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Born and raised in a small village on the west coast of Sweden, Jan got his first musical instrument, an accordion, at the age of 5 and only weeks later he made his first live performance playing a couple of traditional folksongs to his family and relatives. Jan Destner

Six years later, his parents gave him an acoustic guitar as a Christmas present and, glued to the old valve radio, he listened to every pop program there was at the time and learnt to play all the popular songs by heart.

But it wasn’t until 1969 that he joined his first band.

The group already had a guitarist but no bass player, so, luckily influenced by people such as Jack Bruce (Cream) and Noel Redding (Jimi Hendrix), Jan learned how to play the bass in no time and from that moment on, he decided to dedicate his life to the art of music.

In 1973, he formed Gothenburg-based rock band “Shaggy” and in 1975, released their first album “Lessons for Beginners”. The album got good reviews and sales and, as a result, “Shaggy’ were offered the exciting spots as opening act for both “Sweet” and “Deep Purple” at the Scandinavum Arena in Gothenburg.

When the band split up in late 1979, Jan and his songwriting partner in “Shaggy”, Tomas Ryan, moved on to start up the group “Darque” and after working with new rising rock band “U2” in September 1981, the decision to make a second album was made.

Producer Lawrence Diana was brought into the project and when mixing the album in Advision Studios in London, they got in contact with manager Bernie Cochrane who, through publisher Ira Blacker at Flowering Stone Music, helped them to get signed to Scotti Brothers in Los Angeles and in 1982 the album “Jennies Out Tonight“ was released followed by TV appearances and shows in Sweden and the UK.

Although writing songs, making records, performing and touring meant a lot to Jan, he still wanted to explore other sides of the business so all through the 80’s and 90’s he learnt the trades of mixing live sound, show lighting, theatre lighting, studio engineering, record production, cover design and mastering.

Teaming up with Bow Music and Hillson Music in 1990 made his wish to write, record and produce music for other artists come true and the first production was the album “Fine By Me” with Swedish country/pop artist “Lizette”.

After meeting ABBA designer Owe Sandstroem at a local event in Stockholm, he started to work with what now is known as the biggest indoor equestrian event in the world, “Stockholm International Horse Show”, where Jan now has been the musical director for 12 years.

In 1994, Modern Jazz Dance (MJD) Ensemble’s founder Jan Astroem asked Jan if he would like to write the music for the company’s first production “The Ten Commandments.” He agreed and it turned out so well that it resulted in him being their writer and producer for their following six shows.

“Writing music for MJD means in a sense musical freedom to me. I go through the story with the choreographers and most of the time I’m allowed to write the different pieces as I wish!” he says with a smile upon his face.

MJD’s latest show “Troll” was recently invited to St. Petersburg and Moscow where every show was sold out. “The first number hits you like a train and from there the show just goes on leaving you speechless at the end!” were one of the reviews.

Recording, co-writing and co-producing the single “I Wonder Why” and the following album “Precious Junk” with Australian singer/songwriter Kitto was a challenge indeed.

“Jane Kitto is one of the few artists who is totally true to herself and her art. She does not compromise so I had to find a smooth way of communicating that in the studio and after a while it worked very well! We became best friends and we reached a wonderful result in the end!” Jan reflects.

Working with top-notch producers and musicians is certainly the dream for many people in the music business, so when Miami-based singer Lana Romanoff asked Jan if he would like to write and co-produce songs for her upcoming album together with Ricky Martin’s drummer, Lee Levin and Madonna’s producer Doug Emery, Jan was, of course, very pleased.

Playing with Lee was very uplifting! He’s in such control of the song, the beat, the flow, the fills, and he’s dead on all the time and knowing that Doug adds that extra touch that lifts the song to a higher level is a feeling that must be experienced. They are so professional and at the same time very nice and gentle guys!" Jan says.

In 2001, didgeridoo player, Roland Nilsson, approached Jan and asked if he would like to help him to produce the album “Yidaki Groove” and since Jan comes from a family where folk music has always been present, there was no hesitation.

The two artists finished the album which got very good reviews and shortly after, while working with Kim Antoine at Phantom 4 Music Group in Canada on other projects, Jan suggested that they should form their own group.

They started to write songs in their own specific way and a new sound started to develop. After a while, they felt ready to find a female singer who would fit the style. An ad for audition was put out on the Swedish Performing Rights Society’s homepage and as Ulrica Erling walked into the studio, both Jan and Roland knew they had found the right person for the job. However, Ulrica was offered another opportunity shortly there after and has since been most capably replaced by Ting (Caroline Bernstroem).

Working with Ting and Roland is by far the most exciting project I’ve ever experienced and I’m certain of success with this band.” Jan says with a smile.

The creativity, unity, and power of these three people have now resulted in the unique group “MASHEENE“ from which you will surely hear a lot of in the future. Please visit their website at http://masheene.phantom4music.com.




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