Benny Anderssons Orkester (BAO) is a Swedish dance band, with Benny Andersson as musical leader and composer. The band was formed in 2001 by 16 musicians with Helen Sjöholm, Tommy Körberg (from 2004) and occasionally Kalle Moraeus, performing the vocals for the non-instrumental tracks.
Lyrics to any new material are usually written by Björn Ulvaeus.
BAO includes some of Sweden’s most experienced contemporary and folk musicians:
- Benny Andersson – accordion, piano, synclavier, etc.
- Göran Arnberg – pipe organ, spinet
- Janne Bengtson – flute, piccolo, crumhorn, baritone saxophone
- Pär Grebacken – saxophones, clarinet, recorder, piccolo
- Leif Göras – violin, cello, mandolin
- Nicke (Nils-Erik) Göthe – violin, mandolin
- Jogga (Jan-Anders) Ernlund – contrabass
- Calle Jocobsson – tuba, bassoon
- Leffe Lindvall – trumpet, cornet
- Kalle Moraeus – vocals, violin, zither, guitar, banjo, etc.
- Olle Moraeus – violin, viola, mandolin
- Perra (Per-Erik) Moraeus – violin, mandolin, saxophone
- Lars Rudolfsson– accordion
- Jörgen Stenberg – drums, percussion instruments
- Tommy Körberg – vocals, guitar
- Helen Sjöholm – vocals
All members of the band are occupied in external capacities during the majority of the year, some in the theatre orchestras in Stockholm. The brothers Moraeus, Leif Göras and Nicke Göthe play together in Orsa Spelmän.
During the summer months the members of BAO meet up and rehearse, and then go out on mini-tours around Sweden, for which tickets are highly sought after. The concept of these tours is “a concert with dance,” so a dance floor strung with coloured lighting is brought along.
BAO have achieved considerable success in Sweden. They have made many appearances on Swedish television, and are regular winners in the ‘best dance band’ category at the Swedish Grammis awards.
BAO’s biggest hit Du är min man, sung by Helen Sjöholm achieved a new record in Sweden by staying on the Svensktoppen chart for 278 weeks, 66 of which were spent at number 1.