Who? Ebba Åsman (20)
From? Stockholm, Zweden
Studies? Trombone (Jazz)
What? Will be recording her first album in April
Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
“I was born in Karlstad. I began playing the trombone when I was 7. My instrument was larger than I was at the time, ha ha. I chose the trombone because I liked the idea of playing an instrument that no one else played. An added advantage was that at the local music school there was a waiting list for almost all instruments, except for trombone.
When I was 15, we moved to Stockholm, where I attended a three-year secondary school that had a music department. After that I auditioned for Codarts on the advice of Ilja Reijngoud, currently my main subject teacher. I had met him in Stockholm, when he was guest-teaching there in an exchange programme. His style is very different from what we are used to in Scandinavia. This appealed to me, especially when it comes to improvisation. I already wanted to go abroad anyway—I needed a change of environment.
I like Rotterdam. There’s a lot happening here in terms of culture. And the jazz scene is cool: there is the North Sea Jazz Festival of course, the jam sessions, and groove-based sessions at BIRD, the concerts at venues like LantarenVenster. Here at Codarts I focus on establishing a solid base. I also take classes with regular guest teachers Andy Hunter and Bert Boeren. Ilja, Andy and Bert, that’s a really great mix.”
You are 20 now, a second-year student, and already recording an album…
“Yes, the opportunity presented itself thanks to my network, my contacts. Before, in Karlstad, everybody knew what I could do, but in Stockholm I had to prove myself time and again—girl, trombone, jazz. Now I play in several big bands in Stockholm, I have my own quartet there and I play in bands of other people. Chill! I go to Stockholm at least once a month. It’s only a 90-minute flight, with the wind behind.
Through other people I know a drummer who has a recording studio. In three days in April I will be recording an album there with my quartet, with only original work. I’ve always had ideas for pieces and two years ago I began composing in earnest. Atmospheric, modern jazz… It’s hard to pinpoint my music. I’m inspired by my experiences, by my thoughts, by music that I like. The album will be released in September. The title? That’s my little secret for now…”
What to you is special about the trombone?
“I like the sound of it. In terms of speed it is no match for the saxophone and in terms of pitch the trumpet has more to offer, so there lies the challenge for me.”
What is your favourite spot in Rotterdam?
“I like sitting on a bench in the Veerhaven, with a view of the water and the skyline of the city. And I think the Nieuwe Binnenweg is one of the nicest streets of Rotterdam, because of the cafés, but mainly just for walking through it.”
Codarts to me is…
“… a musical and cultural cross-over. People from all over the world play jazz here, Turkish music, pop, Latin, classical music… And all that under one roof. That is so cool. Dance and circus also contribute to the special character of the school.”