Hot Heros is, of course, a little play on words. It was while walking through Brooklyn, NYC some four years ago that three Finnish improvisers stumbled upon an old sign advertising that very indigenous treat eaten frequently as a snack or at lunch.
Saxophonist Sami Sippola, bassist Ville Rauhala and drummer Janne Tuomi recognized the possibilities at once. Those two words, including the quirky allusion to ”heroes”, would become the perfect name for their fresh band.
Even though Hot Heros was founded in 2015, the musicians have many lifetimes’ worth of experience behind them both as individuals and together in various guises and permutations. They have shared stages and studio floors from Scandinavia through continental Europe to the USA and beyond. They have worked with theater groups, circus, acrobat and dance ensembles and recorded and performed with renowned Finnish singer-songwriters and rappers.
The longest mutual history inside the band exists between Sippola and Rauhala, founding members of groundbreaking free jazz group Black Motor. After ten years and ten albums with drummer Simo Laihonen, it was time to make some difficult choices.
Black Motor goes on with Rauhala still in the line-up, but for the purposes of the new trio him and Sippola turned to their old friend and world-class drummer and percussionist Tuomi. Dozens upon dozens of shows together in bands like Rakka had finetuned their musical ESP to the highest possible level. Hot Heros’ debut album Fill Up with Old Time Salvation came out in 2016 to critical acclaim and was quickly followed by intense concerts as far Bulgaria and Russia.
Whereas the name of the band may contain a pun, the title of their sophomore effort is just about as straight forward as can be. Spelling it like it is, Folkjazz from Finland makes a big promise. But the no-frills name is also a testament to the creators’ abilities. They know they can deliver the goods with 100% accuracy if the territory chosen borders European free jazz tradition and Nordic folk tunes. This area is their native land.
The trio’s organic and soulful expression mirrors both the feel of the melodies, often born in the heart of nature, and the musicians’ past praxis with top improvisers like Peter Brötzmann, John Zorn, Juhani Aaltonen, Paal Nilssen-Love, Barry Guy, Iro Haarla and Raoul Björkenheim.
Folkjazz from Finland is inspired by the tangible (Sippola’s meanderings on how his relatives immigrated to the USA at the turn of the century) and the ethereal (Rauhala’s lucid dream of a visit from a shaman woman) alike. The legacy of trailblazers like Edward Vesala and Sakari Kukko (of Piirpauke fame) is in able hands with Hot Heros.
– Petri Silas
Juhani Aaltonen & Raoul Björkenheim19/04/2018
JUHANI AALTONEN – flute
RAOUL BJÖRKENHEIM – guitar, viola da gimbri
Two giants of Finnish jazz and progressive rock, Juhani Aaltonen (Tasavallan Presidentti, UMO Jazz Orchestra) and Raoul Björkenheim (Krakatau, Scorch Trio, eCsTaCy), join forces.
A true veteran, Juhani Aaltonen (b. 1935) is one of the most prominent Finnish wind players. He became famous as a member of the prog rock group Tasavallan Presidentti in the late 60’s and early 70’s and has since fronted many ensembles of his own. He is a founder member of the UMO Jazz Orchestra and has been awarded the Jazz-Emma (Finnish Grammy equivalent) and the Yrjö award (Jazz Musician of the Year). His biography was published in 2017.
Raoul Björkheim (b. 1956) made his mark in the prog rock and jazz scene in the 1980’s by his collaboration together with Edward Vesala and as the front man of the Krakatau. He has since frequently recorded with several top jazz musicians in the world and as a soloist for Finnish orchestras such as UMO Jazz Orchestra, The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra. He has won various awards including the Yrjö award and the Jazz-Emma. Currently Björkenheim works and records as the leader in groups such as eCsTaSy and TRIAD.
Mia Simanainen & Ahava08/04/2015
Jazz vocalist Mia Simanainen is a graduate of the Sibelius Academy and she has performed and worked with a variety of high profile groups and projects.
She has released two album with her group Ahava, featuring some of the best jazz musicians on Finland. Ahava’s etherial music was perhaps best described by music critic Jukka Piiroinen in Pohjolan Sanomat newspaper: “An exceptional combination of modern jazz and poetry”.
Mia Simanainen – vocals
Kari Ikonen – piano
Mika Kallio – drums
Mikko Herrala – bass
Kari Heinilä – sax, flute
Salomo is one of the most notable ambassadors of Finn-reggae. After the release of his debut album in 2011 he toured extensively in the Finnish club and summer festival scene.
His second album “Kultainen lanka” saw daylight just before Christmas 2013. The crowdfunded album was received very well amongst reggae fans.
Timo Ylinen has made a long career as a supporting musician for many great Finnish rock and pop artists. He has worked amongst others with Katriina Honkanen, Pekka Tegelman, Liisa Tavi and Sakari Kuosmanen.
Timo is a classic singer-songwriter drawing his influences from, for example, James Taylor, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Beatles and Neil Young.
