Jesper Bodilsen

 

The Danish  bass player, composer, producer and educator Jesper Bodilsen was born January 5th 1970 in Haslev, Denmark.

At the age of 10 he was admitted as a member of the school brass band there he learned to play the cornet and read music.

In 1984 Jesper got his first bass - an electric bass -  and one year later he joined a pop/funk band. He was admitted at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, Denmark in 1991 where he ended up with a Diploma degree in June 1997. The same year as he received The Memorial Bursary of Edward Eriksen and was hired to teach at the academy.

While studying at the school in Aarhus Bodilsen also worked as a professional musician. In June 1994 he was asked to perform at two All Star Concerts at the Riverboat Jazz Festival together with American drummer Ed Thigpen and pianist Duke Jordan. These concerts was a kind of breakthrough for Bodilsen and in the years to come he was peforming with other great jazz artists like James Moody, Benny Golson, Lee Konitz, Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, Horace Parlan, Jimmy Heath and Phil Woods. Often at the legendary jazz club BENT J in Aarhus.

In 1995 Bodilsen moved to Copenhagen and he was immediately asked to join the Erling Kroner Dream Quartet. He was touring with different Aarhus and Copenhagen based bands in the years to come when he in 1997 met Ed Thigpen again. Ed Thigpen wanted him in his trio and together with pianist Carsten Dahl the trio recorded their first album “It´s Entertainment” in 1998. Bodilsen was playing and recording with Thigpen until 2010.

In 1998, 2002 and 2004 Bodilsen was asked to perform at the prestigious Jazzpar Prize concerts and in 2002 the prize winner was italian trumpet player Enrico Rava. Bodilsen did 4 concerts with Rava, Stefano Bollani, Gianlucca Petrella, John Abercrombie and Morten Lund and after the final concert in Copenhagen he asked Bollani and Lund if they would be interested in playing together again.

From the start the trio was touring around Europe playing clubs and festivals like the Umbria Jazz festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival and the legendary Birdland in New York.

Besides touring around the world and recording albums Bodilsen has also spent more and more time composing music.

Since Bodilsen left the conservatory in 1997 he has been teaching music throughout his carrier. 

 
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