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Rolf Billberg

Rolf Billberg (22 August 1930 – 17 August 1966) was a Swedish alto saxophone player active during the 1950s and 1960s. Rolf Billberg was born in Lund, Sweden on 22 August 1930 and grew up living with his mother in Gothenburg. At age 17 Billberg began playing clarinet and playing with the an Uddevalla military band for four years. He then made the switch to the tenor saxophone and worked with local bands in Visby, Borås and Gothenburg, going to Stockholm in 1954 to join the Simon Brehm orchestra. From 1954—1955 Billberg also worked with Lars Gullin and made some recordings with him. In 1955 he worked in Copenhagen, Denmark with the Lasse Wanderyd orchestra and later for the Ib Glindemann orchestra in 1956. From 1956—1957, Billberg was performing in various American clubs located in Germany and France with vibraphonist Vera Auer. It was during this period that Billberg made the switch to alto saxophone. In 1957 he began working with the Carl-Henrik Norin orchestra in Stockholm. Over the coming years he would work frequently in Copenhagen with groups such as the Jazz Quintet 60 and the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra. Back in Sweden he continued his work with Lars Gullin and also worked frequently with trumpet player Jan Allan. In 1966 he joined the Danish Radio Big Band (led by Ib Glindemann), spending the summer in Gothenburg helping to look after his mother's hotel there. There he became seriously ill and died on his way to the hospital on 17 August 1966.

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