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Jens Fuglsang

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Jens Fuglsang (born 1966) is a Danish guitarist, singer and composer.

Jens Fuglsang
Origin Denmark
Genres Django Reinhardt, Gypsy Jazz, Alternative rock, Indie rock, Shoegaze
Years active 1991-present
Labels Blue Release
AGM Records
Lidocaine Records
Cope Records
Calibrated Records
Hot Club Records

Biography[edit | edit source]

Jens Fuglsang started to play the guitar at the age of 13. He was inspired by the music of guitarists like Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Jimi Hendrix and artists like David Bowie, Lou Reed and Brian Eno. In 1992 he received the jazz award “Sørens Penge" and studied jazz guitar at Berklee College, USA. Writing a thesis on Django Reinhardt’s life and music [1], he graduated in 1999 as an MA in Music from the University of Copenhagen.

In 1991 he had his debut at Roskilde Festival as a guitar player with the rock band Refrigerator Boys[2] and the following years he made several albums as a singer, composer and guitar player with various indie rock bands like Pale Imitation of Love, the psychedelic shoegaze band The Twinkle and the alternative big band Elvis/Ellington.[3]

In 1998 he formed the Danish gypsy jazz quartet Rêve Bohème together with guitarist Robert Pilgaard. Rêve Bohème play modern gypsy jazz and have released six albums so far. Jens Fuglsang has been teaching gypsy jazz guitar at music schools and institutions and has written many articles and made several interviews about the legacy of Django Reinhardt and his music.

Early career – alternative rock[edit | edit source]

In 1986 Jens Fuglsang and bass player Rasmus Cauling started the high school band Souls Cab together with Truels Bisgaard on vocal and Christian Laustsen on drums. The music was inspired by alternative bands like The Velvet Underground, Joy Division, Talking Heads and Television. In 1987-88 the band moved to Copenhagen and was reorganized with a new line-up and changed their name to The Twinkle. Jacob Laustsen replaced his brother on drums, Truels Bisgaard left the band and Nicolai Lubich joined on guitar. This four-piece played its first official concert 1989 at Copenhagen’s most popular new wave club Barbue. At the same time Jens Fuglsang was sideman on guitar and vocal, in the rockband Refrigerator Boys and performed with them at Roskilde Festival 1991.

The Twinkle – indie rock and shoegaze[edit | edit source]

In 1992 Jens Fuglsang joined the noise pop band Pale Imitation of Love with singer Dan Stielow, Casper Holm on guitar, Morten Palsby on drums and Nicolay Krohg on bass. They released their first album Craving on the label Blue Release in 1993 and played as support act for international bands like Deus and Jesus and Mary Chain. In 1994, while working at their second album Happy as slowly on top of you, Jens Fuglsang left the band to work with The Twinkle and American producer Scott Madoxx. Later that year The Twinkle released their debut album Little Star on AGM Records. Consisting of psychedelic indie rock and songs in shoegaze style. The album was very well received by the press, and the songs “Rhythm of Time”, “Green Grass” and “If I Didn’t Have You” received longtime airplay at the national Danish Broadcasting Corporation DR and the playlist Ugens Uundgåelige. After the album release The Twinkle toured in Denmark.

In 1995 Cauling and Lubich left the band and were replaced by Nicolay Krohg on bass from the band Sunshaft. Soon after, in 1996, The Twinkle released their second album 2, which was produced by Norwegian Knut E. Haavik from the band Hotel Hunger and Fjell. This time, the music genre was psychedelic guitar pop with horns and strings on several songs with guest musicians Kasper Tranberg and Esben Maaløe on trumpets and Kasper Fredholm and Mads Koppel on saxophones. Again the album was well received by the Danish critics and songs like “2 Minute Love Affair”, “Things I Left Behind” and “Lullaby” were on DR’s heavy rotation playlist.

In 1998, when The Twinkle was recording material for their third album, Lidocaine/Mainline Records went bankrupt. The Twinkle had recorded several tracks produced by Morten Bue with a line-up consisting of Christian Pedersen on guitar, Søren Bak-Jensen keyboard and Jacob Westergaard Madsen on bass, but the recordings were never released because of the legal conflicts following the closing of the record label.

Rêve Bohème – gypsy jazz and jazz guitar[edit | edit source]

In 1991 Jens Fuglsang attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He studied jazz guitar inspired by Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery and Berklee alumni like John Scofield and Pat Matheny. Fuglsang came back to Copenhagen in 1992 and received the Danish jazz award "Sørens Penge" given to young talents.

