Karl-Henrik Ousbäck is constantly searching for new ways to express himself through the sound of the drums. With an explosive approach to the instrument combined with a strong sense of harmonic consciousness he provides the audience with an honest musical statement. He began his musical journey with a snare drum at three years of age and quickly started to take his first lessons shortly after. He has become one of the leading forces of jazz drums in Europe and is now starting to establish himself as a part of the New York jazz scene.


In 2005, at the age of 12, Ousbäck was invited to be a featured artist at the prestigious Bass and Drum Festival in Stockholm. Some of the other performers include Virgil Donnati, Ian Pace and Morgan Ågren. The same year he also made his first appearance at Fasching Jazz Club in Stockholm and got a lot of attention in the Swedish music press. In 2008 he was accepted to participate as the youngest student ever in Sligo Jazz Project to study for Paul Wertico (Pat Metheny Group) and the year after he was invited back as a special guest.

After moving to Stockholm, Ousbäck quickly became the “first-call” drummer of choice for many Swedish and international artists. He started touring all over the world and played with various artists, some of whom include Petter Wettre (Norwegian Grammy award winner), Jonas Kullhammar (Swedish Grammy award winner), Svante Thuresson, Håkan Broström and New York-based guitarist Lage Lund.

In 2014 Ousbäck received Ronnie Gardiner’s prestigious ”Swedish Drummer Deserving Wider Recognition-Award”, and in 2016 the “Jazz Club Fasching Society Award”, both major honors to receive. In 2016 he was invited to feature on acclaimed Portuguese pianist Filipe Raposo’s album ”Inquietude”. The release concert for the album was held at the great concert hall of Teatro Sao Luíz in Lisbon, Portugal.

In 2017 Ousbäck moved to Copenhagen, Denmark to explore further the great jazz scenes of Europe. He quickly became a member of the Danish jazz-elite and started travel even more intensely between the European countries.

At this point in his life Ousbäck decided that being a sideman with these great musicians wasn’t enough. He brought some of the finest Swedish musicians, some of his childhood idols, into the studio and recorded an album that later would become highly critically acclaimed all over Scandinavia. The two major Swedish music magazines Orkester Journalen and Lira music magazines both described it as a great album. The album was recorded in the famous studio where Swedish artists such as ABBA has recorded. The music was all written by Ousbäck and he also produced the album. The release concert was held at a sold out Jazz Club Fasching in Stockholm.

The following year he toured in Scandinavia with his band, alongside other projects. He also embarked on a tour of China with the award-winning star guitarist, Susanna Risberg.

Ousbäck is not only an acclaimed drummer and composer but also a multi- instrumentalist, doubling on the alto saxophone. Later that same year he recorded an album for guitarist Kasper Agnas, winner of the Montreux Guitar Competition, where he played the drums and the saxophone. The record received high praise in the Swedish music press.

In 2019 he formed a second band together with guitarist Lage Lund. His quartet consisted of the two plus Norwegian saxophonist Petter Wettre and Niklas Fernqvist.

"Karl-Henrik Ousbäck Quartet featuring Lage Lund” toured Scandinavia in February 2019 and received great reception everywhere. Ousbäck’s drumming was described by Kulturyttranden as a “wide-ranging style of drumming that has been carved out since the carbon age. The variation does not feel forced at all, but seems to come naturally to him. He really kept the pot boiling throughout the whole of the concert, but without being too intrusive, as skilled drummers can sometimes be”.

In the spring of 2019 he recorded an album with rising star Susanna Risberg’s trio in Italy, at the esteemed record label CAM Jazz. The recording also featured Ousbäck’s original compositions.

  In the fall of 2019 he was invited to perform an extensive tour of Sweden with legendary Swedish singer, Svante Thuresson. He joined the ensemble at the request of Mr. Thuresson who had heard him as a younger player years earlier.

In early 2020 Ousbäck joined his long-time friend and New York-based vibraphone star Simon Moullier and acclaimed bassist Luca Allemano for a successful trio tour in France and Spain. 

In 2020 Ousbäck began teaching some of the students at the jazz drum department of Royal College of Music in Stockholm by request of the students. 

In 2021 Ousbäck toured with Simon Moullier in France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. He also recorded an album in Italy with pianist Giuseppe Magagnino and renowned bass player Luca Alemanno.

Ousbäck has shared the stage with (in no specific order): Lage Lund, Petter Wettre, Viktoria Tolstoy, Jonas Kullhammar, Svante Thuseresson, Ulf Wakenius, Ben Patterson, Ambrose Akinmusire, Christian Winther, Knut Riisnæs, Melissa Aldana, Simon Moullier, Baptiste Herbine, Håkan Broström, among others.

Based in New York City he regularly travels the world performing, from Tromsø, Norway in the north to South Africa in the south and China in the east.


Karl-Henrik plays Canopus Drums Exclusively





Buoyancy (Single 2021)

Karl-Henrik Ousbäck, Somewhere and Somewhen, Nightingale Records (2017)


Giuseppe Magagnino, My Inner Child, TBA (2022)

Håkan Broström, My Cat Siri, Voe Records (2021)

Hans Backenroth Q, Parker's Mood, Prophone (2021)

Susanna Risberg, Boilerroom, CAM Jazz (2021),

Styrelsen, Farväl! , Lionbear Records (2020)

Björn Arkö, Stating the Obvious, Do Music Records (2017);

Kasper Agnas, Både Takt och Ton, Agnas Musikproduktioner (2017),

 Filippe Raposo, inquiétude, Lugre Records (2016)




STIM Stipend 2020

Jazz Club Fasching Society Award 2016

Anders Sandrew Foundation Award 2015

Royal Academy of Music Scholarship 2015

Royal Collage of Music Scholarship 2014

Ronnie Gardiners ”Swedish Drummer Deserving Wider Recognition”- award 2014

Motala Municipe cultural award 2013

First prize Jazz competition at Fasching 2012

Best Solo Louie’s Jazz Competition 2011

Motala municipe music Scholarship 2009

Royal Academy of Music Scholarship for young musicians 2008