Åstrand is a renowned Swedish mallet specialist, considered to be a unique voice of both the marimba and the vibraphone. He is a popular and sought after soloist, regularly performing and giving master classes and clinics throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Since 2017, Åstrand heads the contemporary music/improvisation class at Orford Music Summer Academy in Quebec, Canada. Åstrand focuses on melodic and rhythmical improvisation, with influences ranging from jazz, Scandinavian folk music, Gregorian chants, and ancient Greek songs. The element of improvisation is also an essential feature in his compositions. His commissions include compositions for percussion and chamber music ensembles, brass quintets, saxophone quartet, choirs, and big band. A more spectacular side features compositions for ice instruments for percussion ensemble, as well as using fighter air crafts, snow trucks, and buildings as instruments to be played on. Åstrand’s music can also be found in multimedia performances including dance, video projections, ice instruments, and fire sculptures. His latest compositions include More Steps a duet for saxophones, flute, marimba, and vibraphone, and Spring Dance, a solo piece for marimba, vibraphone, and symphony orchestra, and premiered 2016 at the Busan Maru Festival, South Korea. Anders Åstrand regularly collaborates internationally with various ensembles and groups. The Omnibus Ensemble (Uzbekistan) has premiered two of his pieces, Omnibus 17 and Next Move As a featured guest artist and mallet player Åstrand has toured both in Europe and South America with Pies En la Terra (Ecuador). He plays vibraphone in both Soundscape Orchestra and Firm roots. Soundscape Orchestra is based on electronic and acoustic instruments. Just released their first Album in November 2018. Åstrand also plays the vibes in the big band Ann-Sofie Söderqvist Jazz Orchestra, and can be heard on the albums Move. The duo Vibes and Bass (Mikael Berglund, bass, Anders Åstrand mallets) has released two albums with original music, Seven Thoughts and Frantelunia. His own groups include WÅG (Mattias Wager church organ, Anders Åstrand mallets and percussion, Gary Graden vocals), Åstrand/Erlandsson Duo (Robert Erlandsson, double bass, Anders Åstrand mallets), and his percussion ensemble, Global Percussion Network, with which he has toured extensively in Sweden, Europe, the United States, and South Korea. Anders Åstrand regularly performs at PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention). He functions as International Education Orchestral Consultant for Zildjian since 2008. Anders Åstrand plays Yamaha instruments, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth mallets, and Evans drumheads.
Right on into a big band gig with a live recording with a short rehearsal, really was flying together with all the fantastic musicians in the band.
All the great meetings with all the travels I do to different countries, meeting students and prof players in a the best mix. Make me to go on in my music making which means practice, record, compose.
My first drumstick was SD9 and many years later I now am a proud signature artists for VF. Really feel honoured to be in the team!!
Yale, Peabody Institute, Curtis
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