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Home > Main > The Real Role Model – Thoughts on Peder Karlsson’s Very Last Concert

The Real Role Model – Thoughts on Peder Karlsson’s Very Last Concert

by Florian Städtler from Stockholm/Sweden

If you’ve ever played or sung in a band yourself, you certainly know how difficult it is, to keep a group together over the years. People change, personal goals differ, members start to miss family life. Constant touring, recording and trying to make ends meet without losing artistic integrity take their toll.

Groups that are exceptionally talented and able to manage the challenge of functioning as an effective social system over decades are rare. But those who make this kind of socio-musical miracle happen, often turn into unique artistic phenomenons.

In the world of vocal and a cappella music, I’m thinking of pioneering icons like Take6, The Swingle Singers, The King’s Singers, Rajaton, Rockapella and the Swedish vocal music miracle, The Real Group.

The Real Group featuring new baritone Morten Vinther Sorensen

Founded 26 years ago by music students Anders Edenroth, Anders Jalkeus and Peder Karlsson, they have developed into a role model for countless young a cappella ensembles from Europe and all over the world. As every long-term musical project, they had line-up changes, they had fantastic times and average years, sometimes they probably had to struggle to keep the project on track. But eventually, they managed to subordinate their egos to a common musical goal: A work of art called the The Real Group.

Today, the group keeps on surprising and innovating the scene. Last year, they launched The Real Community, a social network for vocal groups and singers. And very soon they will present the first a cappella online school, The Real Academy.

The Way to The Real Academy?

Which brings me to my first ever trip to Sweden’s capital, Stockholm: After 26 years as a baritone with The Real Group, Peder Karlsson decided to leave the group. If you ever had the privilege to meet Peder in person, I probably don’t have to tell you that he is a wonderful singer, an outstanding composer/arranger and a truly hilarious guy. He loves to teach and has passed on his experience and know-how to endless numbers of young, talented singers. Time spent with Peder is rewarding, inspiring and certainly good fun. And here’s the good news: Peder’s place on stage will be taken by Danish baritone Morten Vinther Sorensen. But Peder will stay on the scene, as he himself announced in his parting speech at Fasching Jazz Club last Sunday night: “I will become headmaster of a new music school, The Real Academy.” Peder, this sounds like another exciting, new chapter in your life.

Peder says goodbye.

Needless to say, the private farewell concert in Stockholm was a once-in-a-lifetime event, hard to describe by a humble blogger. Similar to the London Leaving Do of Swingles tenor Willy Eteson the week before, it was a family and industry meeting alike, full of musical surprises, special guests and vocal music of the highest imaginable level. The Real Group presented a repertoire of classics and current arrangements, bringing back former soprano Margareta Bengtson and featuring new baritone Morten Vinther Sorensen. When Margareta sang the original “En Sommar”, both singers and audience couldn’t hold back the tears and shortly afterwards, they let out all the tension in a stunning version of the Basie swing classic “Splanky”.

Margareta Bengtson

As if this wasn’t enough, the final set of the concert brought on another Nordic a cappella sensation, Rajaton from Finland. 13 world-class vocalists on the small Fasching stage, expressing sheer joy for and love to what they do, was more than touching. It was one of these rare moments, when you suddenly seem to realize that everything we do in writing, arranging, singind and organizing music makes perfect sense. Simply magic!

Rajaton & The Real Group with guests

To get a little impression of this atmosphere, I’ve added an audio track to this post: “Chili con Carne“, one of The Real Group’s biggest hits. Even though it’s not the sound you are used to when talking of Rajaton and The Real Group: You can feel the good vibes of that special night. More music from this event might be available soon: I was told there will be video footage of one real camera and up to 30 iPhones at soon.

Enough said.

Farewell Peder Karlsson.

A role model in vocal music.

Tack. Thank you. Danke.

P.S.  Peder wrote a touching message at his blog in The Real Community. To read it, click here.

You can find more pictures of the event at the Vocal Blog group on Facebook. If you’re not a member yet, join right now!

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  1. 26. Oktober 2010, 12:41 | #1

    Hi everybody,

    as you can see, I was only taking snapshots with amateur gear, but there was a pro photographer, Markku Pihlaja, who used a “Real Camera” and obviously has the skills. Hope to see more pictures like that shared by Anders Jalkeus on Facebook:!/photo.php?fbid=10150095423275281&set=a.115523640280.123583.573180280


  2. 26. Oktober 2010, 13:25 | #2

    Thanks Markku for this link and a selection of great photos of Peder’s night at Fasching:

  3. 28. Oktober 2010, 17:16 | #3

    Hi Florian,

    thanks for the kind words!

    And it was a truly fantastic night at Fasching. I am glad you were there to share it with us.

    May I have a little comment to your article?
    Which is that Anders Jalkéus was as active as Anders E and me in the formation of TRG.

    Maybe you also would like to add this link to an article I just wrote at The Real Community:

    hope to see you soon!


  4. 28. Oktober 2010, 20:45 | #4

    @Peder – I have to thank you for a night to remember. Great that we will keep in touch both by working for The Real Group and our new baby project that will go public soon.

    Thank you very much for the pointer concerning Anders Jalkeus. I still have to learn a lot concerning The Real History. But in 1983 I was listening to The New Wave of British Heavy Metal and wasn’t up to speed concerning vocal jazz in Sweden. (Better late than never…)

    I will add the link to your Thank You blog post at The Real Community to the text, too.
    It’s a touching echo of the night of October 24th in Stockholm.

    With thanks,


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