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Asmussen, Svend

Biography

Svend Asmussen (born 28 February 1916 in Copenhagen, Denmark) is a jazz violinist from Denmark, known as "The Fiddling Viking". Asmussen grew up in a musical family, starting violin lessons at age 7. At age 16 he first heard recordings by jazz violin great Joe Venuti and began to emulate his style. He started working professionally as a violinist, vibraphonist, and singer at age 17, leaving his formal training behind for good. Early in his career he worked in Denmark and on cruise ships with artists such as Josephine Baker and Fats Waller. Asmussen later was greatly influenced by Stuff Smith, whom he met in Denmark. Asmussen played with Valdemar Eiberg and Kjeld Bonfils during World War II, during which time jazz had moved to the underground and served as a form of political protest. In the late 1950s, Asmussen formed the trio Swe-Danes with singer Alice Babs and guitarist Ulrik Neumann. The group became very popular in Scandinavia for their music hall style entertainment and also toured the United States. Asmussen also worked with Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, and Duke Ellington. Asmussen was invited by Ellington to play on his Jazz Violin Session recording in 1963 with Stéphane Grappelli and Ray Nance.




Recordings

Asmussen, Svend: The Incomparable Fiddler - Svend Asmussen 100 Years

Danish customers can purchase the box set though this link:  http://www.exlibris.dk/product.asp?product=591

Svend Asmussen celebrates his 100th birthday on February 28, 2016. Storyville Records celebrates the Danish Jazz legend's centenary with a 5 cd + 1 dvd box set which explores his musical production through the years. 

Svend Asmussen is light, precise, and yet profound; a consummate entertainer, a creative thinker, and an artist. And that combination is rare!” (Finnish jazzviolinist Ari Poutianinen, Jazz Special 149)

Listen to excerpts of the tracks from CD2, "Rhythm is Our Business" in the right side of this page!

We wish Svend Asmussen a very happy 100th birthday.

To be released February 26, 2016.