From The Guardian
Esbjörn Svensson, the genre-defying Swedish jazz pianist and composer, has died in a scuba diving accident, his manager said yesterday.
Burkhard Hopper, manager of the Esbjörn Svensson Trio (E.S.T.), said that Svensson died on Saturday in Sweden's Stockholm archipelago. He was 44.
According to the website allaboutjazz.com, he had been swimming near a jetty with several other divers when the accident occurred; he was found "severely injured" on the seabed, and resuscitation on land was unsuccessful.
According to the Guardian's jazz critic John Fordham, Svensson was a rare phenomenon in the jazz world: "A hero to the hardline critics, and a bankable international star."
A string of 13 albums won critical acclaim and commercial success for his blend of contemporary jazz crossed with rock, pop and electronica.
Yesterday, Hopper told the Reuters news agency: "Musically, he was the light that lit the world, because in what he did he was pushing boundaries.
"Himself, he said he was following the music inside himself. His music inspired people in all corners of the world."
Formed in 1993, E.S.T. was the first European group to be honoured on the cover of the prestigious US jazz magazine Down Beat, in 2006.
In 2006, the group - with Dan Berglund on double bass and Magnus Öström on drums - won the European Jazz Award and the BBC Jazz Award.
Svensson is survived by his wife and two children.