The Stefan Karlsson Quintet


Stefan Karlsson – Piano
Xiaochuan Li – Trumpet
Nathaniel Gao – Alto Sax
Danny Zanker – Bass
Charles Foldesh – drums

First Quintet on stage at 4C in the history of time!

Today, Stefan stays active as an educator and performer concertizing and giving clinics at festivals, clubs, educational venues and conferences worldwide. Stefan’s teaching and performing skills has taken him across the globe! He has been to Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Scotland, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Mexico, Brazil and throughout the United States.

Stefan Karlsson is a Swedish man who in 1984 moved to Texas, United States. Spent 6 years at University North Texas earning a bachelors and masters degree. Also started playing in a band renowned to the world as “One O’clock Lab Band.” After his university studies he did an unusual amount of travelling, no he has basically been in all the countries you can name. Moved to Denver, Colorado (1991-1994), then to Las Vegas, Nevada (1994-2002) fulfilling his duties as Coordinator of Jazz Studies at UNLV. Stefan was the professor of jazz studies at the University of North Texas from 2002 to 2014.


Stefan has been in charge of 72 recordings including 8 CD projects. He has been a recording artist for Justice Records, Cambria/Troppe Note Records and Bebyne. The Bebyne label (Barcelona, Spain) released his most recent leader recording (Smilin’ Eyes- solo piano). Since 1996, Stefan has been a member of the Eddie Gomez Trio and Quartet that’s frequently touring Asia, Europe and the United States. The group has currently recorded six CD projects. He has also shared the stage and recorded with such jazz greats as: Steve Gadd, Herb Ellis, Jim Ferguson, Lou Fischer, Carl Fontana, Tim Hagans, Steve Houghton, Clay Jenkins, Marc Johnson, Larry Koontz, Joe LaBarbera, Red Mitchell, Dick Oatts, Rich Perry, Chris Potter, Rufus Reid, Marvin ‘Smitty” Smith, Bob Sheppard, Alex Sipiagin, Ed Soph, Marvin Stamm, Harvie Swartz, Tom Warrington, Jiggs Wigham, Li Xiaochuan, Eliot Zigmund, and others. Stefan has been the accompanist for vocalist Patti Austin with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and with Monica Mancini with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Stefan is currently a published composer with BUG MUSIC (Hollywood, California) and his music was featured in Sugar Hill, Twenty Bucks and the 1997 Independent film Strays, Melrose Place, Party of Five, “Wings” and Homicide.


JZ Clubs and Festival (China), Blue Note Jazz Club (Fukyoka, Tokyo, and Osaka, Japan), Cotton Club (Tokyo, Japan), Mahidol University Jazz Festival (Thailand), New Morning Jazz Club (Paris, France), Fasching Jazz Club (Stockholm, Sweden), Vierzen Jazz Festival (Vierzen, Germany), Terzo Festival Internazionale Isola D’Elba (Elba, Italy), Festival des Rencontres (Capbreton, France), Body and Soul Jazz Club (Tokyo, Japan), Star Eyes Jazz Club (Nagoya, Japan), Jazz Club Jambouree (Barcelona, Spain), Muroran Jazz Festival (Muroran, Japan), Edinburg Festival (Edinburg, Scotland), Royal Academy of Music (Stockholm, Sweden), Conservatori-Liceu (Barcelona, Spain), University of Adelaide (Adelaide, Australia), and many others. Stefan Karlsson Quintet Stefan Karlsson Quintet

During the editing of this article, I was listening to these youtube clips. Having a quintet in the background while working is quite unusual and awesome. The fact that they’ve performed at my favourite club in Sweden, Fasching in Stockholm city spiked my enthusiasm for this upcoming Friday for sure.

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