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Another Tragic Scuba Diving Accident

June 16, 2008

Sad news today about Esbjorn Svensson. He died in a scuba diving accident in his native Sweden at the age of 44.

The musician was part of the Esbjorn Svensson Trio, known as EST, a group that helped bring music genre to a much wider and younger audience.

Burkhard Hopper, EST’s manager, said that Svensson died on Saturday (June 14th) at Stockholm’s archipelago.

“Musically, he was the light that lit the world because in what he did he was pushing boundaries,” Mr Hopper told the Reuters news agency. “He was the most important figure in jazz in this decade.”

“His music inspired people in all corners of the world.”

According to Swedish media reports, Svensson had been diving with a group and an instructor in the Stockholm archipelago when he suddenly disappeared.

The married father of two was found badly injured on the sea bed and had been transported by helicopter to a Stockholm hospital, where he died shortly before midnight (2200 GMT) on Saturday.

Swedish police are investigating the accident.

E.S.T.

E.S.T., formed in 1993 by pianist and composer Svensson, drummer Magnus Oestroem and base player Dan Berglund, have released a dozen records that have enjoyed critical acclaim and commercial success in Europe and the United States.

Esbjoern Svensson was part of an award-winning trio

Their 2001 record “Good Morning Susie Soho” was voted best album of the year by Britain’s Jazzwise Magazine, while their 2002 “Strange Place for Snow” won numerous awards, including the German Jazz Award, the Guinness Jazz in Europe Award, the Victoire de la Musique and the BBC Jazz Award.

The group, which has won a string of other Swedish and international awards and was in 2006 the first European jazz band to grace the cover of US jazz bible Down Beat, released its last album “e.s.t. live in hamburg” at the end of 2007.

“By all standards he was one of the biggest European acts. He was a jazz musician with pop status,” Hopper told AFP, comparing his influence to that of Miles Davis.

Bengt Save-Soederbergh, the head of Sweden’s national jazz association, agreed. He told Svenska Dagbladet that “He will be deeply missed. There were so many people who liked his music and those who got to know him liked him as a person. He was a warm human being,”

Our commiserations go to his family and friends.

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