Carsten Dahl

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Carsten Dahl
Carsten Dahl Photo2.jpg
Background information
Born (1967-10-03) October 3, 1967 (age 46)
Chalottenlund/ Copenhagen, Sjælland, Denmark
Genres Jazz, classic,spiritual, experimental
Occupations Musician/ composer/ existential archaeology, composer
Years active 1980–present
Associated acts "Soloartist"/ Carsten Dahl Trio "Carsten Dahl Experience" "Dahl/ Mikkelborg"
Website Official website
Notable instruments
Piano & Drums

Carsten Dahl (October 3, 1967 in Copenhagen, Denmark) is a pianist.[1]


Jazzhot – France. Carsten Dahl is a master of the keyboard, probably the best pianist in Europe.

Carsten Dahl began playing the drums at age 9. By 14 years old, he was already a professional drummer/ studio musician and at 19 he entered the Rhythmic Music Conservatory. After two years of being taught by legendary jazz drummers Ed Thigpen and Alex Riel, he put drums aside in favour of the piano (an instrument he had never been taught in his life) and applied again at the conservatoy – now as a pianist greatly influenced by Jørgen Nielsen and later, Butch Lacy, who had a significant influence on his musical identity both as a mentor, ikon and spiritual teacher.It was in the early 90's that he began to play with Embla and Niels Præstholm, Thomas Agergaard, Anders Hentze and Staffan Svensson. Their first and only CD "EMBLA" was a markpoint in Danish jazz and shows his freeplaying strongly -something that he would put aside for some years to go deep in the Be Bop tradition. During this time of busy collaboration, Carsten started to develop his unique style, and met (via saxophonist Agergaard) drummer Thomas Blachman and bassist Lennart Ginman.Dahl appears in various of Thomas Blachman's jazz / hip hop projects during the 90's, as well as records from the trio he formed with Ginman anddrummer Frands Rifbjerg. Significant are the highly worldwide claimed two trio albums "Will you make my soup hot and silver" and "Message from Bud". This trio went on to record a series of albums for the Japanese label Marshmallow – "Blue Train and Be Boppish Rubbish Rabbit. They also recorded af quartet CD with Bob Rockwell " A child is born".Along with Thomas Blachman and Lennart Ginman he achieved great success in the trio GinmanBlachmanDahl, earning a reputation for fiery liveperformances. Somehow he found the time to reunite with his old teacher and drum mentor Ed Thigpen and his trio, including Joe Lovano. They made three recordings together. For the mid-90'sand well into the 00's Carsten played with a great range of artists: Eddie Gomez, Didier Lockwood, Johnny Griffin, Dave Liebman, Phillipe Cathrine, Bent Jædig, Håkon Broström, Richard Boone, Charlie Mariano, Billy Harper, Jerry Bergonzi, Ludz Büchner, Ed Neumeister, Anders Berkrantz, The Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Midtvest, Reuben Rodgers, Gregory Hutchinson, Elliot Zigmund, Bob Rockwell, Arild Andersen, Jon Christensen, WDRBIGBAND, Palle Mikkelborg, Helen Davies, Michala Petri, Ulf Walkenius, NHØP, Hanne Boel, Lars Danielsen, Putte Wickman, Ted Curson, Joe Lovano, Nisse Sandström, Cæcilie Norby, Mads Vinding, Tomas Franck, Lars Moller, Phil Wilson, Jim Snidero, Tom Kirkpatrick, Thomas Hass, Alex Riel, Wynton Marselis, Jesper Lundgaard, Jan Lundgren, Finn Ziegler, Jesper Thilo, Per Goldschmidt, Klaus Rifbjerg, Suzanne Brøgger, Chili Turéll and many, many more.He appears on more than 150 CD 's.In 2007, Carsten Dahl associated with the classic Ensemble Midvest as an artistic consultant, getting the ensemble to work with free improvisation. Among the many projects they worked on together was music for Fritz Lang's classic silent film "Metropolis" and Charlie Chaplin's "CITY LIGHTS" and Don Q/ Son of ZORRO by Douglas Fairbanks.Carsten Dahl has worked for several years with Bach's Goldberg Variations, arranged and played for prepared piano, with a release coming in October 2014 in TIGER music – alongside the Well-Tempered Clavier and Dahl's own 26 Chromatic Inventions – dedicated to Glenn Gould.In spring 2013 Carsten premiered his work The Fifth Dimension for symphony orchestra (dedicated to Per Nørgaard), with the DR vocal ensemble and the Copenhagen Boys Choir. On October 31 he premiered his first piano concerto, played by the Odense Symphony Orchestra with Marianna Shiviyuan as the soloist. The concert is dedicated to her.From 1992, Carsten taught as a tenured associate professor at the Esbjerg conservatory, raising a generation of pianists and setting a new standard for didactic teaching of rhythm in music that became a benchmark with in education. In 2011 he was appointed to a 5 year term as a professor in rhythmic contemporary music at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. He is also works as an ambassador for Mental Health Fund, based on his own experiences, and regularly gives talks about anxiety depressions and coupled with solo piano concerts.Solo piano is very important to Carsten Dahl, a challenge where he finds the greatest potential to work with space and time, to create music that relates to the moment. It's for his two solo albums that he's received the DMA Jazz Prize for Best Recordin 2004 and 2011. Here he takes inspiration from both classical pianist Glenn Gould and jazz pianists like Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Cecil Taylor and Bud Powell; cultivating improvisation in extreme situations. There are also clear inspirations from contemporary music and different world regions and folk music – one of very few people able to bring together many global inspirations into one comprehensive personal expression with a clear artistic signature.Carsten Dahl's career has in recent years been divided between solo piano and the Carsten Dahl Experience. With an uncompromising approach to jazz,he has created music that transcends boundaries and explores newterritories. In 2011 Carsten Dahl even returned to his drumming roots with the The Crazy Constellation Trio, with Hugo Rasmussen on bass and Søren Kristiansen on piano.PrizesBen Webster Award 1997, Rodovre Musicprice 1997, Jasa Prize 2002, honoredby the Danish music council in 2003 for 'Moonwater' and in 2013 for 'DreamChild', DMA Jazz in 2004 for the piece 'Solo Piano', Django D'orPrize in 2006 'Master of Jazz', DMA Jazz in 2011 for the piece 'Effata',and Jazz Specials Prize for album of the year 2011 Metamorphosis.He has also been nominated for the Robert music prize for 'Charlie Butterfly', the Carl prize, and received the prize of honor EWH with NHOP and Premie for 'DreamChild'. DreamChild' was also nominated for a grammy in 2013 and his new solo CD "PAPILLON" just won the prestisious prize THE CARL PRIZE " composer of the year 2014" ( named after the great Danish composer Carl Nielsen)

