FIRE! Orchestra

Fire orchestra by Micke Keysendal 1Mats Gustafsson – tenor sax
Johan Berthling – el. bass
Andreas Werliin – drums
Mariam Wallentin – voice
Sofia Jernberg – voice
Anna Högberg – alto sax
Mette Rasmussen  alto sax
Lotte Anker – alto and tenor sax
Jonas Kullhammar – bass sax
Goran Kajfes – cornet
Niklas Barnö – trumpet
Mats Äleklint  – trombone
Per-Åke Holmlander – tuba
Hild Sofie Tafjord – french horn
Andreas Berthling – electronics
Finn Loxbo –  guitar
Julien Desprez – guitar
Martin Hederos – keyboard
Mads Forsby – drums

Late one night by the end of 2011 Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin got the  crazy idea of expanding their trio Fire! into a 28-piece orchestra, inviting their Swedish friends from the worlds of jazz, improv and rock. In January 2012 “Exit!” was recorded in front of an over enthusiastic audience at the headquarters of Fylkingen, the legendary Stockholm avant garde music centre.

In the two following winters musicians and gear were gathered in two big buses, to tour Scandinavia. The orchestra also played festivals and venues in the rest of Europe. (Roskilde, Skopje, Berlin jazzfest ao)

Nothing could have quite prepared the audience for the group’s extraordinary dynamism, creativity and sheer sledgehammer impact. (Londonjazznews)

The second album ‘Enter’ was released in 2014, ranking high on many ‘best of’ lists of rock- and jazz press alike. Both albums plus the LP ‘Second Exit’ are on Rune Grammofon.

“Enter” is 21st century big band jazz at its most brain-spinning, moving from Motorpsycho second-line metal dischord to stealth-blues space jazz opera, designed to punch all preconceptions up the bracket. (Mojo, UK)

The original Fire! Orchestra consists of Mariam Wallentin, Simon Ohlsson, Sofia Jernberg (voice), Niklas Barnö, Magnus Broo, Goran Kajfes, Emil Strandberg (trumpet), Mats Äleklint (trombone), Per-Åke Holmlander (tuba), Anna Högberg (alto sax), Mats Gustafsson, Elin Larsson (tenor sax), Jonas Kullhammar (bass sax), Martin Küchen (baritone sax), Fredrik Ljungkvist (baritone sax, clarinet), Christer Bothèn (bass clarinet, guimbri), Andreas Söderström, Sören Runolf, David Stackenäs (guitar), Sten Sandell (synthesizer, harmonium), Martin Hederos (organ, keyboards),
Joachim Nordwall (electronics), Johan Berthling (el bass), Joel Grip, Dan Berglund (bass), Andreas Werliin, Johan Holmegard, Raymond Strid (drums).

In 2015 core members Gustafsson, Berthling and Werliin are working on a new composition for the Orchestra, creating a new sound and using a smaller, partly different and more international line-up from the original one (see top page).

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Photo by Micke Keysendal

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