Photo: Frank Schemmann

Sofia Jernberg (SE)

Sofia Jernberg (born in 1983, Ethiopia) is a Swedish soprano, vocal artist, improviser and composer. As a true cosmopolitan she is equally at home in avant-garde jazz and improvised music, as well as in contemporary new music. She has She has made it her mission to intensively explore the instrumental possibilities of the voice, breaking down traditional genre boundaries and radically expanding them.

Sofia Jernberg is one of the so-called Third Culture Kids. Following her childhood years in Ethiopia, she spent four years in Vietnam, attending the International School of Vietnam in Hanoi. At the age of ten, in Sweden, she discovered her interest in sounds well beyond Western music traditions, beginning to immerse herself into the works of Sidsel Endresen and Diamanda Galás.
She studied jazz at the Fridhems Folk High School in Sweden and at the Gotland School of Music Composition (with Per Mårtensson and Henrik Strindberg).

Sofia Jernberg is known for her unique and exceptional vocal repertoire which includes sounds and techniques often contradicting conventional vocal styles, such as an in-depth study of nonverbal vocalisations, split-tone singing or guttural distortion, as well as voiceless singing. Sofia Jernberg is capable of wilfully using her voice as a multi-faceted instrument, cultivating an individual repertoire of sounds and eccentric techniques, for which she received the 2008 Jazz Award from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

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