Nils Landgren (musician)

Nils Landgren (born 15 February 1956 in Degerfors, Sweden) is a Swedish R&B, funk, and jazz trombone player.[1] He is known as "The Man with the Red Horn", named for his playing the red trombone.[2]

Nils Landgren
Landgren in concert
Landgren in concert
Background information
Birth nameNils Lennart Landgren
Born (1956-02-15) 15 February 1956 (age 64)
Degerfors, Sweden
GenresJazz, R&B, funk
Years active1978–present
Associated actsBall of Fire, Nils Landgren Funk Unit


Nils Landgren live at Leverkusener Jazztage 2017

Between 1972 and 1978 he studied classical trombone at the music college in Karlstad, Sweden and continued his education in the university in Arvika. After meeting the Swedish folk-jazz pioneer Bengt-Arne Wallin and trombonist Eje Thelin, Landgren was persuaded to move from his strict classical studies to improvisation and to begin the development of his own sound and approach to music.[1]

After his graduation, Landgren moved to Stockholm to work as a professional trombone player. He was soon touring with the successful Swedish pop star, Björn Skifs.[3] Skifs's band, Blue Swede, recorded a number one hit song in the U.S. pop charts with "Hooked on a Feeling".[1][4] In 1981, Thad Jones invited Landgren to join his big band, called Ball of Fire, as the lead trombonist. Landgren has worked in many genres: jazz, rock, soul, hip hop, and big band. By his own reckoning, he has contributed to at least 500 albums by such international stars as ABBA, The Crusaders, Eddie Harris, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, Wyclef Jean, and Herbie Hancock.

In 1983, he recorded and released his debut album as a solo artist. Planet Rock[3] was followed by Streetfighter (1984), You Are My Number One (1985), Miles from Duke (1987) with Bengt-Arne Wallin, Chapter Two 1 (1987), Chapter Two 2 and Follow Your Heart (1989). Between 1985 and 1987, he performed as an actor, singer, trombonist, and dancer in over 360 performances of the Swedish "play of the year", SKÅL, and apperead in several TV-films as an actor.[4]

In 1992, the first performances and recording of the Nils Landgren Unit took place. His breakthrough beyond Scandinavia occurred in 1994 at the Jazz Baltica Festival at Salzau, Germany. The "Unit" became the Nils Landgren Funk Unit. The album Live in Stockholm (ACT) was released that year and was the foundation for the collaboration with Siegfried Loch and his then nascent ACT label.[4]

In 2006, Landgren organized a “Christmas With My Friends” concert in the Odensala Church in Stockholm, which was recorded and released as an album. “Christmas With My Friends” became the first album in a series.  He has released a new “Christmas With My Friends” album accompanied by a Christmas season tour in Sweden or Germany every other year.[5][6]

In September 2007 Landgren opened the "Jazz It Up” Shanghai Jazz Festival with his band Funk Unit, playing a swing party, funk jazz show at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, He Luting Concert Hall.[7]

Awards and honorsEdit

  • Jazz Award in Germany for Paint It Blue, 1997[1]
  • Tore Ehrling Prize, Swedish Society of Popular Composers, 2002
  • German Order of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz), 2019[8]

Discography (in selection)Edit

Solo albumsEdit

  • 1983: Planet Rock (Frituna/ACT)
  • 1984: Streetfighter (Frituna/ACT)
  • 1985: You Are My Nr. 1 (Frituna/ACT)
  • 1990: Follow Your Heart (Caprice/ACT)
  • 1992: Red Horn (Caprice/ACT)
  • 1993: Ballads (ACT, 1993/98)
  • 1996: Gotland (ACT)
  • 2001: The First Unit (ACT)
  • 2002: Sentimental Journey (ACT)
  • 2016: Some Other Time – A Tribute to Leonard Bernstein (ACT)

Nils Landgren Funk UnitEdit

  • 1995: Live in Stockholm (ACT, 1994–1995), with Maceo Parker
  • 1996: Paint It Blue (ACT)
  • 1998: Live in Montreux (ACT)
  • 1999: 5000 Miles (1999) (ACT)
  • 2001: Fonk Da World (ACT)
  • 2004: Funky ABBA (ACT)
  • 2007: License to Funk (ACT)
  • 2010: Funk for Life (ACT)
  • 2013: Teamwork (ACT)
  • 2014: Eternal Beauty (ACT)
  • 2017: Unbreakable (ACT)

Collaborative worksEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Nils Landgren (Schweden) Posaune". Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Finding the funk in Abba". UPI. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  3. ^ a b Monger, James. "Nils Landgren: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  4. ^ a b c "Nils Landgren – Esbjörn Svensson". Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Kampanjer - Jazz Society". Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  6. ^ jazz, ACT Music-In the spirit of. "Christmas With My Friends VI - CD - Christmas With My Friends VI - Nils Landgren - Artists - ACT Music - In the spirit of jazz". ACT Music (in German). Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Shanghai swings and sings". Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Nils Landgren receives the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany… – Jazz in Europe". Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  9. ^ Kelman, John (22 April 2008). "Wolfgang Haffner: Acoustic Shapes Review". All About Jazz. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  10. ^ "Nils Landgren- trombone, vocals". Retrieved 24 November 2012.

External linksEdit