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Jazz Musician Esbjorn Svensson Passes Away At 44
Published June 18, 2008

By Joanna Padovano

Known as an extemely talented jazz composer and pianist, Sweden's Esbjorn Svensson died tragically after a scuba diving accident.

Esbjorn Svensson, a jazz icon from Sweden passed away on Saturday, June 14. He was 44 years old and in the prime of his musical career.


Svensson was scuba diving near Sweden's Stockholm archipelago when a fatal accident let to his untimely passing.  He had been with a group of other divers when he was found severely injured. He was then rushed to Karolinska University Hospital by helicopter, but all attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful. His death will be investigated further by the police.


For two consecutive years, Svensson had been named jazz musician of the year in Sweden from 1995-1996. He had also spent the past 15 years of his life in a band called Esbjorn Svensson Trio (E.S.T.), which was officially formed back in 1993. They released their first album When Everyone Has Gone that same year. 


The trio consisted of Svensson on piano, Dan Berglund on double bass and Magnus Öström on the drums.  They were best known for playing in rock venues (their music combined both rock and jazz) to younger audiences.  From Gagarin's Point of View came out in 1999, and it was the first album by E.S.T. to be released outside of Scandinavia.  The last album made by Svensson's trio was called E.S.T. Live in Hamburg, which came out in 2007.  The group's last performance was on May 30th at the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Russia.


Svensson was 16 years old when he attended music college in Sweden, where he began to develop his skill as a pianist.  He also attended the Royal College of Music in Stockholm for four years, followed by his successful music career.  He is survived by his wife and two sons.