Karl-Henrik Ousbäck.
In December 2019, he toured with a quartet led by German-American vibraphonist Stephan Bauer.
In July 2020, at a festival on Öland, a newly formed duo with pianist Jacob Karlzon and Håkan performed for the first time.
During the summer of 2021, Håkan recorded three albums and an EP.
"My Cat Siri," with his new quartet, was released in December 2021.
"Cosmic Friends," with his big band "New Places Orchestra," was released in February 2023.
"The Copenhagen Session," with Danish pianist Car Winther and his trio, was released in July 2022. "Lovers Moment" (EP), with the same trio, was released in April 2022.
In January 2023, a single with Håkan and pianist Jacob Karlzon, "Fragranzia," was released. It is a beautiful ballad written by Jacob.