Blog | April Jazz, the largest jazz festival in the capital region, spills over the edges of jazz

Festival director Matti Lappalainen lists the six hot phenomena of the upcoming festival.

Drummer legend Bill Cobham, a wide range of international singers and interesting lineups – all this is April Jazz starting next Friday. The biggest jazz event in the capital region has been organized since 1987.

“April Jazz has always gathered audiences also from the fringes of jazz, lovers of different music genres from far and wide,” says the festival director Matti Lappalainen.

According to him, that is the line of the festival: Build a high-quality and versatile program with a jazz twist and present the audience with fresh and interesting things from Finland and the world.

For classical music lovers there is, among other things, available Alexi Tuomarilan and Jukka Linkola new concerts for the Tapiola Sinfonietta.

Last like last year, the festival also spreads to Helsinki. Concerts are also held at G Livelab and Kulttuuritehdas Korjaamo.

“We have difficulties finding a place for menomusa that you can listen to while standing or moving. Last spring we held two concerts at Helsinki Repair Shop. They were a great success, so we decided to continue,” says Lappalainen.

According to Lappalainen, there is no bigger concert space in Espoo than Tapiolasal. “If you need one, you have to go to Helsinki,” he says.

While waiting for that, Lappalainen lists the six hot phenomena of this spring’s April Jazz.

1. A surprise

The Austrian Mnozil Brass concert in Tapiolasal was sold out in record time.

“This year, there is one performer at April Jazz who the audience doesn’t really know, but whose concert in Tapiolasal was sold out with historic speed.

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The popularity of the Austrian brass band Mnozil Brass is based on their wonderful ensemble playing, theater-like performance and Monty Python-style comedy. The reputation may also be based on the band’s unrestrained videos, which have gathered millions of viewers on the YouTube video service.”

2. A woman’s voice

Japanese-Polish Yumi Ito’s sound is reminiscent of the music of Joni Mitchell or Björk in places.

“April Jazz’s trademark is charismatic singers, and this year there are an exceptionally large number of them in the program.

American Judith Hill performed in Sellosal in 2019, but this time he gave a concert at Korjaamo, where soul, funk and r&b music fits well.

Japanese-Polish, living in Switzerland Yumi Ito lyrical music would be good for younger listeners. Ito’s sound reminds me of it in places Joni Mitchell or Björk. Ito’s concert is in Sellosal.

An icon of Finnish jazz vocalism will also perform at April Jazz Aili Ikonenwho will perform songs from his latest album with Yhtyein in Louhisal.

He draws from gospel, blues and R&B Liz Wrightwho drew Umo as a soloist to the Huvilateltta in the summer of 2019. This time Wright brings his own band to the concert in Tapiolasal.

For listeners inclined to world music, I can recommend a Portuguese fado singer Sara Correiawhich appears in Tapiolasal.

The world music genre also includes the French metal-electro band PoiL Uedan and the Japanese one Junko Uedan energetic and magical work Dan No Career, where rock combines with traditional Buddhist chanting. A Finn will also perform at the same concert in Louhisal Aurora Hentunen with his quintets, a very interesting pianist-composer worth following.”

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3. The legend

Billy Cobham, 78, is still busy performing concerts around the world.

“The April Jazz of 2007 is remembered, among other things, for the concert of the American fusion jazz pioneer, drummer Billy Cobham, whose film director Mika Kaurismäki recorded in his documentary about Cobham Sonic Mirror.

At that time, Cobham performed as a soloist of the Espoo Big Band, but now he returns to April Jazz with his own quintet.

Miles Davis and Cobham, 78, who played on Mahavishnu Orchestra albums, is in good shape.

We don’t know how many of these great legends of jazz we can hear in the future, so we are very happy to have him at April Jazz.

Billy Cobham Band’s concert is in Tapiolasal”

4. At the core

New York pianist Sullivan Fortner plays a solo concert in Espoo’s Louhisal.

“For some, jazz simply means tripartiteness, that diba diba diba diba of eighths. This so-called older jazz is elegantly played in his own corner by an American pianist Sullivan Fortnerwho performs solo in Louhisal.

Germany’s perhaps most famous jazz musician, a trumpeter, will also perform at the same concert Til Brönnerwho calls by Marzi Nyman as a soloist of the Espoo Big Band he leads.”

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5. An idea that arose unexpectedly

Trumpeter Verneri Pohjola will also perform solo in Louhisal.

“Sometimes the idea for a concert comes unexpectedly.

This is what happened three years ago, when the Espoo Big Band recorded their Blood Red album at the Savoy Theater in Helsinki. At some point during the career, the album’s soloist, trumpet player Verner Pohjola stayed on stage to feel out and test effects.

It sounded so magical that I immediately went to tell Verner that I need to hear more of this!

A solo concert is quite a physical effort for a brass player. The intensity has to be maintained alone the whole time, because there are hardly any co-players and breaks. Only a few can do that.

In the same concert in Louhisal, the great American saxophonist will also perform Steve Coleman with his own quartet. “

6. Comeback

Jukka Linkola’s (center) new The Tentent composition.

“The return to jazz is made by a composer and artist professor Jukka Linkola, 29 years have passed since the release of The Tentet’s debut album. The Tentent releases with a new line-up Rumba Liberte album this spring and gave a concert in Sellosal.

Linkola will also hear the first performance of the flugelhorn concerto. As a soloist of the Tapiola Sinfonietta in the Tapiola Hall is Jukka Eskola.”

April Jazz 21–29 February 2023

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