Anders Åstrand is one of the world's foremost jazz virtuosos on vibraphone and marimba. He is also composer and arranger, and formed Global Percussion Network, a group quite different from what you normally associate with percussion music.
Instead of using a lot of drums, Global Percussion Network is very much based on the sound of the marimba and the vibraphone, and also very often quite melodic. Their music contains at the same time a lot of free improvisation which sometimes makes it difficult to categorise. Basically, it must be labelled as classical music but with a lot of jazz influences - a kind of "crossover album."
Anders Åstrand was one of the musicians behind the very special Organ/Percussion album on Opus 3, "Live at Vattnajokull" and that was recorded on Iceland.
As a mallet specialist, Åstrand regularly performs recitals and gives clinics throughout the US and Europe, both as a soloist and together with his percussion ensemble Global Percussion Network. Anders Åstrand has several times performed at PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention).
In his compositions, Åstrand focuses on improvisation as an essential feature for soloists as well as the ensemble. In addition to mallet music, Åstrand has been commissioned to composes for brass quintets, saxophone quartet, choirs, and big band. A more spectacular side features compositions for ice instruments to be performed by percussion ensemble (one of the concerts also featured fighter aircraft as instruments), tractors, and an entire building being inaugurated. Åstrand has also composed music for multimedia performances including dance, video projections, ice instruments, and fire sculptures.
Åstrand has also composed music for multimedia performances including dance, video projections, ice instruments, and fire sculptures.
Anders Åstrand is a member of several groups:
- Global Percussion Network with Rolf Landberg, Daniel Saur, Anders Åstrand (mallet instruments and percussion), and Tomas Bohlin (sound creator). GPN is a groove-oriented percussion keyboard ensemble, performing unlimited music.
- Together with organist Mattias Wager in a duo, using free improvisation as the means to create dynamic, musical experiments.
- Cashew with Michael Gould (drums), Miles Osland (saxophone), Brad Townsend (bass), and Anders Åstrand (vibraphone and marimba) features original, powerful, expressive music.
- Sven Åberg (lute, theorbo) and Anders Åstrand (vibraphone, marimba, percussion) meet occasionally in various projects, e.g. a portrait of the German philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, and as the musical configuration of mathematics in a seminar on the Legacy of Mathematics.
Åstrand regularly collaborates with Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble.
Since 2002, Anders Åstrand is on the Board of Directors for Percussive Arts Society.