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Joan Baez Judy Garland Violeta Parra

Genres You Will Love
Folk: Political Folk Folk: Progressive Folk World: Swedish Folk Folk: Political Moods: Solo Male Artist

By Location

Jan Hammarlund

JAN HAMMARLUND, according to THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PROGRESSIVE SWEDISH MUSIC, "one of the major singer/songwriters of the Movement." Jans debut album BEFRIADE FRÅN SKOLAN (1972), contained a protest against the US war in Vietnam and was prosecuted under the pretext of having infringed on "moral copyright law". His second album NÄR BANDET SLUTAR SPELA confirmed his position with dreamy poetry only partly political, but in 1974 in the wake of the military coup in Chile, he turned to chilean songwriter Violeta Parra, recording her songs in his own translations on an album whose entire profit went to the Chile Committees of Sweden that subsequently for years numbered about a hundred local organizations. He was one of the founders of the Bella Ciao group in 1975, presenting italian labour and politival songs in swedish. Lena Ekman, another member of the group then joined with him and Turid (who had been a close friend of Jans since 1968) in a trio that toured and recorded extensively. At age 24 he went to the 1975 anti-imperalist song festival in Helsinki in order to meet Malvina Reynolds. At the time she was known in Sweden almost exclusively for Little Boxes. I arranged concerts and TV appearances for her in Sweden in 1976 and stayed with her in Berkeley the following summer, returning home to Sweden with hundreds of Malvinas songs on music sheets. In 1977 Jan Hammarlund came out as the first public gay artist in Sweden, recording various powerful gay songs on his 8 vinyl albums through the end of the 70's and the 80's, most importantly VILLE. His greatest success as a songwriter is JAG VILL LEVA I EUROPA, a love declaration to that continent which hints at Hammarlunds scepticism and opposition to the EU project. Jan Hammarlund has also translated and recorded classical french cabaret songs (TVÄRS ÖVER GÅRN, 1984 and 1995)) and Bertolt Brechts poems in the classical musical settings by Hanns Eisler and Paul Dessau in his own translations on OM TRÄDGÅRDSBEVATTNING (1996). CDs ALBY-BILBAO (2000), GRÄSSTRÅN OCH GATSTEN (2002) and, above all RÖDA LINJEN (2007) have further established his reputation as an intelligent and subtle political singer/songwriter. Jan has had several of his songs translated into and recorded in spanish, but has only recently started singing some of his songs in english translation. He has performed both in England, USA, Chile and Uruguay.