Svend Asmussen

Svend Asmussen ( born February 28, 1916 in Copenhagen ) is a Danish jazz musicians (violin, vibraphone, vocals) and actor.


Svend Asmussen grew up in a musical family and received from the age of seven violin lessons. At the age of 16, he stopped Joe Venuti plate with Eddie Lang and grappled with its style to a year later to start a professional career, first in Denmark, then on cruise ships, where he among other things, worked with Josephine Baker and Fats Waller. He also appeared in England, France and Germany, where his first record sold well. He accompanied the Mills Brothers on their European tour; in Paris, he also jammed with Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli. In 1943 he was arrested by the Nazis and held for several months, without notice.

Asmussen was later significantly influenced by Stuff Smith, with whom he worked in Denmark. In the late 1950s he formed the trio Swe - Danes with singer Alice Babs and guitarist Ulrik Neumann. In Scandinavia, this group became very popular and also toured in the United States.

Asmussen also worked with Benny Goodman, who wanted to get him permanently in his band. Hazy Osterwald was based on his performances. In addition, he played with Lionel Hampton, Toots Thielemans, Putte Wickman, John Lewis, Kenny Drew, Niels -Henning Ørsted Pedersen and at very different occasions with Duke Ellington; as he was in 1963 invited by Ellington to the Jazz Violin Session recording with Stéphane Grappelli and Ray Nance, but also to a session with Sathima Bea Benjamin. In 1966 took place the violin Sumitt with Asmussen, Grappelli, Stuff Smith and Jean -Luc Ponty, which is documented as a live album. Asmussen worked in Scandinavia long on the Revue stage, but also played in 1978 with the Indian violinist L. Subramaniam together (CD Garland).

First arrested the swing style, but also experience in the bebop idiom, Asmussen is a very independent and musically open violinist with unusual interval jumps and unconventional pizzicato. Since the death of Stéphane Grappelli Asmussen ( Jazz Podium ) is " as dean of European jazz violinist " viewed.

Disco Graphical Notes

  • Music Miracle 1935-1940 ( Phonastic )
  • Fiddling Around ( Imogena, 1993) Jesper Lundgaard with
  • Still Fiddling ( Storyville, 1999)
  • A Life in Music ( Universal Records, 2006, DVD)