bio

NIKLAS WINTER

GUITAR

Born 1969 Turku, Finland.

Winter has a fresh, modern sound. This is original and very exciting music and Niklas Winter Quartet has surely been a great experience at many festivals. Tor Hammerø /Jazznyt (Norway)

Winter is a true sophisticated original on the guitar in Finland. Timo Vähäsilta/Rytmi (Finland)

Niklas Winter’s poetic playing shows great knowledge of improvisational skills. Jörgen Östberg /Orkester Journalen (Sweden)

”If one must describe Winter’s playing briefly one could end up to words
”delicate” and ”pleasant”. In Winter’s playing listener can hear plainness and intelligence. Winter’s improvisations and harmonies look back to the history of jazz but also expresses the atmosphere of today.”

Hiroki Sugita/Jazz Life (Japan)

Trust in fact, was key, as was a fundamental sense of good time. Without a drummer or a bassist, and with the two guitarists sometimes dissolving into spare sections where time was, at best, suggested, it became even more essential that the two could internalize that time and know where it was, without it being explicitly there. It’s in the context of the duo that an artist is at his/her most exposed; not only are their abilities, instincts and improvisational élan laid bare, but their communication skills—or lack thereof—are impossible to disguise. Viinikainen and Winter needn’t have worried, as it was clear, from their Tampere Jazz Happening performance, that this was a duo communicating at a very deep level, playing relatively quiet music that was, nevertheless, thoroughly captivating.

JOHN KELMAN, ALL ABOUT JAZZ 6.11.2010

Niklas Winter started his studies at the Turku Conservatory in the mid 80’s and later studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston between 1991-1995. Early influences have been John Scofield and Pat Metheny. Later influences have been horn players and pianists. Sonny Rollins, Keith Jarrett, John Coltrane and Kenny Wheeler to name a few.

Winter started his professional career with the Danish-Finnish Scandinavian Jazz Quartet in 1992. This band has made 3 studio albums; New Deal (1994), A Night In Bilbao (1997) and Silent Knowledge in 2000. T In the summer of 2012 the band did a reunion concert at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. In the fall of 2014 this quartet will record a new CD.

Winter’s main interest has always been writing and performing original music.His bands, as a leader, have been the Finnish-Danish-Swedish Winter’s Jazz Workshop (’Hypnosis’ 1999 and ’Saknad 2001) and the Finnish – Swedish Niklas Winter Quartet. ( Live in Stockholm , 2006) Since 2004 Winter has also led his Finnish – Japanese quartets and quintets, his album ’Beautopia’was released in Japan by the Japanese King Records in late 2007 and in Europe in 2008. Japan is no stranger to Winter anymore, since 2004 he’s done fifteen tours there under his own name.

During the years Winter has performed with many fantastic musicians. Some international names that Winter would like to mention are Kenny Wheeler, Cameron Brown, Kiri Te Kanawa, Jukkis Uotila, Lars Jansson, Ted Curson and Karl-Martin Almqvist. Winter has performed on most of the Finnish jazz festivals including Pori Jazz Festival and the Tampere Jazz Happening. Winter has performed in the US, Europe and in Asia several times during the last 15 years, including 15 tours in Japan.

Winter has received several awards in Finland for his musicianship. The Young Arts Award in 2000 ,the Aboa Price in 2001 and the Western Culture Award in 2006.

Between 2008-2012 Winter collaborated with Finnish guitarist Teemu Viinikainen. The CD ’ Eight Songs Seven Keys’ ( Abovoice-1016 ) was released in 2010. The CD got great reviews and close to 100 concerts where performed with this material during this period.

2013 a new Trio was formed with finnish master vibraphonist Severi Pyysalo and danish bass player Jesper Bodilsen. This Trio will release a CD in the fall of 2014.

Winter also works as a sideman in several projects. One to mention is swedish drummer Anders Westergård’s Quartet who’s new CD will be out in August 2014.

Besides being a musician, Winter also runs his recordlabel named Abovoice. This label has released 17 albums since 1999.

Selected discography;

As leader: Band:

2010
Eight Songs
Seven Keys (Abovoice-1016) Niklas Winter & Teemu Viinikainen

2008
Beautopia (King Records, KICJ529 / Abovoice) Niklas Winter

2006
Live in Stockholm (Abovoice-1013) Niklas Winter Quartet

2002 Piae Cantiones (Abovoice-1011) Niklas Winter Quartet & Camerata Aboensis

2001 Saknad (Abovoice-1008) Winter’s Jazz Workshop

1999 Hypnosis (Silence-0001) Winter’s Jazz Workshop

As co-leader:

2000
Silent Knowledge (Abovoice-1006) Scandinavian Jazz Quartet Feat. Nikolaj Hess

1997 A Night In Bilbao (Music Mecca) Scandinavian Jazz Quartet Feat. Lars Jansson

1994 New Deal (Intermusic) Scandinavian Jazz Quartet

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