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the swedish vocalist & guitarist
Petra Ahlmark
Born in Uppsala, Sweden in 1969 and raised in the northern town of Sundsvall until the age of eight, Petras life radically changed when she moved to Paris with her mother in the summer of 1977. In the old house at 69 rue de coquelicots there was neither tv nor telephone but a guitar. She started to play and music became a significant way of expressing herself in her new life. After six months in the french capital they settled in Madrid, Spain where she were to spend her formative years. Immersed in a new environment and exposed to the cultural life of the bustling metropolis, her interest in spanish and latin music awoke. At the conservatory of music she aquired the basics of music theory, and she learned to sing and play traditional and popular spanish songs thanks to an inspiring guitar teacher. In 1983 she returned to Sweden and she continued to study classical guitar. At the age of 17 she started to sing jazz and fell in love with the (for her new) tradition. She formed her first jazz quintet in 1991 when she had entered the royal university college of music in Stockholm. At the university she majored in jazzvocals and improvisation and spent a lot of time composing and arranging for her own groups. She completed her master's degree in performing arts in 1996. She has since then been leading different bands and projects in the jazzfield and since 2003 she teaches jazzvocals at the university college of music Ingesund, western Sweden. Over the past ten years Petras focus has shifted towards brazilian music. Currently her focus is on developing the interplay between her voice and guitar in the style that Jo„o Gilberto innovated in Brazil in the 50's. She also spends a lot of time in her home studio recording multi-track improvisations, resulting in spontaneous and fragmentary compositions that make use of the different moods, sounds and qualitys of her voice.