Dahl ones said:

"For me, it is only the music that is interesting. And Bach's music has it all at once. That fascinates me. Plus, the fact that it doesn't do any harm to play his music, nevertheless you become a better pianist."

As a leader, he played and recorded with his own Carsten Dahl trio and Carsten Dahl Experience. He is also one of the most sought-after Jazz pianists as a sideman who worked/recorded with Ed Thigpen, Lars Danielsson, Arild Andersen, Ulf Wakenius, Bent Jædig, Miroslav Vitous, John Tchicai, Marc Ducret, Ray Anderson and Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Hugo Rasmussen and Bob Rockwell were among others.

Dahl won Ben Webster Prize in 1997.[2] The Ben Webster Prize is an annual Jazz Award set up by the Ben Webster Foundation to honour Danish and American Jazz musicians as well as other professionals active in the promotion of Jazz in those countries.[3] Dahl signed up with the music publishing house Edition Wilhelm Hansen in 2008.[4]

Selected discography[edit]

Solo albums[edit]

Solo piano
  • 2002: The Butterfly Dream (Storyville)
  • 2003: Solo Piano (Stunt), Grammy Winner (3 CD)
  • 2005: Copenhagen-Aarhus- Carsten Dahl solo (Universal Music)
  • 2010: Effata (Storyville)
  • 2012: Dreamchild (Storyville)

2013: "Papillon " ( Tiger music)

Witin Carsten Dahl Trio

Trio including Jesper Lundgaard & Alex Riel

  • 1993/2008: Minor Meeting (Marshmallow)

Trio including Lennart Ginman (bass) & Frands Rifbjerg (drums)

  • 1998: Will You Make My Soup Hot And Silver (Storyville)
  • 1999: Message From Bud (Storyville)
  • 2004: Blue Train (Marshmallow)
  • 2006: God Bless The Child (Marshmallow), feat. Bob Rockwell
  • 2007: Bebopish Rubbish Rabbit (Marshmallow)
Within Carsten Dahl Experience, quartet including Jesper Zeuthen, Nils Davidsen & Stefan Pasborg
  • 2009: Humilitas (Storyville)
  • 2011: Metamorphosis (Storyville)

2013: "Reverentia" (Storyville) 2013: "Soliluque" ( Exlibris)

Duo with Allan Vegenfeldt
  • 2000: Charlie Butterfly (Storyville)
Duo with soprano saxophonist Christina Dahl (b. Nielsen)
  • 2000: Lys På Himlen (Dacapo)
  • 2006: Det gyldne landskab (Private)
Trio including Arild Andersen & Patrice Heral
  • 2002: The Sign (Stunt)
  • 2003: Moon Water (Stunt)
Trio including Lennart Ginman & Thomas Blachman
  • 2003: The Library Bar Concerts (Verve)
  • 2004: GinmanBlachmanDahl! (Verve), live at the Copenhagen Jazzhouse
Trio including Arild Andersen & Jon Christensen
Trio including Ed Thigpen & Jesper Bodilsen
  • 2006: Tribute to Night Train (Ploug Partnership)
Trio including Mads Vinding & Alex Riel
  • 2009: In Your Own Sweet Way (Storyville)
With Ensemble MidtVest
  • 2011: Synesthesia & Metropolis (Exlibris)
  • 2013: Soliloquy (Storyville)
With other projects



  1. ^ Dahl's In Our Own Sweet Way Review in All About Jazz By Chris Mosey, published June 2009, All About Jazz
  2. ^ "Prize Winners". Ben Webster Foundation. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  3. ^ "The Annual Ben Webster Prize". Ben Webster Foundation. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  4. ^ Dahl Signing Up With a Music Publishing House

External links[edit]