Karl-Martin Almqvist was born fall of 1968 in Karlstad, Sweden. At the age of nine he asked his parents for a saxophone and has been inseparable since. After high school he attended Skurups Musical College in the south of Sweden and continued his studies at the Conservatory of Music in Malmö.
After a few years of working and playing in Sweden, Karl-Martin moved to New York City to continue his studies at the Mannes College of Music where he would meet and study with George Garzone, amongst many others. He played in and around the city working at clubs like Small’s, the Knitting Factory, Birdland and many other of New York’s smaller Jazz establishments. These years were to be very formative and of great inspiration for the direction his music would take.
Since 1998 he has been residing in Stockholm, Sweden. There he has pretty much played with all of what the city and country have to offer in the realm of jazz music. Groups like The Bjaerv Encounters, Mathias Landaeus House of Approximation, Almqvist/Sjöstedt Good To Be and his close affiliations with the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, Håkan Broströms New Places and the Ann-Sofi Söderqvist Jazz Orchestra.
1996 he would form his own group, the Karl-Martin Almqvist Quartet. The group played in Europe, but also in the US where they played at the Rochester International Jazz Festival in 2005, as well as a longer tour throughout South America and were featured as the first European group to have been featured at the Festival Internacional de Jazz de Punta del Este in Uruguay.
“The mood is often close to ballad, subdued and tranquil in this, Karl-Martins own synthesis, and the very act of the music he places several layers within. There you find a poised and energetic tenor saxophone that is both rooted yet free, in the same breath. These are clear indications of Karl-Martin Almqvist´s ability to not merely say what one can, but what one wants.”
Karl-Martin has to this day released four cds under his own name.
In the years 2003-2009 Karl-Martin was an often featured guest at Jazz Baltica, one of the major German Festivals, and performed amongst many others in a project together with Pat Metheny.
The past seven years he has also been tightly associated to the Norrbotten Big band, based in the town of Luleå, the north of Sweden, and under the leaderships of both the American trumpeter Tim Hagans, as well as the Swedish saxophonist and composer Joakim Milder. The Norrbotten Big Band has during these years also worked in conjunction with artists and arrangers such as : Rufus Reid, Georg Riedel, Dave Liebman, Rebecka Törnqvist, Maria Schneider, Paavo, Django Bates, Jan Allan, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jojje Wadenius & Tommy Körberg, as well as Lina Nyberg.
Since September 2014 Karl-Martin is working in Copenhagen, Denmark, being part of the Danish Radio Bigband.