In the following years, while studying musicology at Copenhagen University, he pursued a career both as freelance jazz guitarist in different contemporary jazz settings and also toured with experimental indie rock bands at festivals and rock clubs. In 1996 he went on tour with the alternative big band Elvis/Ellington.

In 1998 he formed the Danish gypsy jazz quartet Rêve Bohème with Robert Pilgaard, Kasper Fredholm and Morten Ravn. Rêve Bohème’s music is inspired by the French jazz guitar player Django Reinhardt. The name of the band is taken from an old traditional gypsy waltz called “Rève Bohèmien” recorded by French accordionist Jo Privat. Rêve Bohème played their first concert in 1998 at Bistro d'Eustache in Paris. In 2002-03 they performed at the ”scene ouvert” at the Django Reinhardt Festival in Samois sur Seine, France. Since then they have played with many of the international Gypsy Jazz greats like Robin Nolan, Andreas Öberg, Jon Larsen, Basily, Paulus Schäfer, Angelo Debarre, Dorado Schmidt, Gary Potter, Biel Ballester and Danish musicians like Pierre Dørge, Kristian Jørgensen and Jacob Fischer.

Rêve Bohème released their first album Django Jalousie in 2002 and have in the period from 2002 to 2018 released six albums with various guest appearances like Karina Kappel (voc), Lisa Haavik (voc), Knut Haavik (perc) and Bjarke Falgren (vio).

In 2007 Jens Fuglsang played guitar as a sideman on singer Lise Haavik’s  album Cry Me A River.  Later in 2015 Jens Fuglsang started touring as guitar player with the Paul Harrison Band and played with singers like Meschiya Lake, Miriam Mandipira, Denise Gordon, and different jazz trombone players like Niklas Carlsson from Sweden, and Amy Roberts, Shannon Barnett and Kevin Grenfell from the UK. He has also been backing singers Sascha Masakowski and Bobo Moreno at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2017.

Besides playing music, Jens Fuglsang has worked as a music senior adviser for the organisations Danish Music Information Center, Danish Arts Agency and Danish Arts Foundations. Through the years he has been teaching gypsy jazz guitar at music institutions and written articles about the legacy of Django Reinhardt in the Danish magazine Jazz Special #71 and Jazz Special #113 [4], and made interviews in national radio and television programs like Go’ aften Danmark.

Awards[edit | edit source]

Discography[edit | edit source]

With Pale Imitation of Love

•   1993: Craving (Blue Release B 023 CD)

•   1994: Happy As Slowly On Top Of You (Hot Club Records)

With The Twinkle

•   1994: Little Star (AGM Records, EIGEN 011CD)

•   1997: 2 (Lidocaine Records, LIDOCD6)

With Rêve Bohème

•   2002: Django Jalousie (Cope Records, COPECD 040)

•   2005: Django’s Dream (Calibrated records, CALI 011)

•   2006: Best of Rêve Bohème (Hot Club Records, HCRCD 197)

•   2009: Café Django (Calibrated Records, CALI 091)

•   2012: Django Goes North (Calibrated Records, CALI127)

•   2018: Six & Six (Hot Club Records)

With Lise Haavik

•   2007: Cry Me A River (Gateway, LHCD07-1)

Compilations

•   1992: Adventure Magazine Vinyl Compilation (Guiding Lights Records, Jewel 7)

•   1992: There’ Something Rocking In the State of Denmark

•   1994  Pop Biz Vol. 2 (Pop Biz, POP 002)

•    1994: Alternative Denmark, Vol. 1 (RMD 94022)

•   1995: There’ Something Rocking In the State of Denmark (MXD, MXPCD 495)

•   2006: Django Festival 4 (Hot Club Records, HCRCD 119)

•   2018: Django Festival 11 (Hot Club Records)

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Danish Musicology Online" (PDF). 
  2. Festival, Roskilde. www.roskilde-festival.dk (in dansk) https://www.roskilde-festival.dk/music/1991/refrigerator-boys?view=poster. Retrieved 2018-08-19.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. Torben., Bundgaard, Peder, 1945- Bille, (1998, ©1997). Politikens dansk rock : 1956-1997. Politikens forlag. ISBN 978-8756757775. OCLC 264970658.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. visionteam.dk. "Om tidsskriftet - JAZZ Special". jazzspecial.dk. Retrieved 2018-08-19. 


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