Short CV

Jonas Johansen (b. 1962) is a true orchestral drummer, with a universal sound developed though 40 years of top level performances and more than 200 albums. Jonas’ special gift always delivers the extra touch that lifts the music. His personal and international sound is rooted in his deep knowledge of the jazz tradition and his ability to fluently incorporate inspiration from Latin America, Turkey, Spain, Africa and India. Jonas played with Danish Radio Big Band 1990 – 1999, NHØP trio with Ulf Wakenius 1996 – 2005, and stars like Enrico Pieranunzi, Eliane Elias, Marc Johnson, Steve Swallow, Mike Stern, Renee Rosnes, Egberto Gismonti, Toninho Horta, Airto Moreira, John Taylor, McCoy Tyner, John Scofield, Joe Henderson, Vince Mendoza, Tom Harrell, Jon Balke, Steen Rasmussen, Chris Minh Doky, Joyce Moreno and Kala Ramnath. Frequently used Big Band drummer with experience from a.o. Aarhus Jazz Orchestra, Norrbotten Big Band, WDR Big Band, HR Big Band and NDR Big Band. Currently plays with Copenhagen Jazz Orchestra. Jonas is also an active bandleader in groups like Jonas Johansen Adventure Trio, MOVE (modern jazz), Blanco y Negro (Global Jazz), Tin Pan Aliens with Steve Swallow, Jazz Explorer Trio with Lars Møller and Thor Madsen, CharmCatcher and Rosalia De Souza Quarteto 55°. Jonas has released 16 albums under his own name, latest “Jonas Johansen Adventure Trio” from February 2024.

Portrait movie

Portræt af en Christianshavner

- Jonas Johansen

Produced by:

Andreas Sveistrup
Maria Bisgaard
and Cornelius Qvist
for Christianhavns Kvarter



Debut concerts and LP release with Jonas Johansen Adventure Trio in Copenhagen and Århus, Denmark. Plays with DR Big Band at 60 years anniversary concert at DR concert Hall. Plays with Peter Suwalski. Succesfull DK tour with Rosalia De Souza Quarteto 55°. Plays with LaTanya Hall/ Andy Milne Quartet. Plays with Copenhagen Jazz Orchestra and Rune Harder Olesen / Raydel Medina.


Releases 3 singles “Soulmate” “Afternoons”, “Sweet Noise” and EP “Travels”with Jonas Johansen Adventure Trio. Releases LP with Hanne Uldal. Plays with Hans Ulrik, Alexander Kraglund, Arvid Nielsen, Mette Juul and Maria Kynne. Tours Denmark with Mike Stern Band. Plays for Danish Royalty in Delhi, India, and tours India with Jazz Explorer trio and Raga Jazz. Per Vers album “Sidste Omgang” wins Gaffa price for “Hip Hop Album of the Year”. Plays with Sinne Eeg and Copenhagen Jazz Orchestra (CJO). Plays with Carlos Sarduy, “Sange fra anden verdenskrig”, “Tivoli Revy”, Rasmus Steenholm, Peter Suwalski, Jazz Explorer Trio, Jan Harbeck, Helle Henning, Veronica Mortensen, Nikolai Majland, Simon Thorsen and Kristin Korb. Releases LP “P R A K S I S” with Per Vers. Tours with Torben Westergaard “Jazz Brazil”. Records with Uffe Savery. Plays grand concert with Pierre Bertrand and “Caja Negra” in Copenhagen. Plays Wąbrzeźno in Poland with Igor Zakus, Bendik Hofset and Benoir Soursse. Plays with Janne Mark and Esben Eyermann at Brorson Kirke. Plays Elsinore Culture Night with Niels Lan Doky International Jazz Collective. Succesfull tour with Rosalia De Souza Quarteto 55º in Denmark. Plays with Aske Drasbæk. Plays Dance Ballerina Dance shows.


