Few Swedish jazz musicians have as much experience about African music as Sofi Hellborg, who has collaborated with afrobeat master Tony Allen, among others. On her latest album, Ethnic Atmosphere For Relaxing Moments, she adds ambient hues to her palette.
Sofi studied jazz in a conservatory with soprano and alto sax as her main instruments. She has travelled in Africa playing with local musicians, and has also lived in London, where she belonged to Orchestra Jazira appearing on the Nomadic Activities album, and in Paris, where she joined Guinean kora player Mory Kante’s band. Sofi can be heard on his albums 10 Kola Nuts and Akwaba Beach, which included the international hit Ye Ke Ye Ke. Hellborg’s own debut album Travel & See (1993) was a groovy mix of jazz, funk and afrobeat. During the 90’s she was also involved in the brass band Klaxon Five and Smadj & So, which combined jazz and Algerian rai with drum’n’bass. Now Hellborg’s cataloque holds seven albums.