Photo: Frank Schemmann

Sofia Jernberg


Sofia Jernberg (born 1983 in 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 contemporary New Music. Jernberg has embarked on the self-imposed task of intensively exploring a voice’s instrumental possibilities, 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 and began to immerse herself into the works of Sidsel Endresen and Diamanda Galás.

Jernberg is known for her unique and exceptional vocal repertoire which includes sounds and techniques often contradicting conventional vocal styles, such as in-depth study of nonverbal vocalizations, split tone singing or guttural distortion as well as voiceless singing.
Jernberg studied jazz music at the Fridhems Folk High School in Sweden and at the Gotland School of Music Composition (with Per Mårtensson and Henrik Strindberg). She 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 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

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