Tours with Chris Minh Doky New Nordic Jazz Trio. Plays with Copenhagen Jazz Orchestra & Florian Weber. Releases album and plays with Maria Kynne. Plays with Alexander Kraglund, Veronica Mortensen, Peter Vuust, Jens Søndergaard, Morten Grønvad, Niels Præstholm, Helle Henning and Niels Ole Sørensen. Records with Jonas Johansen Adventure Trio feat. Thor Madsen and Lennart Ginman. Plays Czechoslovakia with Chris Minh Doky, and Madrid, Spain with Steen Rasmussen. Tours and records new album with Toben Westergaard, Helio Alves and Hans Ulrik. Plays Quartet tour with Rosalia De Souza in DK and Germany. Plays concerts with Jazz Explorer Trio and with CJO. Plays release concerts with Line Kruse in DK and France. Plays with Selene Muñoz and 7SENSES, grand concert at Festspillene in Bergen, Norway. Plays Getz/Gilberto shows at Helsingør Jazz festival. Plays Mulberry Street Symphony (on percussion) with a.o. Antonio Sanchez.


Becomes member of Adventures Club Denmark. Plays DK and Paris and records new album with Line Kruse. Plays and records with Maria Kynne. Plays DR P8 Jazz concert and tours with Steen Rasmussen Quinteto. Peter Rosendal, Trio Mio and The Orchestra plays concerts in DK and wins Jazz Special readers poll ‘Jazz Album of the Year’. Plays with Jens Jefsen trio with Uffe Steen. Joins Torben Westergaard & Kirsebærsne. Plays feature concert in Greve with a.o. Miriam Mandipira. Rosalia De Souza/Jonas Johansen Brazilian Project plays several succesfull concerts. Plays with Copenhagen Jazz Orchestra and Florian Weber, Tivoli Orchestra, Jazz Explorer Trio, Helle Henning, Tine Bruhn, Nina Stark and Emil Hess Evolution Orchestra. Plays “Come Fly Away” with the Royal Ballet in Copenhagen. Plays with Alexander Kraglund Quarteto. Performs with Selene Muñoz and “Historias” and “Monochome” shows. Plays Anders Koppel’s Mulberry Symphony (as a percussionist), featuring Brian Blade, Scott Colley and Benjamin Koppel. Plays Jakob Høgsbro Juleoratorie. Plays with Kristine Korb and friends. Plays with ToneArt ensemble in Copenhagen and Aarhus.


Plays with Steen Rasmussen. Plays Ukraine with Igor Zakus, Steen Rasmussen and Leo Minax and plays with The Orchestra, Jakob Riis and Lars Møller. Plays Paris with Jazz Explorer Trio and Blue Note Milano with Chris Minh Doky. Records with Thor Madsen, Nina Stark and Igor Zakus. Plays and records with Alexander Kraglund and Maria Kynne “Åndelige Sange”. Plays Tivoli with Line Kruse and The Tivoli Ensemble. Plays 3rd round of “Come Fly Away” with the Royal Ballet in Copenhagen. Plays with Helle Marstrand, Emil Hess, Jens Søndergaard, Carlos Sarduy and Jens Jefsen Trio w/ Uffe Steen. Debut concerts with Rosalia De Souza / Jonas Johansen Brazilian Project. Plays with Blanco y Negro. Short Film “Café Central” is released.


Plays grand concerts with Egberto Gismonti, Lars Møller and The Orchestra. Plays Paris with Line Kruse Septet and DK with Blanco y Negro, Aurélio Raposo, Helle Marstrand, Benjamin Koppel Jazz Galla, Katrine Madsen, Emil Hess, Helle Henning, Christina Von Bülow, Simon Spang Hansen and Jazz Explorer Trio. Tours with Steen Rasmussen feat. Joyce Moreno, Leo Minax and Josefine Cronholm in DK and Spain. Plays and records with Hanne Uldal Quartet. Plays special Jonas Johansen concert project in Greve. Plays Jazz Kolo in Ukraine with Igor Zakus Quartet. Plays with Mike Stern Trio and special guest Leni Stern. Tours with Chris Minh Doky New Nordic Jazz. Plays Savassi Jazz Festival BH, and SP Brazil, with Jazz Explorer Trio + MG Big Band, Orquestra Urbana, Lars Møller, Letieres Leite and Seamus Blake.


