Jacob Karlzon


JACOB KARLZON   keys, synths



JACOB KARLZON  keys, synths





I got into jazz because I love improvisation. This kind of spontaneous play achieves ever new levels in the direct communication with the audience, in the exchange of energy and emotion. Performing live for an audience is for me the ‘original place of music’, an ecstatic experience on both sides.

For several years now, Karlzon has also been playing acclaimed solo concerts on international stages. And few are as technically skilled as the classically trained Karlzon, few are recognizable after a few notes, few love live improvisation so much and few go on such a consistent foray through pop and rock realms. On stage he will demonstrate this not only with titles from his recently released album “Wanderlust”, but with a cross-section of his music.In doing so, he enjoys the enormous freedom to react to impulses of the moment – whether these are his own ideas, the atmosphere of the concert hall or even just a stirring of the audience.

After playing for many years with the self-image of a full-blooded jazz player who was primarily concerned with expressive solos, Karlzon today is increasingly inspired by the idea of having to remain true to the basic idea of a song, a composition.At the same time, he is fascinated by the typical timbres of classical piano music with their conclusiveness and consistency. His programme ranges from jazz and improvisation to concerts where he uses the work of classical composers like Ravel, Debussy and Tchaikowsky as vehicles for improvisation, always adding the individual touch to it that makes his style so distinctive.

The result is a spontaneous solo improvisation that gives the audience a fascinating evening.




Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon (born 1970) is a stylistically and musically well-travelled man. He has used classical piano pieces as vehicles for improvisation, shared stages with big names in jazz such as Kenny Wheeler, Billy Cobham, Norma Winstone, Dominic Miller, Till Brönner and Tim Hagans, even dabbled with his metal socialisation for the 2012 album “More”, and let electronic elements set the pulse of his music on his albums “Now” and “Open Waters”.

Jacob Karlzon became known to a larger audience as the congenial accompanist of singer Viktoria Tolstoy. No wonder he prefers to call himself an ‘alternative musician’ rather than a pure jazzman, whatever that may be. But let there be no misunderstanding: Karlzon is still a jazz man. Some like to call him an extremist, who pushes his instrument to the edge of its possibilities with immense energy in one song, only to strike up tender or even tender tones in the next. He does this particularly impressively on stage, where he plays and juggles with genres, sounds, electronics, atmospheres and dynamics, breathtakingly and highly virtuosically, sometimes with muscular bravura, then again with fragile sensitivity, but always unflinchingly and with boundless curiosity.

On his latest work “Wanderlust”, released in spring 2022 via Warner Music, Jacob Karlzon takes the high art of the piano trio to a new level.

Currently the trio includes Morten Ramsbøl on bass and Rasmus Kihlberg on drums.Both have collaborated with him for years on a variety of projects playing with the Viktoria Tolstoy Group and Human Factor.There is a deep, mutual understanding between the three of them across all aspects of music which has created a strong interplay and a huge dynamic range involving everything from a deep, true groove to wide open soundscapes.


With this recording he takes his rightful place at the top of the European jazz piano elite.

Jazz Special

World Class Piano Jazz

Lira Musikmagasin

He has now arrived in the Olympus of European Jazzpianists.