He has published one album and one single of original songs in Finnish. 2013 he released an album, featuring songs from many of his favourite songwriters like James Taylor, Jackson Browne and Don McLean, called Playing Favourites.
Galleria: ”Christine” single (1981) Hi-Hat
Timo Ylinen: ”Tuulen nimi” (1998) Final Mix FMCD-109
Timo Ylinen: ”Suruaan se kitara soittaa” (2002) TNS-01
Timo Ylinen: Playing Favourites CD and Vinyl ( Eclipse Music )
Liisa Tavi: ”Niin Se Käy” (1986)
Katriina Honkanen: ”Matka-arkku” (1993), ”Murtuisko Siivet” (1995), ”Marseillen Saippuaa” (1997), ”Valo Lentää”(2001), ”7”(2003)
Markk & The Star Archers: ”Are You Anywhere” (single)
TV – APPEARENCES:
“Kyky -84” finaali, MTV3 1984
“Tapsan Tahdit”, YLE 1994
Riikka Keränen (vocals)
Kaisa Mäensivu (double bass, vocals)
Selma Savolainen (vocals)
Josefiina Vannesluoma (vocals)
Featuring: Panu Savolainen (vibrafone)
A sisterhood of four voices and a double bass, Signe have previously melted the audience’s hearts at the We Jazz Festival, London Jazz Festival and Flow Festival. Their works draw from poetry and the unmapped paths of improvisation. Sonically, the group flows and meanders through contemporary classical, folk music and Nordic jazz.
Njet Njet 906/06/2019
Njet Njet 9:
Ville Kyttälä – Keyboards // Martti Vesala – Trumpet // Mikko Haanpää – Trombone // Linda Fredriksson – Saxophone // Ville Vannemaa – Saxophone // Pekka Seppänen – Saxophone // Veikki Virkajärvi – Guitar // Heikki Laine – Bass // Eeti Nieminen – Drums
Njet Njet 9 is an energetic nine-piece band with a cheerful touch to making music. The band’s groovy debut “Unicorn Attack” came out in 2016 and introduced a group that can create both exploding jazz rock and delicate, soulful moods. On their second album (Dark Soul, 2017) the music is as vibrant as ever but also richer in nuances and with darker tones.
The music sounds like Zappa and Zawinul are playing tennis with Massive Attack at a Swedish summer cottageâ€, band leader and composer Ville Kyttälä describes. Indeed it’s music with big twists and vast landscapes. There are hints of rock, soul and electronica combined with cinematic atmospheres and genuine big band jazz.
Raoul Björkenheim TRIAD13/03/2019
Raoul Björkenheim – guitars
Jori Huhtala – double bass
Ilmari Heikinheimo – drums
Björkenheim is a great presence is the finnish music scene and has made quite a career both in Europe and North America.
Raoul Björkenheim is a familiar name in the jazz/experimental scene with his fiery guitar playing rooting back to early 80`s. He is best known for multiple bands including Krakatau, Scorch Trio, Ecstasy and the duo Heim(o), also with Heikinheimo on drums. Triad however makes everything bigger, bolder and more experimental. A “spectacular mayhem” of sounds.
The band’s first album “Beyond” is a strong statement from Triad, a unique musical journey into sounds and textures, bold and raw.
Established in 2010 and based in Helsinki, the group plays recognizably Scandinavian jazz but draws influences from Indian and Arabic music as well as Cuban rhythms, thus creating a distinctive overall sound. Kokko Quartet performs songs written by pianist Johanna Pitkänen, saxophone player Kaisa Siirala and bass player Timo Tuppurainen. Together with drummer Risto Takala, these four musicians share an interest in free expression, jazz and world music. Intuitively, they move through the music with a spirit of great freedom in their interplay.
The group’s debut album Like a River was released in March 2013. It was well received by both the national and the international press. Kokko Quartet was invited to play a showcase in Jazzahead! 2013 and since then they have played at major jazz festivals including Bohemia Jazz in Czech and Pori Jazz in Finland. In December 2015 they did a large tour of Australia.
Their second album “Orient Express” is out in August 2016 on Eclipse Music.
Kaisa Siirala, saxophones and flutes
Johanna Pitkänen, piano and keys
Timo Tuppurainen, bass
Risto Takala, drums
Born on the Caribbean island of Nevis, Earl Boncamper has made a substantial musical career in Finland since the 70’s playing percussion and singing with some of the best musicians in Finland, including Pekka Tegelman and many others.
Boncamper’s debut solo album was released in 2012 and features the bluesy guitar wizardry of Jarkka Rissanen, who also produced the album.
Kadi Vija – vocals
Mikael Myrskog – piano
Pasi Toivanen – bass
Tomi Saikkonen – drums
Kadi Quartet strives to bring forth their outlook on what a jazz quartet can be in the 21st century. Rather than solely bathing in the spotlight, in addition to her own adventurous improvisations, Kadi Vija also redefines the role of a jazz singer by creating backgrounds for the other soloists. By combining the catchiness of pop-music, free improvised music and everything in between, Kadi Quartet makes a strong statement of what jazz is today.