Tours India with Jazz Explorer Trio, Lars Møller, Thor Madsen, Kala Ramnath and Abhijit Banerjee. Tours Denmark and Germany with Chris Minh Doky – New Nordic Jazz Trio. Plays with Blanco y Negro, Steen Rasmussen, Katrine Madsen and Helle Henning. Plays with Athelas Sinfonietta and Morten Olsen, The Orchestra with Lars Møller and records album with The Orchestra, Peter Rosendal & Trio Mio. Plays Ronan Guilfoyle 60th anniversary concert in Dublin, Ireland. Plays Bergen International Festival with Selene Muñoz. Tours and releases new album with Steen Rasmussen, Joyce Moreno, Barbara Casini and others. Records live album with Katrine Madsen. Tours with Lars Møller and Raga Jazz and plays with Jazz Orkestar Hrvatske Radiotelevizije in Zagreb Kroatia. Plays Dnipro, Ukraine with Maciej Kadziela, Igor Zakus and Yakiv Tsvietinskyi. Tours and records with Line Kruse Septet. Plays and records with DR Big Band and Eliane Elias, and plays with DR Big Band, “Merry Christmas Baby” concerts.


Plays with Rosalia de Souza, Katrine Madsen, Helle Henning, Leopoldo Fleming, Lubos Soukup, Clarice Assad, Magnus Thuelund and Nicolai Munch-Hansen. Plays with AJO at grand opening concert at Cultural Capital of Europe 2017 in Aarhus DK and Paphos, Cyprus. Records and plays concerts with Chris Minh Doky in DK and Germany. Performs with Nyre Trio. Plays Warsaw, Poland with Maciej Kadziela Quintet. Plays and releases new album “Timbero” with own band Blanco y Negro. Releases album and plays Bangalore, India with Jazz Explorer Trio with Lars Møller and Thor Madsen. Plays Paris, France with Line Kruse Septet and Hidden Stone Big Band. Plays with The Orchestra feat. Mathias Rüegg and Peter Rosendal w/ Trio Mio. Grand concert with Selene Muñoz at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, DK. Records new album, and plays Copenhagen Jazz Festival with Joyce Moreno and Steen Rasmussen. Plays DK and Spain with Steen Rasmussen Quinteto. Records album and tours with Raga Jazz feat. Kala Ramnath and Abhijit Banarjee, AJO and The Danish Sinfonietta. Plays NDR Big Band in Hamburg.


Performs concerts in India with AJO, Abhijit Banarjee, Kala Ramnath, Lars Møller, Thor Madsen and own new group Charmcatcher. Plays in Oslo with Sudeshna Bhattacharya, Abhijit Banarje and Charmcatcher. Plays with AJO and Geir Lysne. Plays and releases new CD with Magnus Thuelund Trio w. Graig Earle. Plays tour with Mike Stern Trio. Plays concerts with Blanco y Negro. Plays grand Bollywood Beats and Big Band tour and CD recording with Lars Møller, AJO and The Danish Sinfonietta. Joins and records with new group RagaJazz. Plays with Phillipe Catherine and Dado Moroni. Records CD with Charmcatcher. Releases new CD with Chris Minh Doky. Plays 3rd round of Come Fly Away with Royal Danish Ballet. Plays with The Orchesta and Guillermo Klein. Joins new group Sabrang with Sudeshna Bhattacharya and Graig Earle. Plays Paris with Almaz Yebio. Plays with Adam Rapa and Odense Brass Sinfonietta. Plays with Chris Minh Doky and New Nordic Jazz, Maciej Kadziela, Helle Henning and Katrine Madsen. Plays Taipei, Taiwan with Eliane Elias Group. Plays DK and Spain with Steen Rasmussen and Josefine Cronholm. Plays with Per Vers. Plays Philadelphia USA with Sinne Eeg.


