Page last updated at 05:14 GMT, Monday, 16 June 2008 06:14 UK

Jazz champion Svensson dies at 44

Esbjorn Svensson, file pic from December 2004
Svennson's trio became renowned for bringing jazz to a younger audience

The Swedish jazz pianist and composer Esbjorn Svensson has died in a scuba diving accident near the Swedish capital Stockholm. He was 44.

His Esbjorn Svensson Trio, known as EST, became renowned for bringing jazz to a younger audience.

They gained international acclaim playing in rock venues, using light shows and fog machines at concerts.

The music of EST drew on disparate influences, ranging from classical music to funk.

Burkhard Hopper, EST's manager, told Reuters news agency that Svensson had died on Saturday in Sweden's Stockholm archipelago.

"Musically, he was the light that lit the world because in what he did he was pushing boundaries," Mr Hopper said.

"His music inspired people in all corners of the world."


I had the privilege of seeing Esbjorn in concert twice. The experience was mesmerising on both occasions. This is an absolute shock.
David, Ireland

This is very sad. All the bright lights in jazz seem to go out too soon. First there was Bob Berg, Frank Mantooth, Michael Brecker and now Esbjorn Svensson. I will not forget the EST gig I saw in Leeds about 7 years ago, stunning playing. This is such a loss.
B, Northampton, UK

This is a very sad day. EST was a great light on the jazz circuit. I saw them twice in Manchester. Once in a small intimate venue when they were more low-key and acoustic, and again in the Bridgewater Hall, when they put on a fantastic show with lights, smoke, and the bass put through a distortion amp. Svensson was a true artist and will be missed.
Andrew Moffat, Gwangju, South Korea

EST was one of the most amazing shows I have ever seen. The intensity that they played with was second to none. I was one of the lucky Americans to get to see them live and it actually gives me nothing but great memories of a love that once was. Thanks EST and I wish the best to the family.
Mike Walker, Michigan, United States

I was fortunate enough to be able to see EST perform live a couple of times over the last two years. I was blown away by the fluidity and cohesiveness that they showed as an ensemble, they performed as one. Music has lost a young, vibrant and progressive voice, what a tragedy.
Solon McDade, Montreal

I only discovered EST about 18 months ago and they were a thrilling revelation. Playing jazz with a rock sensibility in a way that really works, they pleased both the jazz lover and the rocker in me. Virtuoso playing, with complex yet accessible tunes, they succeeded in a genre where lesser talents would have failed. Esbjorn death is a sad loss, and I will add him to the list of greats I was never fortunate enough to see in concert. Thanks for the music you have left us with.
Steven Perkins, Perth, Australia

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