Nye skiver og bøker

flere skiver og bøker...

Våre podkaster

flere podkaster ...

Skiver du bør ha

flere anbefalte skiver...

Våre beste klipp

flere filmer...

Ledere og debattinnlegg

flere debattinnlegg...


Jazz is alive and well in Helsinki

The jazz scene in Helsinki is nowadays active and very much alive. Compared to the situation let’s say five years ago, today is a completely another thing. Except for some casual Sundays one can hear live jazz everyday and usually in more venues than just one. Unbelievable but true, there are nights with even ten different acts going on (like for example on 5.2.2016) and nights with 6 or 7 acts per day are not rare either.

Helsinki can not boast with frequent world class visitors in the manner of Copenhagen, Stockholm or Oslo. Very often the ”big name” visits are done by individual soloists backed by Finnish musicians but having separate concerts with whole (famous) bands are unfortunately rare occasions outside festivals or other bigger events.

There is of course the bright side with that, too. It means that the local musicians are busy with the dozens of monthly working opportunities. However, there are two visits worth mentioning during this season: Brad Mehldau’s (sold out) solo concert at Sellosali, Espoo on 13.2. and Joshua Redman as UMO Jazz Orchestra’s soloist on 5.4. at Savoy Theatre, Helsinki.

The best weekly clubs are Rytmihäiriö Club on Wednesdays and KoKo Jazz Club on Thursdays. Aside them there are about a dozen other venues which present jazz more or less frequently. The (club) ticket prices are usually reasonable and in many cases the admission is even free.

The City of Helsinki Cultural Centres all around Helsinki, most of them in suburban areas, are important venues, too. Same goes with the brand new April Jazz Club (named by the festival) in Espoo, which opened in January and will have 20 events throughout the year.

One central factor in Helsinki / metropolitan area jazz life is also UMO Jazz Orchestra (picture) with its 20 concerts this spring season (Jan–May). UMO’s always changing repertoire is wide and variable, often focusing one special theme, whether a composer, genre or whatever, from Finnish popular music to contemporary jazz. This period, for example, UMO offers Black Spirituals with Dean Bowman (22., 23., and 25.3.), Eero Koivistoinen’s big band music (he just turned 70), and theme nights based on Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite (7., 8., and 10.3.).

For those of you who, for one reason or another, happen to visit Helsinki, I can recommend monthly up-dated bit/ly/jazzlista. The names might be strange and the descriptions in an odd language but the list will tell you where to go.

Text: Timo Vähäsilta

Skriv et svar