Artists | Mats Gustafsson (SE/AT)

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Mats Olof Gustafsson (born 1964 in Umeå, Sweden) is a Swedish saxophone player and a stalwart on the Scandinavian free jazz scene.

Gustafsson first came to the attention of lovers of improvised music as part of a duo with Christian Munthe (started in 1986), as member of Gunter Christmann’s Vario project and the band Gush (started in 1988). He has later played widely with musicians such as Gunter Christmann, Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, Paul Lovens, Barry Guy, Yoshimi P-We, Derek Bailey, Magnus Broo, Otomo Yoshihide, Paal Nilssen-Love, Jim O’Rourke, Thomas Lehn, Evan Parker, Misha Mengelberg, Zu, The Ex and Sonic Youth.

Since the early 1990s Gustafsson has been a regular visitor to the United States, forming a particular affinity with Chicago musicians such as Hamid Drake, Michael Zerang and Ken Vandermark and recording for the city’s OkkaDisk label.

In addition to projects with musicians, Gustafsson has worked extensively with artists from the worlds of dance, theatre, poetry and painting.

Extensive touring, over 1800 concerts and over 200 recording projects, with music ensembles and solo projects in Scandinavia, Europe, Australia, Africa, South & North America and Asia.

His main current collaborations are: The Thing with Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love, Fire! with Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin, Fire! Orchestra, Swedish Azz with Per-Åke Holmlander, Kjell Nordeson, Erik Carlsson and dieb13, The Nu Ensemble, Two Slices of Acoustic Car, Tarfala Trio (with Raymond Strid and Barry Guy), duo with Thurston Moore, duo with Paul Lovens, Barry Guy New Orchestra (BGNO), Luft (with Erwan Keravec), Boots Brown.

Gustafsson was awarded the 2011 Nordic Council Music Prize.

Gustafsson curated the Perspectives festivals in Västerås, Sweden in 2004, 2007 and 2009. The festival slogan for 2004 was Fight Global Stupidity, 2007 Fight Local Stupidity and for 2009 it became Fight (y)our stupidity.

Gustafsson was also curator of following festivals: Sounds 89 & 99, Solo -92, Dygn (-95), Open Music – KulturBro 2000, 2002, Music Unlimited in Wels, Austria in 2003 and Konfrontationen festival in Nickelsdorf, Austria in 2010. Since 2000 he is curator of Swedish concert Institute’s tour project-series Frislag.