Forget the Polar Vortex.  It’s Tornado season!!!

Aptly named, this internationally-acclaimed 7-piece band is a force that delivers a powerful performance of blues, soul and a touch of rock n’ rock. They are going to blow you away!

Formed in 2003 and based in Denmark, Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado has toured all over Europe and Canada and even shared the stage with Buddy Guy at the biggest blues festival in Asia. They play 100 gigs a year and have performed in 21 countries. Playing with Fire will be the band’s first trip to the U.S.

In 2015 they released a multi-award-winning album, Too Many Roads. Risager’s lead vocals (that Blueswax magazine dubs a “larger than life voice” that’s a combination of Ray Charles, Bob Seger, and Joe Cocker) is backed by The Black Tornado’s exceptional musicians on saxophone, trumpet, keys, drum, bass guitar, and guitar.

When they’re at PwF

The band, up close

Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado

  • Thorbjørn Risager – vocals and guitar
  • Emil Balsgaard – piano and organ
  • Joachim Svensmark – guitar and back-up vocals
  • Kasper Wagner – tenor saxophone
  • Hans Nybo – saxophone and back-up vocals
  • Peter Kehl – trumpet and back-up vocals
  • Søren Bøjgaard – bass
  • Martin Seidelin – drums and back-up vocals

Just for PwF fans


  • Live 2004 (Music Mecca/Cope 2005)
  • From the Heart (Cope Records 2006)
  • Here I Am (Cope Records 2007)
  • Live at Victoria (Cope Records 2009)
  • Track Record (Cope Records 2010)
  • Dust & Scratches (Cope Records 2012)
  • Between Rock and Some Hard Blues (Cope Records 2013)
  • Too Many Roads (Ruf Records 2014)
  • Songs From The Road (Ruf Records 2016)

  • Change My Game (Ruf Records 2017)

Insights from PwF Producer Jeff Davis about Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado

When did you first hear about the artist, or when did you first hear them perform?

During the summer of 2017, PwF volunteer Gail Beaudry-Heuton gave us a CD of Thorbjørn Risager & the Black Tornado ‘TR&TBT.’  I initially was very hesitant to look at the band as bringing an 7-piece band from Denmark would be extraordinarily expensive considering visa costs and airfare. That was before I listened to the CD!

What is it about the artist that made you select them for the 2019 PwF concert series?

This is a tight 7-piece band (2 horns) that has massive fun onstage. They really play the Blues! Their music is very precise.

How would you describe the artist’s sound?

TR&TBT are everything I love about music wrapped up into one band.

Do you think the artist’s sound is similar to any other artist (not performing this year)? If so, who?

The closest approximation would be the energy we love of Dawn Tyler Watson performing with the Ben Racine Band.

Anything about the artist that we wouldn’t find online?

Vanessa and I met Thørbjorn Risager and his agent, Annika in the winter of 2017. We showcased the band at the Cecil Hotel in Copenhagen in the spring of 2018. The band invited us to their soundcheck. I hired the band after hearing their first soundcheck song, they blew us away and my offer blew the band away! The band is also endorsed by Stetson – Europe.

Where you can hear them online

One of the artist’s favorite songs

Follow them on social media

Songs they listen to on the tour bus

thorbjørn risager and the black tornado on spotify

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