Plays with Peter Vuust, Veronica Mortensen, Svante Thureson, Hans Backenroth, DR Big Band, Steen Rasmussen Quinteto feat. Leo Minax, The Doky Brothers, The Orchestra feat. a.o. Claus Waidtloew, Tuva Semmingsen and Peter Rosendal. Concerts with Bobo Moreno, Morten Ramsboll, Ole Koch Hansen, AJO and Vellu Halkosalmi, Daniel Rolím, Gabor Bolla, Graig Earle, Nancy Harms, Katrine Madsen and Aske Drasbæk. Plays and records new CD with Magnus Thuelund trio with Graig Earle. Restarts Blanco y Negro in new line-up with Karl-Martin Almqvist, Eliel Lazo,Yasser Morejon and Abel Marcel. Plays with Jazz-Lab Time Machine in Oslo with a.o. Helge Lien and Helghe Sunde, and with AJO I Russia. Plays with Gilad Hekselman. Tours, records and releases new CD with Chris Minh Doky Trio and Peter Rosendal.


2nd trip to The Gambia to study Wolof drumming. Plays and records CD with “The Big Band”. Plays with Pierre Bousaguet, MOVE, Line Kruse and DR Big Band feat Sinne Eeg. Plays with Peter Rosendal’s new trio (with Nicolai Munch-Hansen) in Scotland. Plays with Magnus Thuelund in new trio with Graig Earle. Tours with Kurt Elling and AJO. Plays with Eliane Elias, Marc Johnson and Graham Dechter in Ukraine and Gibraltar. Plays with Jacob Christoffersen in Belgium and Holland. Tours with Steen Rasmussen Qinteto feat. Leo Minax in Denmark and France. Plays with The Doky Brothers, Chris Minh Doky Trio and Mike Stern Trio in Copenhagen. Plays with Victoria Tolstoy, Svante Thuresson, Vivian Buczek and Peter Asplund in Sweden and plays Come Fly Away at the Royal Danish Ballet with Chris Minh Doky Orchestra.


Trip to The Gambia to study Wolof drumming. Tours Ecuador, Colombia and Denmark with Steen Rasmussen Quinteto feat. Leo Minax. Tours with Aaarhus Jazz Orchestra, Geir Lysne, Jon Balke and Batagraf. Plays with MOVE and Jacob Christoffersen trio. Releases new CD (12th under his own name) “Divisions” with Ronan Guilfoyle and Lars Moller. Plays with Enrico Pierranunzi Trio, and plays North Sea Jazzfestival with Eliane Elias, Joe Lovano and Randy Brecker. Plays with Ulf Wakenius, and plays Come Fly Away at the Royal Danish Ballet with Chris Minh Doky Orchestra.


Plays with own group MOVE, Jacob Christoffersen Trio, Nico Gori, Nicola Stilo, Katrine Madsen Group, Tomas Franck, Soren Kragh-Jacobsen and ToneArt Decagon Ensemble. Tours and records with Steen Rasmussen Group feat. Leo Minax. Plays with Aaarhus Jazz Orchestra Geir Lysne, Helge Norbakken and Cæcilie Nordby. Tours DK with Chris Minh Doky Trio + Strings. Plays 50 years anniversary celebration concerts with Enrico Pierranunzi Trio at Montmartre Jazzclub, Copenhagen.


