The Swedish Jazz Association (Svensk Jazz) is a non-profit organization founded in 1948.
The background is that Sweden was one of the first European countries to embrace jazz music on a broad scale. After the second world war it became more common for American Jazz musicians to tour internationally and thereby inspire even more Swedish musicians to play jazz. Towards the end of the 1940ies jazz music had become very popular in Sweden. However, records were expensive and jazz was not so frequent in the media.
Jazz listeners came together and formed clubs to listen to records together around the country. In 1948 time had come to form a nation-wide federation. Its objectives were to promote this art form, to spread information and knowledge about jazz and to facilitate cooperation among jazz lovers in the listening societies. After some years Svensk Jazz had about 20 jazz clubs or listening societies as members. Once a year they all came together for the Jazz Parliament, the annual meeting where they elected the Board etcetera. The budget was limited to put it mildly. Nobody was employed and the Board conducted its work without pay.
Years went by, the social and economic situation in the country improved. Some jazz clubs introduced live concerts and more clubs followed. By 1970 Svensk Jazz had changed into a federation of jazzclubs, mainly focused on organizing live concerts. By the early 1980ies membership had grown to about 40, an executive secretary had been employed and the first small government grants had been introduced.
Today we have about 150 members, the largest part being jazzclubs across the country, but festivals, different types of musician associations and organizers, record companies, other interest groups in the genre and music teachers with an interest in jazz are other membership categories. They together produce about 2500 jazz concerts annually. Membership of the jazzclubs amounts to 25.000 persons.
The annual meeting of Svensk Jazz is still the supreme body that elects the Board and other functions. The Board meets about five times a year. In between the Board meetings a small working committee functions in cooperation with the staff now numbering four persons.