After winning the Finnish leg of the Young Nordic Jazz Comets in 2013 they released their debut album “Stories”. Eclipse Music released the album in Finland and the album was also picked up by Greg Osby’s Inner Cirle label in The United States.
Guitarist Petri Kautto is a specialist of a variety of roots music styles. Moving fluently between country picking, electric blues and afro-jazz he is a truly unique figure in the Finnish music scene. His latest solo effort combines Nordic tones with American acoustic country music.
Noora Salmi – vocals, synthesizers
Mikko Patama – synthesizers
Ranieri Scoccia – drums
Finnish-Italian electro-pop trio NOOA was formed in 2016 when songwriter Noora Salmi, exhausted of the overload of her work situation at the time, decided to move to Rome where she quickly became inspired by the city’s art scene and cultural life. With her songwriting muse replenished she soon had several songs ready to be performed and recorded. After encountering drummer Ranieri Scoccia the nucleus of the band was formed. After a few gigs the musical parters decided to base themselves in Helsinki where synthesizer artist Mikko Patama joined them to complete the current line-up. His contribution gave the band’s sound the extra color and sonic versatility needed to begin the work towards their first release.
Mikko Löytty is a true Finnish Rock legend who has, in addition to his three solo records, performed and recorded with Q.Stone, Dave Lindholm and many other vastly popular artists in Finland.
Löytty joined Eclipse Music in 2014 with the release of his third solo album “Koivu ja Tähtiniitti” supported by two digital singles and a Top 10 radio hit on the Radio Suomi playlist chart.
Singer-songwriter and theatre professional Juhani Valkama released his first solo album in 2009. Just prior to his debut he composed and a full lenght musical “Väkivaltamusikaali” (The Violence Musical) to great critical acclaim. The soundtrack of the musical was released on CD in 2008.
Since these two album releases Valkama has worked as a dramatist, director and musical director on numerous stage projects and played live shows with his 4 piece band.
Juhani Valkama – keyboards, vocal
Tapio Ylinen – guitar
Petteri Hyvärinen – bass
Juho Palosaari – drums
Virva Immonen – vocals
Keio Vutt – saxophones
Britta Virves – piano
Siim Usin – bass
Karl-Juhan Laanesaar – drums
Virva Immonen – vocals
Okko Saastamoinen – drums
Toomas Keski-Säntti – keyboards
Oskari Siirtola – bass
Vocalist and composer Virva Immonen combines jazz expression with truthful and topical lyrics with both her groups (Virva Quintet and VIBA respectfully). In addition to jazz expression, pop-sensitivity and versatile musical influences are very much present in Virva’s music. With the lyrics as a centre point Immonen crafts its musical world with a skillful sense of drama.
Antti Utriainen Expansion08/04/2015
Antti Utriainen – piano
Tomi Saikkonen – drums
Timo Tuppurainen – bass
Mikko Pettinen – trumpet
Petri Puolitaival – saxophone
Pianist-composer Antti Utriainen has played with many Finnish jazz greats, including the legendary jazz-rock guitarist Jukka Tolonen. His Expansion -project is a melodic mix of traditional jazz and occasional prog-rock undertones.
new album: ANEMONE (2018)
Anni Elif (SE) – vocals, synthesizers
Pauli Lyytinen (FI) – saxophone, EWI, effects, drum machine, synthesizer
Olavi Louhivuori (FI) – drums
Elifantree moves from dreamscapes to fever sweats within the same bar, enigmatic and unnerving and wonderfully unpredictable. The trio makes music with the framework of jazz, but usually trek well outside of it. With strong rhythmical textures, tenor saxophone, EWI, ambient soundscapes and dazzling vocals they create a sound much larger and wider than the sum of their parts.
The band has been making music together for a decade and in March 2018 their fourth full-length album Anemone was released by record label Eclipse Music. On the new album they proudly introduce a new element to their pallet of instruments – EWI, the electric wind instrument. Anemone is inspired by refections on the immense power of love and the colorful fow of underwater worlds. The general water theme on the album led to a co-operation with photographer Susanna Majuri (known for her underwater art) who made the photos for the cover and booklet.
“The name Anemone defned the direction of the album and led to sublime dreamy moods and stories that moves between life and death,” says saxophonist Pauli Lyytinen on the band’s new release. As a counterweight to the dreamlike moods Elifantree also delivers lots rhythmical multi-layers, rich harmonies and melodies with a great energy.
Musically Elifantree’s latest album is a progressive mix of Bollywood pop, jazz, ambient, EDM, art and Caribbean disco. Despite the number of stylistic infuences they have succeeded to create a coherent and sensitive musical entity that combines the themes of water, love and loss beautifully.
