Jens Winther

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Jens Winther
Born (1960-10-29)29 October 1960
Origin Næstved, Denmark
Died 24 February 2011(2011-02-24) (aged 50)
Genres Jazz
Jazz fusion
Occupations Musician, composer, arranger, bandleader
Instruments Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Years active 1978–2011
Notable instruments
Trumpet, Flugelhorn

Jens Winther (29 October 1960 – 24 February 2011[1]) was a Danish jazz trumpeter, composer, arranger and bandleader. He composed for and played in a long line of European big bands and other orchestras. His work includes compositions for symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles and choirs. As a bandleader, he was noted on the international Jazz scene with his JW European Quartet (originally a quintet), particularly since 2007. In 2008, he founded the fusion band JW Electrazz. From 2009, he was based in Berlin, Germany.[2]

Jens Winther was born in Næstved, Denmark, in 1960. At the age of 10 he started to play the trumpet and at 18, he moved to Copenhagen to become a professional freelance trumpeter, playing with such bands as the New Jungle Orchestra, the Erling Kroner Tentet, Candentia Nova Danica and Ernie Wilkins' Almost Big Band. In 1982, he became a solo trumpeter in the DR Big Band and in 1985 he also started to compose for it.[3]

In 1989, Winther left the Big Band and moved to New York City after receiving an invitation to join the two-year Jazz Composer’s Workshop under the direction of Bob Brookmeyer. At the same time, he worked as a freelance trumpeter, playing with groups and musicians such as the Toshiko Akiyoshi Band, Eddie Palmieri, Kenny Barron, Max Roach, Tito Puente, Marie Bauza Orchestra, George Mraz and Xavier Cugat Orchestra.[3]

In 1991, after the end of the workshop, he returned to Denmark. Subsequently he composed for numerous European bands, mainly in the Nordic countries and Germany, as well as other orchestras and was a trumpeter in various constellations, including in his own band Jens Winther Group. On 5 May 1994, his first trumpet concerto for symphony orchestra, Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra, was performed for the first time. In 1998, he toured with George Gruntz's concert band. On 29 April 1999, Winther and the Århus Symphony Orchestra performed his second trumpet concerto,The Eagle, for the first time in Århus Musikhus. He also collaborated with the Metropole Orchestra in the Netherlands on a number of occasions.[3]

In 2007, he experienced an international breakthrough with his JZ European Quintet and went on a worldwide tour which included The United States, Canada, Australia, and China. In 2008, he formed the fusion band JW Electrazz which had its world premiere on 22 March in Copenhagen Jazzhouse. In 2009, he moved to Berlin, Germany, and formed the JW Berlin Quintet.[3]

Winther died on 24 February 2011 reportedly from a stroke in his sleep.{{cn}}

Awards[edit]

  • 1982: Sonning's Music Grant
  • 1983: Elected as the Danish representative in the European Youth Jazz Orchestra.
  • 1987 Ben Webster Prize[4]
  • 1999: 2nd prize in the International Competition of Jazz Themes, Monaco
  • 1998: Award from the Danish National Art Foundation for the Album "The Escape"
  • 1990: 1st prize in the International Competition of Jazz Themes, Monaco
  • 1991: 1st prize in the International Competition of Jazz Themes, Monaco
  • 1992: 3-year scholarship as a composer from the Danish National Art Foundation
  • 1995 Honorary Award from the organisation of Danish Jazz, Beat and Folk Authors
  • * Danish Grammy for the best Danish Jazzrecording of the year
  • 1996: 1st prize in the International Competition of Jazz Themes, Monaco (First time ever a musician has won the prize three times)
  • 2009: Lifelong grant from the Danish Arts Foundation[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Obituary in Politiken (Danish)
  2. ^ "Jens Winther". Gyldendal. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Resume". Jens Winther. Retrieved 2010-03-17. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Prizewinners". Ben Webster Foundation. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  5. ^ "Jens Winther". musikbiblioteket.dk. Retrieved 2010-03-17.