Pasado en claro Quartet

Jormin - Willemark - Nakagawa - Fält

Teaser Blue Lamp

Anders Jormin - double bass
Lena Willemark - fiddle, voice
Karin Nakagawa - koto
Jon Fält - drums


Anders Jormin is a Swedish composer and a most celebrated double bassist, internationally highly respected in jazz and contemporary improvised music. Holding a professorship in Improvisation at Goteborg University as well as Honorary Doctorates at the academies in Helsinki and Tallinn, Anders has a highly international working field. He is an ECM recording artist and has been one of the most distinctive and in-demand Scandinavian artists for many years now.

Lena Willemark, with her roots in the historical and remote Swedish area of Älvdalen, has been considered the leading singer and fiddle player in Swedish folk tradition for many years. Her importance in spreading and building understanding for this music cannot be esteemed enough. Numerous prizes and awards have confirmed her unique artistic depth and iconic importance, and so have her international recognition and her open curiosity in new musical meetings.

Karin Nakagawa is spreading the soul and spirit of thousand-year old Japanese cultural heritage through her excellence and mastery on the koto, an ancient harp-like instrument seldom seen outside Japan. Raised in a musicians’ family in the Yokohama area and from early on well known for her versatility and openness towards improvisation, Karin has collaborated with musicians from both Eastern and Western traditions, as well in jazz as in contemporary music, and also with storytellers, actors, dancers and painters. Yet, her roots remain the very ancient traditional music of Japan - songs on wind, rain and rice.

Jon Fält has quickly become a major hero and eye-opening influence for a whole new generation of Scandinavian drummers. Inventive, creative, swinging, expressive - hearing Jon is an adventure in communication, sound and rhythm. Well known through his admired work with the internationally hailed Bobo Stenson Trio and many others, Jon is very active also outside Scandinavia.


This most fascinating ensemble started out as a trio called TREES OF LIGHT, where Lena, Karin and Anders carefully let the Japanese ancient classical tradition, Lena’s expressive voice and strong poems written in her native Älvdalen tongue (an old Scandinavian language spoken today only by a few hundred people) and the open fields of improvisation meet and carefully react to conjure up a unique, warm musical world.

The new original music of the PASADO EN CLARO Quartet is informed and carried by the same impressions of history, of today and of tomorrow, and, as the trio did, in the sensitive, resonant and melodic spur of the moment…, discovering, creating and further developing new paths within their indisputably unique collective band sound and music making at each concert. The ensemble have performed all over Scandinavia and also several times in Japan, always meeting mesmerized, deeply grateful audiences.

In 2015, the first CD, Trees of light, was released on the prestigious German label ECM Records (ECM 2406). For this highly acclaimed recording the group won the Swedish Grammy Award and other prizes.
During the international MaiJazz festival in Norwegian Stavanger in 2017, the group featuring as “artists in residence” made a series of highly unique and mind-blowing concerts in remote lighthouses on the shore of the Atlantic ocean.

In 2019, the album Poems for orchestra (Losen Records, LOS 219-2) was released. Here the musically intimate group surprisingly met an expressive professional big band, the Swedish Bohuslän Big Band, in a unique setting of orchestrations featuring the artists in compositions and arrangements written by Anders Jormin. Also this second album of the ensemble has been highly praised by international critics. In 2022, the quartet performed the same striking repertoire with the NDR Big Band at JazzBaltica, obtaining tremendous success.

Album Nr 3 is to be released in early 2023: it is entitled Pasado en claro and has again been recorded for the exquisite label ECM.

Karin Nakagawa, Lena Willemark, Anders Jormin © Markus Fägersten
Karin Nakagawa, Lena Willemark, Anders Jormin © Markus Fägersten