The album features a wide range of musical instruments such as; EWI (electric wind instrument), tenor saxophone, vocals, analogue drum machine, synthesizers, sample-pad, piano and drums. Multi-instrumentalists Anni Elif and Pauli Lyytinen have extended their energetic expression with effect pedals and Olavi Louhivuori, who joined the band in 2015, adds his vibrant and playful drumming to the mix.
The outcome is a truly unique and organic album. “With the Anemone-album it feels like we have turned the page”, says vocalist Anni Elif.
Record label: Eclipse Music (ECD-201860 / ELP-201806, CD 23.03.2018, LP 06.04.2018)
Distributor: Super sounds / Phonfl / Galileo Music
1. Anemone / 2. Reveries / 3. Presence / 4. I Love You / 5. Nana / 6. Coral Disco / 7. Thunder / 8. Inexhaustible
Music by: Elifantree
Recorded and mixed by: Joonas Saikkonen at Ambience Studios
Mastered by: Petter Eriksson at Studio Korpen
“Elifantree ́s music is perhaps the most unique jazz that is currently being done in Finland.” – Katri Kallionpää (2018)
“Elifantree is an ingeniously peculiar band.“ – Luca Gasser, Tiroler Tagezeitung (2018)
“Many artists claim to have a ‘unique sound’ but Elifantree is one of the rare ones that actually do.” – Matti Nives, We Jazz (2017)
Harri Kuusijärvi – accordion
Pauli Lyytinen – saxophone
Eero Tikkanen – bass
Sole Azul takes the tango from its Argentinian roots and plants it into the Nordic frozen soil. The trio, led by accordionist Harri Kuusijärvi and featuring the talents of Pauli Lyytinen (tenor sax) and Eero Tikkanen (bass) , takes a jazz-influenced improvisational approach to the fiery passion of the tango.
The trio’s debut Quasi Tango features original compositions from Harri Kuusijärvi, Eero Tikkanen, Ville Vokkolaisen and a new version of the evergreen Finnish tango “Lapin Tango” by Unto Mononen.
In a way Quasi Tango is also a musical documentary of how the band itself came to be. Harri Kuusijärvi tells the story like this:
”It was a strange sum of coincidences. I was traveling through Argentina playing tango shows in March of 2017. At the city of Azul I was robbed and lost all my instruments. I managed to complete the remaining shows in Buenos Aires by borrowing an electric piano. After returning home to Finland I had no accordion and no gigs, so I played piano at home while also reading topical poems written by Jaakko Laitinen. I went down that rabbit hole for a few weeks and ended up composing tango songs inspired by what had happened and Jaakko’s poems. These songs form the basis of this album.
Things developed further when I got a call my home town Pello (a small town in Finnish Lapland) to play at a local summer event. I asked Pauli and Eero to come and play. We ended up staying in Lapland for a week, made some new songs and arranged my songs to fit the newly born trio.”
Harri Kuusijärvi is one of the most unique voices in modern accordion music. He has composed contemporary art music pieces, performed with some of the top popular acts in Finland and received much critical acclaim with his various prog rock, jazz and world music projects.
In addition to receiving the Ted Curson Memorial Award at the 2017 edition of the Pori Jazz Festival composer and saxophonist Pauli Lyytinen is best known for his works with groups like Elifantree, Pauli Lyytinen Machinery, Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orkesteri, Equally Stupid and Raoul Björkenheim eCsTaSy. He is one of the most highly respected members of his generation of Finnish jazz musicians.
Eero Tikkanen is one of the most sought after bass players in Finland and best known for groups like Mopo, Mikko Innanen 10+ ja Joose Keskitalo.
Matti Saarinen Grímsey02/09/2019
Matti Saarinen (guitar)
Joonas Leppänen (drums)
Eero Tikkanen (bass)
TEEMU VIINIKAINEN III
Teemu Viinikainen – guitar
Joonas Riippa – drums
Mikael Myrskog – rhodes & moog
Teemu Viinikainen is one of Finland’s most appreciated and sought-after jazz guitarists and highly acclaimed both in his native country and internationally. He has played with several prominent international musicians over the years, such as Joe Lovano, Randy Brecker and Tim Hagans.
Drummer Joonas Riippa is known for many high-profile Finnish jazz bands, such as PLOP, Tenors of Kalma and Joonas Haavisto Trio.
Keyboard player Mikael Myrskog was awarded with the Aspiring Talent of the Year Award in Pori Jazz Festival in 2016. He currently plays with bands such as Kaisa’s Machine, Buba Wii Aa and Kadi Quartet.
Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orkesteri19/04/2018
PAULI LYYTINEN MAGNETIA ORCHESTRA
Pauli Lyytinen – saxophone
Verneri Pohjola – trumpet
Eero Tikkanen – double bass
Mika Kallio – drums
The energetic quartet Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orkesteri – led by sax maestro Pauli Lyytinen and co-starring internationally celebrated trumpetist Verneri Pohjola – released its debut album in July 2017 at the Pori Jazz Festival where Lyytinen also received the Ted Curson Award as artist of the year. The group originally formed in 2015 around the concept of freshening up a classic jazz line up of sax, trumpet, bass and drums. The group’s debut tour the following made headlines and stirred a formidable buzz in the Finnish jazz scene and culminated in the release of the album, simple titled “I”. The album was also released in Germany in October 2017 and the follow up is currently in the works.
Pauli Lyytinen (born 1983) is an active musician and a front line representative of the young Finnish jazz generation. Lyytinen is known as a saxophonist with a strong and original sound and has lately performed in groups such as Elifantree, Pauli Lyytinen Machinery, Kauhukakara, Equally Stupid, Raoul Björkenheim eCsTaSy and Mikko Innanen 10+.
Verneri Pohjola is one of Finland’s most well known and respected jazz musicians internationally. He has recorded for both ACT and Edition Records. He recently received the highest honour in Finnish jazz in the form of the Yrjö -award which is given annually to the jazz musician of the year.
Bassist Eero Tikkanen is known for his powerful touch and impressive improvisational skills. He is best known for his work in the trio Mopo. Completing the rhythm section is drummer Mika Kallio, a bedrock of Finnish jazz drumming who is currently playing with Kari Ikonen, Mikko Innanen and Verneri Pohjola Group amongst others.
Innanen & Laihonen06/06/2019
Mikko Innanen – sax, woodwinds
Simo Laihonen – drums, percussion
Mikko Innanen, one of Finland’s top sax players and jazz composers, and Simo Laihonen of the esteemed trio Black Motor team up for a duo album April Fools.
The double album includes the duo’s studio sessions and a rough and raw live set on the second disc.
A duo of sax and drums is a challenging band formulation to say the least but these two make the musical landscape sound full and exciting.
The founder of Eclipse Music is also a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. In his songs Tapio channels together the sensitivity of the great singer-songwriters with classic rock sounds, blues guitar and a touch of progressive rock styles. Educated in both music and the dramatic arts he is an expert storyteller both musically and lyrically.
Released in 2012, his debut album is a true solo effort with Ylinen playing all instruments himself.
In addition to his solo work Ylinen is a member of two other bands in the Eclipse Music artist roster: Juhani Valkama’s ensemble and folk rockers Tammela 33100. He also plays guitar with the Pink Floyd tribute band PULSE and works as a freelance radio host.
Pauli Lyytinen – sax
Sigurdur Rögnvaldsson – guitar
Jo Berger Myhre – bass
Andreas Werliin – drums
Laser is a multinational (FIN/SWE/NOR/ISL) project masterminded by sax virtuoso Pauli Lyytinen and guitarist Siggi Rögnvaldsson. With driving surf guitars mixed with jazzy improvisation the band forms a tight sound that sails between jazz and rock.
After releasing their, thus far, only album in 2009 the band toured Scandinavia twice before going on hold to await further developments. Andreas Werliin has received worldwide fans as the drummer of Wildbird & Peacedrum, Jo Myhre is currently touring and recording with Splashgirl, while Lyytinen and Rögnvaldsson have continued their mix of rock and jazz in the trio Equally Stupid.
Anni Elif – voice, synthesizer, composition
Pauli Lyytinen – saxophone, effects, EWI, drum machine, omnichord
Tuomas A.Turunen – piano, synthesizers, harmonium
Joonas Kuusisto (album lineup) – squier VI, effects, monotron, acoustic bass guitar
Sigudur Rögnvaldsson (live lineup) – baritone guitar
Vocalist, cellist and composer Anni Elif Egecioglu (born 1986) has gone through many musical phases with her unique voice. She is originally from Gothenburg with roots from Sweden and Turkey and has lived the last decade in Helsinki, Finland.
After releasing many albums with various groups she now releases the first album in her own name. Anni Elif’s “Edith” is mainly based on the lyrics from the groundbreaking and modernistic universe of Edith Södergran. Anni Elif’s tone language fits perfectly with the stark poems and together they create an intimate and organic world that lingers in the space between life and death.
Laura Annika Quartet06/06/2019
Annika Mustonen, vocals
Aleksis Liukko, piano
Joonas Tuuri, bass
Jesse Ojajärvi, drums
Singer Laura Mustonen leads this jazz quartet into exciting musical territories, the Finnish forests and landscapes, with her musical composing partner – pianist Aleksis Liukko.
Vilkka Wahl Quintet15/10/2019
Based in Vienna, Austria, with roots in Finland, Vilkka Wahl is a guitarist and a musician with passion to music in a broad perspective. With roots in rock and progressive rock Vilkka has converted to jazz music and is combining many elements of the African-American music tradition in his music and playing. Vilkka has finished his MA degree at the Graz University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Austria where he has studied under Guido Jeszenszky and has had masterclasses with i.e. Peter Bernstein, John Abercrombie, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Brookmeyer, and Jeff Ballard.
