Viapori jazz celebrates Finnish jazz talents
The cool and the progressive will come together at this year's Viapori Jazz, arranged in Helsinki's favourite summer attraction Suomenlinna in August. At the opening concert on 24 August, Verneri Pohjola Nonet will be seeking the essence of cool jazz by reproducing the Miles Davis – Gil Evans production Birth of the Cool from the late 1940s. The counter reaction follows in the very same evening, as another ensemble by the famed trumpet player Verneri Pohjola, titled Verneri Pohjola Progressive, will put the focus on the new and the experimental of the contemporary jazz.
More of the Finnish jazz talent will be presented in the following days. For example, vibraphonist Panu Savolainen, frequently dubbed the most dashing young talent of Finnish jazz today, will play with his band Proprius on 25 August. A more established virtuoso, pianist Iiro Rantala, will have a concert based on his recent album Lost Heroes on 27 August.
In the last day of Viapori Jazz, connections will be made also between musics and people from different countries. The German born composer and pianist Sid Hille, living in Finland since the early 1990s, has written a new work Frizzle, sizzle, dazzle for jazz guitar and string quartet that examines the multicultural in music. In addition, Hille's concert will bring other "neo-Finns" together, as Hille and trumpet player-vocalist José Mäenpää perform songs made to the poems by other immigrant artists.
The Artistic Director of Viapori Jazz is saxophonist Jukka Perko.
Merja Hottinen / Fimic
17 June, 2011