The internationally acclaimed and award-winning Swedish pianist Mattias Nilsson (b.1980), melts together the tradition of jazz piano with the Nordic tonal language, which gives him a musical landscapes with totally new shades of color. With a very warm, personal touch in mind, Nilsson adds to his palette of musical colors the rich and varied traditions of Swedish folk music, hymns, native composers, and not least, his original compositions.
...some might want to place him among the Swedish pianists that followed after Jan Johansson, but Nilsson is so much more than that.
— Salt Peanuts
Born in Karlskrona in the south of Sweden on October 20, 1980, Mattias started to play the piano at the age of 4. At the age of 8, Mattias made his debut by accompanying the famous Swedish operetta singer Sonja Stjernquist.
As a child he was always surrounded by the music his father loved, especially jazz and classical music. At an early age Mattias was given classical piano lessons from his father, who soon found out that Mattias wanted to improvise instead of playing what was written. And that´s how it all began.
After diverse studies in African-American music and tradition, Nilsson began his freelancing career, playing with different groups as well as different musical styles, ranging from jazz, blues, gospel and latin, to rock and pop. Offered a place at the Musical Academy in Malmo 2004, he turned it down choosing to go his own way, and learn from experience.
Dreams of Belonging (2016) his first release as leader, is a solo work that features eight Swedish folk songs, hymns, more modern pieces and three original Nilsson compositions, plus a ‘classic’ John Hartford cover. The album represents the culmination of a long journey for Nilsson, and the discovery of an individual voice, combined with a deep-seated love for the music of his homeland. The album received a lot of prasie in the Swedish and international press was followed by an international release tour in France, Sweden and the UK.
Mattias has toured and performed in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Poland, Spain, Holland, Croatia, Turkey, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia, Egypt, United States and Latin America with regular visits to Chile where he also was invited by the Swedish Embassy in 2011 to play for the Swedish Prime Minister´s on his first visit to the country.