Martin Sjöstedt was born in Uppsala, a wellknown Swedish universitytown, on april 9, 1978. Through his parents and family friends Martin grew up in an enviroment filled with profiles as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Miles Davis. Martin started to play the piano at the age of 4, but his main instrument, the doubble bass, was introduced to him for the first time 10 years later by a friend of his father, who had heard of Martin’s passion for jazzmusic and therefore put a bass at his disposal.
Martin started out his proffesional carrier already at the age of 16, most of the time as a bassplayer together with local musicians from Uppsala but soon became increasingly well known on the Stockholm jazz scene. Three years later, in 1977, Martin left his hometown for studies at the Royal Conservatory in Stockholm. Beacuse of all touring and concerts Martin had no chance to complete his studies and therefore left school already after one year. At the same time he was given the place as the bass player in Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, one of the major contemporary big bands in Europe. This oppurtunity gave Martin a great plattform, not only to develop his musical talent, but also his skills of writing and composing music. It also gave him the chance to meet and play with some of the greatest contemporary artists around; Joe Lovano, Peter Erskine, Bob Mintzer, Jim McNeely, Maria Scneider just to mention a few.
In 2002, age 22, Martin released his first album, Mondeo, as a bandleader. Featuring rising star saxophone player Magnus Lindgren, the album got a lot of attention in a time where people still were buying records. With the release of this record Martin became one of the major voices on the jazz scene.
With his style of playing he also changed the path of the bass tradition in Sweden. With early role models as Ray Brown, Sam Jones and Paul Chambers Martin reacclamied the acoustic and powerful sound of the double bass, often played without an amp. Together with a high sence for harmony and lines coming out from his piano playing in combination with his knowledge and passion for jazz Martin started getting attention from the international scene. Following years you could find Martin working with with big time names such as Joey Calderazzo, Tim Hagans, Joe Lovano, Dick Oatts, Eric Alexander, Dee Dee Bridgewater but of course also with major acts from Sweden like Viktoria Tolstoy, Bobo Stenson and Nils Landgren. Martin has since the release of Mondeo launched 6 records under his own name. As a bassplayer you will find him on more than onehundred records. See bass full discography or selected biography for more information.
The piano has always been a essential part of Martin’s musicianship. Beacuse of his huge success as a bassplayer it came as a big suprise and a bit of a chock for many when he chose to release his album ”Whereabouts” featuring Martin as a pianoplayer. This album presents one of Germanys finest trumpetplayers, Axel Schlosser and swedish tenor Karl-Martin Almqvist. With this release the Swedish jazz scene all of a sudden had a new strong voice among the pianoplayers. Find recordings filed under – piano selected biography.