In 2017 Vilkka Wahl was the Artist of the Year at the Turku Jazz Festival in Finland in released the album ‘Nebula’ with his band Vilkka Wahl Quintet featuring the New York -based sax virtuoso Juri Pukl and vibraphone legend Severi Pyysalo.
Pauli Lyytinen – saxophone
Anni Egecioglu – vocals, cello
Tuomas Turunen – keyboards
Joonas Kuusisto – bass
After releasing two albums for Eclipse Music (in 2008 and 2011) Kauhukakara has been become a cult favourite of the progressive / art music scene. Progarchives.com gave their second album “Eläinten Fanfaari” 5 stars and named it a masterpiece, but that doesn’t mean that their music is prog rock. It’s a playful, wild combination of jazz, classical chamber music, children’s music and experimental sounds.
Kauhukakara features the sax and vocals of Elifantree’s Pauli Lyytinen and Anni Egecioglu mixed together with the amazing keyboards of Tuomas Turunen, who was given an honorary prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival’s piano competition in 2011, and acoustic bass tones of Joonas Kuusisto.
AUGUR ENSEMBLE consists of young and upcoming musicians from Switzerland, Norway and Sweden. Their music is a combination of classical chamber music, modern art music and improvised jazz.
After releasing their debut album “The Daily Unknown” in 2013 they have toured actively in Scandinavia, Switzerland and Germany.
Eirik Dørsdal (NO) / trumpet
Anni Elif Egecioglu (SE) / cello, voice
Fabian M. Mueller (CH) / piano
Kaspar von Grünigen (CH) / double bass
Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (NO) / drums
Jaakko Martikainen (sax, flute)
Johan Ölander (drums)
Pasi Lyysaari (bass)
The sax trio from Turku floats from the sounds of the archipelago to darker tones. Based on the west coast of Finland the trio merges influences from free jazz, traditional jazz and even rock music.
Their first album Floating in Nauvo and Other Stories (2017) was followed up by the 2019 release of Trails, Trials and Trolls.
A regular at the helm of several major Nordic symphony orchestras Iisakkila’s debut as a solo artist combines elements from the likes of Frank Zappa, Pekka Pohjola ja Steve Vai to hues of modern orchestrations and even moments of absurdism. Playing the bulk of the albums intruments himself Iisakkila demontrates virtuosity especially as an electric guitar player.
Conductor Jukka Iisakkila’s versatility and broad repertoire have taken him to symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras and contemporary ensembles throughout Europe. A regular guest with many of the leading Scandinavian orchestras and enjoys frequent collaboration with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Nagoya Philharmonic and Tapiola Sinfonietta. He is artistic director of the Sääksmäki Soi-festival, worked as principal guest conductor of the Danish Radio Chamber Orchestra and was the chief conductor of the Pori Sinfonietta. Guest appearances have included engagements in Canada, Japan, England, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, Denmark among others.
He has made several crossover productions with Iro Haarla, Rumpistol, Goldfrapp and Indians. He has also collaborated with his guitar hero Steve Vai and leads the tribute group The Breed playing the music of Finnish prog/jazz legend Pekka Pohjola.
In addition to his new release with Eclipse he has recorded for such esteemed labels as ECM, Dacapo, Decca, Pilfink and Apart Records.
Anssi Salminen – vocals, guitar, mandolin
Janne Mathlin – drums
Harri Kuusijärvi – accordion
Kalle Ylitalo – bass
Tero Pajunen – vocals
Maija Kauhanen – vocals
Best known for his work with famed songwriter and cult favourite Jarkko Martikainen (YUP) and the acclaimed folk orchestra Frigg, guitarist and songwriter Anssi Salminen has a presence on stage. Salminen has made a remarkable career in roots music over the last few years. In addition to guitar he plays several stringed instruments (fiddle and mandolin for example) and has been cohorts, in addition to the previously mentioned Martikainen and Frigg, with famed rapper Paleface and also contributing to noticeable theater productions and recording sessions.
Songwriters Jaani and Annaleena Haapasalo form the nucleus of the folk-rock group Tammela 33100 (the postal address of their residence). Their songs infuse solid storytelling with dark irony and humour. Their music ranges from acoustic campfire songs to full out electric rock, but always with a twist.
The group released a digital EP “Siperia” in 2012 and joined the Eclipse Music roster shortly after for a full lenght album “Muistatko Illat”, released in 2013. Since the album they have played an impressive run of shows with their live outfit.
In the spring of 2015 Tammela 33100 is releasing a series of 6 digital singles of new material to be compiled into an EP release later.
