PJ Andersson is an internationally award-winning trombone player, composer, and educator, originally from Nässjö, Sweden. After living in North America studying Jazz for over 10 years, PJ now teaches and performs in the United States, Europe, and Central and South America.
While earning his Master's degree from the Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) at Berklee College of Music, he presented his project: “An exploration in performance therapy.” PJ composed music for paintings in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, to illustrate the artworks to blind individuals, with a live band. He later developed this concept into a course for students to explore the power of composition, improvisation, and performance.
Artistic director of BGJI, Danilo Perez hired PJ to start the first-ever big band at his foundation (La Fundación Danilo Perez), in Panama City, Panama. After composing and arranging for the school, as well as artist Isac Delgado at the Panama Jazz Festival, he now has a prolific career focusing on how he can make lives better through music. His signature sound is recognized internationally for its complexity and luminous quality. PJ spent several days with Yamaha, Hamburg customizing his Y891z trombone for an even more perfected sound.
Mr. Andersson has worked with artists such as; Ruben Blades, Maria Schnieder, Jack DeJohnette, Bob Mintzer, Ralph Irizari, Mike Stern, Eddie Santiago, Esperanza Spalding, and Brian Blade, among many others.
Arvid PJ Andersson grew up in a traditional Swedish country home. The church was his main musical inspiration in the earlier years. In 2006 After a few Sunday service performances he was asked if he wanted to join a summer jazz camp. While there, Mats Holmquist asked him to come and study at his new high school jazz program in Stockholm, Kulturama Big Band Gymnasium. Moving to the capital at 16 years old was tough. However, it made PJ grow immeasurably.
At Kulturama, he studied with the best trombone players in Sweden and it forced PJ to learn quickly. His group, The PJ Andersson Quartet, was awarded “best Youth Jazz Group” in 2009, by the Swedish National Jury at the Youth Jazz Festival. He also won the Swedish gold medal in Big Band, playing lead trombone with “Kulturama Storbands Gymnasium” two years in a row.
The summer before his senior year of High School he got a scholarship to Interlochen Summer Arts program where he attended a 3-week classical performance camp and a 6-week jazz camp. This experience in North America left him wanting more and he was ecstatic when he received a scholarship to Eastman School of Music after graduation from Kulturama.
He moved to America knowing he could not stay more than a semester because his scholarship was not big enough and his family did not have money saved for school. Luckily, Al Kay from Humber College in Toronto heard about his situation and immediately offered him a spot in his department. PJ graduated from Humber College Bachelor of Music program in 2014.
Upon graduation, he was chosen to attend the Banff Center Jazz program in 2014 under the direction of Vijay Irer. At this program, he studied under masters such as Tyshawn Sorey, Ambrose Akinmusire, Jeff Tain Watts and Steve Lehman.
PJ has also worked with many great artists and entertainers including;
Maria Schnieder, Jack DeJohnette, Bob Mintzer, Ralph Irizari, Mike Stern, Eddie Santiago, Danilo Perez, Andreas Öberg, and Conrad Herwig, Ruben Blades, Cano Estremera, Luziana Suiza, Gorge Garzone, Esperanza Spalding, and many others.
PJ’s classical experience includes playing principal trombone with “The New York Symphony Chorus” and playing solo concerts in churches worldwide. PJ has also studied with Håkan Björkman at the Swedish national ballet.
In the studio he has recorded on countless projects including; 3 CD’s under his own name, jingles, film scores, video games, and educational material. In 2016 PJ started his first community outreach program in Toronto, Canada. Since then he has worked with music for social change at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, USA, as well as the Panama Jazz Festival in Panama City, Panama.
PJ is also involved in music therapy, and as his master thesis, he did a project on Performance Therapy at the Global Jazz Institute at Berklee college of music. This project was inspired by PJ’s work at Regent Park Music school in Toronto where he was in charge of creating a music curriculum for individuals with special needs.
After completing his studies at Berklee College of Music, PJ was offered a six month Internship at La Fundacion Danilo Perez in Panama City, Panama. While there, PJ developed the curriculum for jazz studies, brass education and general music for therapists, as well as working with at risk youth. After 10 years of honing his craft in America, PJ is now currently living in Skåne, Sweden, Panama City, Panama, and east Tennessee.