Records CD with Jonas Johansen / Ronan Guilfoyle / Lars Møller trio. Plays with Chris Minh Doky, Ulf Wakenius, Line Kruse, Katrine Madsen, LaGaylia Frazier & Jan Lundgren Trio. Plays – and releases new CD with Jacob Christoffersen Trio. Plays DK with Club Del Rincón feat. dancer Selene Muñoz. Plays – and releases new CD with own group MOVE THIS (11th CD under his own name). Plays Paris with Line Kruse and Eliel Lazo. Tours with Jomi Massage and The Orchestra. Plays Beijing, China with Katrine Madsen Group. Releases CD “Steen Rasmussen Quarteto em Sao Paulo” as well as playing DK and Spain with Steen Rasmussen groupo feat. Macia Lopes.


Tours Denmark with Donny McCaslin and Kluvers Big Band. Own group Blanco y Negro plays again. Tours Denmark and Sweden with Ulf Wakenius and Groove Factor. Plays with Chris Minh Doky. Tours Brazil with Steen Rasmussen and records CD in Sao Paulo with Marcia Lopes and Fabio Cadore. Records new CD with Jacob Christoffersen Trio. Tours China with Katrine Madsen Group, and plays in first international jazz program ever for national Chinese TV, CCTV. Own quartet MOVE plays again, and records new CD for Stunt Records. New trio with Ronan Guilfoyle and Lars Moller starts recording. Starts new duo with tuba player Kristian Tangvik.


Tours Sweden with Norrbotten Big Band, Tim Hagans, Sofia Jannok and Jonas Knutsson, Plays Edinburgh Jazz Festival with Sinne Eeg and Tommy Smith/Makoto Ozone/Chris Minh Doky. Plays with Enrico Pieranunzi Trio. Tours with Hans Ulrik/Steve Swallow/Jonas Johansen. Plays – and releases CDs – with Nikolaj Bentzon and Steffen Milling, Steen Rasmussen Group and Jens Skou Olsen’s “Summer On The Moon.” Releases new CD and tours Denmark, Sweden and Spain with Katrine Madsen. Successful debut concert with new flamenco-jazz project “Club Del Rincon” in Copenhagen


Records CD with Vince Mendoza and Danish Radio Big Band. Tours Scandinavia with Ulf Wakenius and Groove Factor. Plays with Enrico Pieranunzi Trio. Tours Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Austria with Silvana Malta. Records and releases new CD with Kaya Bruel. Tours with Katrine Madsen. Tours Germany with Fredrik Lundin Overdrive. Joins new project with Nikolaj Bentzon and Steffen Milling.


Releases 10th CD under his own name, with Steve Swallow, Hans Ulrik, Bobo Steenson and Ulf Wakenius. Releases CD and tours with Ulf Wakenius and Groove Factor. Records and releases CDs with Torben Westergaard, Niels Praestholm, Silvana Malta and Eliveation. Releases CD with NHOP Trio “The Unforgettable NHOP Trio Live” on ACT records. Plays London with Fredrik Lundin Overdrive, tours with Jacob Christoffersen Trio, plays Rockport USA, London, Thailand, Denmark and Sweden with Katrine Madsen and tours Spain with Silvana Malta. Successful tour in Denmark with Blanco y Negro.


Records CD in Havana, Cuba with Eliel Lazo and Yasser Morejón. Tours Spain, USA, Sweden, Norway and Denmark with Katrine Madsen. Plays Denmark, Norway and Germany with Malene Mortensen. Plays Hua Hin International Jazz festival, Thailand with Ben Besiakov and Malene Mortensen. Plays in Spain with Eliane Elias. Tours with Fredrik Lundin in Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Plays Denmark and Latvia with Silvana Malta. Tours Denmark, Sweden and Norway with Steve Swallow and Hans Ulrik. Tours Argentina with MOVE. Plays NHOP memorial tour in Denmark. Releases 9th album under his own name “Spoiled Child” (RMC Records).