Jaani Haapasalo – vocals, guitar
Annaleena Haapasalo – vocals, piano, glockenspiel
Aarne Schmitt – guitar
Tapio Ylinen – guitar, keyboards
Kalle Saarelma – bass
Ville Hatanpää – drums
Lauri Seppä – guitar, banjo
Olli Poutanen – accordeon
Hilkka Louhivuori – vocals, keyboards
Lauri Kallio – guitar, electronics
Ilkka Oksanen – drums, samples
Pekka Löhönen – bass & bass synth
Navigating between Nordic jazz, trip-hop and modern pop, songwriter and vocalist Hilkka Louhivuori’s songs are etherial soundscapes with world class vocals and intriguing rhythms. Unya’s self titled debut album gives new directions to the Nordic jazz scene with influences from internationally popular artists such as James Blake, Bon Iver and Bonobo but with Finnish lyrics.
Rissanen – Verheyen – Ounaskari08/04/2015
One of the most popular jazz pianists in Finland Aki Rissanen joins forces with Belgian sax player Robin Verheyen and award winning drummer Markku Ounaskari.
The trio’s music is a mix of melodic improvisation and classical chamber music where Rissanen’s atmospheric piano meets Verheyen’s melodic sensibilities. Ounaskari’s minimalistic drumming gives the trio a great deal of musical space.
Aki Rissanen – piano
Robin Verheyen – sax
Markku Ounaskari – drums
Aki Rissanen Radio Interview @ Classic Jazz
Skalle & Sharon25/01/2015
A different kind of jazz trio. Sax player Pauli Lyytinen, drummer Tatu Rönkkö and keyboard wizard Tuomas Turunen teamed up in 2009 to record an album that fearlessly fused influences ranging from fusion jazz to tango. After a successful tour supporting the album the band has, however, remained in hiatus awaiting new developments. Tatu and Pauli joined up to form Elifantree with Anni Egecioglu while Tuomas has recorded an excellent solo album and toured with various other bands.
Sanna Ruohoniemi, originally from Finland but currently based in Stockholm, Sweden is the latest in a long line of strikingly individual Nordic artists & composers who successfully melds the open-sky freedom of jazz with the rich folk traditions of her homeland.
Considered among one of the young generation’s most interesting vocalists & music creators in the Nordics, Sanna is known for her improvisational verve and creative risk-taking. With her latest album, ”Start from Nothing” (Eclipse Music) she continues the bold and self-determined journey into the world of modern vocal jazz, offering a rich and vibrant combination of what jazz music can be all about.
Album were picked by Europe Jazz as one of the best album releases on November 2018.
Four jazz greats combine forces. Finland’s jazz musician of the year 2014, drummer Markku Ounaskari is the backbone of this quartet featuring Swedish bass legend Anders Jormin, vocalist Lena Willemark and sax man and flautist Kari “Sonny” Heinilä.
The group combines modern jazz with folk music influences and top quality improvisation.
Markku Ounaskari – drums
Kari Heinilä – sax, flute
Lena Willemark – vocals
Anders Jormin – bass
Markku Ounaskari Interview @ Classic Jazz
The 4 piece enseble formed by Elifantree’s drummer Tatu Rönkkö, whose woderfully crazy artistry is very much present in the bands debut album “Urban Ritual”. Moving somewhere between free jazz, sonic experimentation and heavy metal (sic!) the band is a true force of nature.
Joining him in the group are Elifantree cohort Pauli Lyytinen on sax, Otto Eskelinen and MOPO bassist Eero Tikkanen who has also played with Tatu in the fusion group Auteur Jazz.
Manuel Dunkel (saxophones)
Alexi Tuomarila (piano)
Eero Seppä (bass)
Jaska Lukkarinen (drums)
Back with a new album of original material after six years. Manuel Dunkel is one of Finland’s best known sax players and jazz artists. He has worked with internationally renowned jazz musicians such as Paul Jackson, Rick Margitza, Eric Truffaz and Kenny Wheeler. His new album features an all-star lineup of Finnish jazz greats: Jaska Lukkarinen, Alexi Tuomarila and Eero Seppä.
Tuomas J. Trio04/06/2019
Tuomas J. Turunen – piano
Jori Huhtala – bass
Tuomas Timonen – drums
feat. Manuel Dunkel – sax
Tuomas J. Turunen (b. 1985) is a jazz pianist, composer and educator based in Helsinki, Finland. After working many years as a sideman, alongside with renowned Finnish Jazz Vocalists, he has released his first album as a leader in October 2018. The album, entitled “Megetme”, consists entirely of Turunen’s compositions for jazz trio and quartet. It features Manuel Dunkel on saxophones, who is one of the Finland’s most acclaimed saxophonists today.
The continuation in a series of fantastic collaborations between sax player Pauli Lyytinen (Elifantree) and guitarist Siggi Rögnvaldsson. DEFEKT fuses jazz with surf rock and computer game music.
The quartet is completed by a top class rhythm section: Joonas Kuusisto (Kauhukakata, Common Creature) on bass and Oyvind Hegg-Lunde on drums.
Guitarist Tuomas Paukku has studied jazz music in the Royal College of Stockholm. He’s an active composer and a prominent guitarist. The young guitarist has a fierce ardor for creating colorful, diverse and powerful music that is still approachable for the listener.
