Leading a new era of jazz

Susanna Risberg

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Susanna Risberg is a celebrated, award-winning guitarist and composer from Gothenburg, Sweden. Having performed with a wide variety of musicians and artists such as Nils Landgren, Ellen Nisbeth, Marit Bergman, Fredrik Ljungkvist, Maria Schneider, Mats Gustafsson, Svante Thuresson, Miriam Bryant, Blue House Jazz Orchestra among others, received numerous awards, and toured worldwide with her own groups Susanna Risberg Trio and Susanna Risberg Vilddjur Septett, Risberg has already earned her place in the music world.

At the age of 10, she got her very first guitar. Inspired by her hero Jimi Hendrix, she formed a blues/rock trio which soon developed into a quartet. Having great success around Sweden, the group performed vigorously at blues festivals and clubs. Being a 15-year-old female guitarist at the time and always on the search for new challenges, Risberg got more and more entrenched in the study of jazz which led to substantial attention in the media.

In 2005, Risberg was awarded a Scholarship from the Albin Hagström Fund for guitarists. The following three years, she performed relentlessly as a soloist with Blue House Jazz Orchestra led by Magnus Lindgren, as well as in the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Gävle Symphony Orchestra, and Mölndal Big Band in a collaboration with Svante Thuresson. She also formed her own trio group, which performed at jazz clubs all over Sweden.

In 2008, she was accepted to Berklee College of Music on a scholarship. During her time at Berklee, she studied with Mick Goodrick, David Fiuczynski, Hal Crook, Tim Miller among several others.

Photos by Mai Nestor.

Risberg has also won a variety of awards, including the prestigious Jimi Hendrix Award, Jazzkatten award in the category of Newcomer of the Year from the Swedish Radio, and the Best Composition Award for her song “Lunde” at Sibiu International Jazz Competition.

As a bandleader and composer, Risberg has released four albums: Susanna Risberg Trio (2013), Utfall (2015), Vilddjur (2018)”, and her most recent album, Boiler Room (2021, CAM JAZZ), all consisting mostly of original compositions.

Besides performing as a jazz guitarist, Risberg has also had a career in composing for modern art music ensembles and has had her works performed by Ellen Nisbeth, Bohuslän Big Band, and The Gothenburg Combo, among others. She has also composed music for the celebrated play, Leif, starring Leif Andrée, directed by Ole Anders Tandberg, and also performed in it as a one-person orchestra.

Sälen ventures into a new realm

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"Strandberg Sälen Jazz is not only the most beautiful thing I've ever seen but also a revolutionary guitar. It has been revolutionary for my playing and it is revolutionary among guitars in general."

Susanna Risberg