Releases 7th CD under his own name “Tin Pan Aliens” with Steve Swallow and Hans Ulrik. Tours Denmark, Norway and Germany with NHOP trio (NHOP passes on April 19, 2005). Tours Denmark, Norway and Germany with Fredrik Lundin Overdrive. The groups latest CD “Belly Up” wins Danish Music Award’s “Jazz Album Of The Year 2005.” Plays with Maggi Olin and Ingrid Jensen in Denmark and Sweden. Records and releases CD with Jacob Christoffersen Trio “Facing The Sun.” Tours Spain, Estonia, Sweden and Denmark as well as records and releases CD with Silvana Malta, Airto Moreira and Toninho Horta. Records CD with Katrine Madsen “Supernatural Love” to be released spring 2006 on Stunt Records.


Tours Germany and Denmark with NHOP trio and Sweden with Ulf Wakenius. Tours and records CD with Fredrik Lundin Overdrive. Tours Spain with Silvana Malta Group, and Scandinavia with Move and Band Mrazem. Tours Scandinavia and records new CD with Steve Swallow and Hans Ulrik. Plays South Corea with Cris Minh Doky.


Successful tour with Band Mrazem in Denmark. Tours in a.o. Spain, Germany and Norway with “Move”. Tours in Denmark and Germany with Steve Swallow and Hans Ulrik. Project with HR Big Band and Eliane Elias in Germany, Tours Sweden and Denmark with NHOP Trio. Releases 3rd album with Move (6th album under his own name) in November 2003. Plays in Sweden with Ulf Wakenius


Tours, records and releases 4th CD under his own name (Ulrik/Swallow/ Johansen: “Trio”), together with Hans Ulrik and the American electric bass legend Steve Swallow. Releases 5th CD under his own name (Band Mrazem: “Cuts”) with Emil de Waal and Gustaf Ljunggren. Plays at Faeroe Islands with Egberto Gismonti. Tours twice in Spain with Silvana Malta Group, and in Canada with Fredrik Lundin Overdrive. Tours in Sweden with Ulf Wakenius Jazz and Hammond Explosion


Tours in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam with NHOP. Tours in Spain and Portugal with own group “Move”. Plays two European tours with Eliane Elias trio with the American bassist Marc Johnson. Joins Fredrik Lundin’s new band Overdrive. The CD “Band Mrazem” is nominated for a Danish Music Award in the category “Jazz surprise of the year”


Tours with own band “Move” in Spain. The CD “Please Move Jonas Johansen” receives Grammy nomination in Denmark, in the category “Jazz Album of the year”. The CD makes 3rd place in Danish jazz magazine “Jazz Specials readers poll. Danish TV makes feature program about the group. Releases 3rd CD under his own name “Band Mrazem” co-lead with drummer colleague Emil de Waal.


Releases 2nd CD under his own name (“Please Move Jonas Johansen”).


Joins Silvana Malta Group and tours with Toninho Horta.

1996 - 2005

Permanent member of the NHOP trio with Ulf Wakenius.


Releases first CD under his own name (“Move”).


Begins playing with NHØP.


Starts own group Move.


Receives the Ben Webster Prize.

1990 - 1999

Member of The Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra.

1989 - 1996

Member of Nikolaj Bentzon Trio.

1988 - 1995

Member of Istanbul Express (Turkish “World” music).

1987 - 2000

Plays with Emborg/Larsen Group and Jorgen Emborg Group.


Member of Per Carsten Group (fusion), Mona Larsen Band (rock) and Shot Of Soul (soul).

1982 - 1986

Member of Debbie Cameron Group (funk).

1981 - 1984

Member of Ole Kuhl’s group Dawn (Miles Davis fusion).

In general

Becomes, from around 1987, one of the most sought-after younger drummer on the Danish jazz scene (the generation after Alex Riel). This leads to extensive touring, which apart from Denmark includes Scandinavia, Europe (including Poland and Czechoslovakia), Croatia, Russia & the Baltic countries, China, Australia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, North – and South America and Canada. Plays on more than 200 albums. The internationally best selling CD is NHOP’s “Friends Forever” with Renee Rosnes, which is released on both Keystone (Japan) and Milestone (USA & Europe). (Please see discography).

© 2024 Jonas Johansen