Ulf Wakenius (born 1958 in Halmstad) is a Swedish guitar player specially known for being a member of the Oscar Peterson Quartet from 1997 until Mr. Peterson’s untimely death in 2007. He was also a member of the Ray Brown trio and the Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen trio for many years and has collaborated with many American and European stars.
In the 80s Ulf formed the group Guitars Unlimited with Peter Almqvist: the band played for 600 million viewers during the intermission of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1986. A stop in Rio de Janeiro in 1987 resulted in three records with Sivuca: Let’s Vamos, Aquarela Do Brazil and Rendez-Vous in Rio. In the early nineties he worked with the band Graffiti with Haakon Graf, Gary Grainger and Dennis Chambers.
Ulf’s cooperation with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen started in the late eighties: he is featured in This Is All I Ask (Verve, 1998) and Those Who Were (Verve, 1996).
Wakenius released his own CD Venture (featuring Jack DeJohnette, Bill Evans, Bob Berg, Randy Brecker, Niels Lan Doky, Chris Minh Doky and Lars Danielsson) in 1991. His next CD was New York Meeting with Niels Lan Doky, Ira Coleman, and Billy Hart. Other CD’s recorded under his name include Enchanted Moments (Dragon, 1997) Dig In (Sittel, 1997), Live (Dragon), The Guitar Artistry of U.W. (Dragon, 2002), Tokyo Blue (2003), Forever you (Stunt, 2003), Checkin’ In (Megaphon, 2004), Notes from the Heart (ACT, 2005), a tribute to Keith Jarrett and Love is Real (ACT, 2008). Ulf has released two CDs as a guest of the AMC trio on Hevethia: Soul of the Mountain (2008) and Waiting for a Wolf (2011). His latest CD is Vagabond, released by ACT in 2012.
As a sideman, he can be heard on Duke Ellington Swings (Telarc, 1998); Summernight in Munich (Telarc, 1999) and Trail of Dreams (Telarc, 2000) with Oscar Peterson. He is also featured on Ray Brown’s Summertime (Telarc, 1998), Seven Steps to Heaven (Telarc, 1999), and Some of My Best Friends Are Guitar Players (Telarc, 2001).
In 2003 Ulf appeared at the Jazz Baltica Festival with Pat Metheny. He has also played with Hot Club de Norvège and the Vertavo-quartet and also participated on the recording of the CD Guitaresque with Jimmy Rosenberg and others. Other contributions have been on Lisa Nilssons Små rum (2001), Cæcilie Norbys First Conversations (2002), as well as recordings by Viktoria Tolstoy and Esbjörn Svensson. In later years, Ulf has often been seen sharing the stage and recording with Korean singer Youn Sun Nah.