"His beautiful tone, which lends itself to his beautiful melodies, as well as his talent, warm personality and skills as a guitarist and composer are wonderful assets to be shared with the world."
- JOHN DAMIAN, JAZZ GUITARIST
...his dark-toned, electric lines surge forward with capacious voicings and probing chord progressions. ...Wennas conveys a mature vision during the preponderance of these craftily arranged works, awash with subtle surprises and the soloists hearty sojourns.
- GLENN ASTARITA, JAZZREVIEW.COM
"..what makes Static a success is Wennas' own way of subsuming his influences into an approach all his own. He rephrases the familiar theme on Miles Davis' "Nardis" in a fresh way that leads into a surprising 4/4 swing and a solo that, like all his work on Static, is defined by economy, a refreshing avoidance of pyrotechnics, and a clear eye on the meaning of every note and phrase."
-JOHN KELMAN, ALL ABOUT JAZZ
Bjorn Wennas has the chops you'd expect of someone who emigrated from Sweden to study at Berklee with guitar gurus Mick Goodrick and Jon Damian. But the emphasis on his second CD is composition and ensemble interplay. The lead-off track, "Song 2," begins with bassist Bruno Raberg belting out a phlegmy ostinato with his bow; he's soon joined by drummer Ziv Ravitz's funky backbeat and a zig-zagging boppish unison line voiced by Wennas, trumpeter Phil Grenadier, and singer Carmen Marsico. On the title track, a wandering melody unwinds over a ballad tempo, with Wennas and Grenadier trading background and foreground lines, giving way for a Raberg solo, and then fading on Wennas's soft-voiced chords. Wennas can also play a slow solo and sustain it, as he does on "L'uomo e la montagna," a sextet number with Michael Reis on piano. Marsico's vocals don't even enter until a good six minutes into the eight-and-a-half-minute piece... Wennas's arrangements are never predictable, and that includes the familiar "Ruby My Dear" (a duo for voice and guitar) and "Lonnie's Lament." The trio "Nardis" even gets a good walking-four groove going with some dirty rock-guitar tone.
- JON GARELICK, BOSTON PHOENIX
Swedish composer and guitarist Bjorn Wennas is an active musician in Boston and it's surroundings. He currently leads his own quintet featuring his original compositions drawing inspiration from both rock and jazz tradition as well as from contemporary music.
Bjorn made his debut on stage at the age of 12 with the Flamenco group Los Dos Jovenes led by acclaimed guitarist and educator Miroslav Simic. Bjorn eventually developed an interest in jazz and went on to play guitar in several big bands and smaller ensembles. Most notably performing with big bands under the direction of Johnny Olsson at Berns and Mosebacke in Stockholm. Bjorn has performed in some of most distinguished jazz clubs in Sweden such as Fashing in Stockholm and Katalin in Uppsala.
Bjorn received a Bachelor's Degree from Uppsala University in Musicology and Anthropology, writing his final paper discussing jazz improvisation from an anthropological perspective. In 1999 he moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music on a scholarship. While at Berklee, Bjorn studied with Mick Goodrick, Hal Crook, Jon Damian, Ed Tomassi, Dave Santoro, Greg Hopkins and Tim Miller. He was nominated in 2004 for the Just Plain Folk's Award for best jazz vocal composition (Love Song) along with the likes of Judi Silvano. His quintet was also selected to perform at the first annual New Music Festival in Boston, celebrating composers that are pushing the edge.
Bjorn has played in venues such as Berklee Performance Center, The Zeitgeist Gallery, House of Blues, Ryles Jazz Club in Boston and The Bitter End and The Triad in New York City.
Bjorn has performed and collaborated with several notable musicians including Bruno Raberg, Phil Grenadier (Kenny Baron, Chris Potter, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Larry Goldings) Mark Shilansky (Luciana Souza, Kenny Wheeler, Clark Terry) Mads Tolling (Turtle Island String Quartet, Stanley Clarke) and Vadim Neselovskyi (Gary Burton).
Currently involved in several different projects he recently introduced his new band on his latest CD Static featuring Bruno Raberg on bass, Phil Grenadier on trumpet, Ziv Ravitz on drums, Carmen Marsico on vocals and Michel Reis on piano.