His first album was released with a band called Tuomas Paukku Description. The band was formed while Paukku was studying in Sweden. The ensemble featured saxophone player Johan Christoffesson, one of the hottest names in the generation of young Swedish sax players. Pianist Peter Knudsen has released his debut album on the Italian CamJazz label with his octet. Emil Eriksson played the bass in the group and the band’s young drummer Konrad Agnas was recently granted the “Faschings vänner” award by Stockholm’s most notable jazz club. The band released their debut vinyl album in 2016.
After Paukku moved back to Finland he formed a new group called Scription which picked up right where the previous group had left off. The Scription album was released in 2018 and gained attention when the song “Tides” was featured in the “State of Jazz” playlist on Spotify and gaining over 20 000 streams in just a few weeks.
Noël Saizonou – vocals and percussion
Petri Kautto – guitar and vocals
Kari Ikonen – moog synthesizer and vocals
An ultra-positive, high-energy, extraordinary afro-pop-jazz trio that makes you smile, dance and feel happy!
Trio Toffa’s highly acclaimed debut album Positive has put the band on main stages of Finland’s major festivals, such as Pori Jazz, Fest Africa, Elojazz and Helsinki Festival (Helsingin Juhlaviikot).
Toffa is also featured on Two Tribes – An Intercontinental Journey in Rhythm recently released by German label Agogo Records.
Harri Kuusijärvi Koutus06/06/2019
Harri Kuusijärvi, accordion & electronics
Veikki Virkajärvi, electric guitar
Mikael Myrskog, Moog
Jesse Ojajärvi, drums
Harri Kuusijärvi Koutus is a Finnish band led by accordionist Harri Kuusijärvi. Drawing on various contemporary influences the group creates a distinctive soundscape with infusions of 70’s prog rock, jazz and world music fueled with improvisation “avant fusion-accordion-jazz”, as it has been described. Kuusijärvi’s compositions present accordion in a totally new light, accompanied with electric guitar, vibraphone, bass and percussion.
Castrillón – Godot – Mureddu06/06/2019
Sergio Castrillón – cello
Otzir Godot – drums
Libero Mureddu – piano
Colombian cellist Sergio Castrillón, Finnish drummer Otzir Godot and Italian-French pianist Libero Mureddu, merging elements of contemporary music and avant-garde jazz, through improvisation. The band was formed in Helsinki – Finland – in early 2015. Their first album TOZCHE consisted of three improvisation sessions during three days at the studio.
S. Rögnvaldsson’s Dark Forest28/09/2015
Johannes Sarjasto – sax
Eero Tikkanen – bass
Ville Pynssi – drums
Dark Forest is a concept band, founded by Sigurdur Rögnvaldsson in 2013. Based on Sigurdur’s own compositions, Dark Forest invites the listeners to a journey through a dark and mystical forest, full of mutated creatures and their strange yet captivating stories in Kisima.
Kisima takes a unique and fresh approach to progressive jazz with rock influences. The album’s atmospheric and melodic qualities create a playfully fresh sound which draws from heavy riffs, dynamic drum beats and screaming saxophone sounds. In Kisima, Sigurdur is joined by saxophonist Johannes Sarjasto, bassist Eero Tikkanen and drummer Ville Pynssi.
Sigurdur has been an important actor in Helsinki music scene. Besides having regularly played with Uinuva and his own band Equally Stupid, he has collaborated with such prominent musicians as Verneri Pohjola, Raoul Björkenheim, Pauli Lyytinen and Anni Elif Egecioglu to name a few, in different concepts and styles.
Joakim Berghäll – saxophones, bass clarinet
Kalle Kalima – guitars
Kari Ikonen – keyboards
The free dialogue (or trialogue to be precise) between sax, bass clarinet, guitars, moog and prepared piano at the hands of three masters of their instruments draws intricate soundscapes of the northern wilderness and the rumble of the arctic seas. The exotic instrumentation is special in itself, but the album has already been praised by critics before its official release. There’s no rhythm section, so what’s left is a free flowing tapestry of intense sounds.
Joakim “Jusu” Berghäll is a versatile reed player and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work with Tsuumi Sound System and Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble. He has also worked extensively as a theater musician and composer for The Finnish National Theater and The Helsinki City Theater.
Kalle Kalima is one of the best known Finnish jazz exports. The guitarist has worked successfully with the ACT label in the Central European music market for years. In addition to his own recording he has recently released albums with the band Kuu! and Tenors of Kalma (together with Jimi Tenor).
Kari Ikonen is an award-winning pianisti and composer whose output is well known throughout Europe. In recent years he has successfully recorded several albums for the German Ozella label with his own trio. In Finland Ikonen has received, amongst other awards, the high honor of being Jazz Musician of the Year in 2014. In addition to the Kari Ikonen Trio his prolific bands and projects include Karikko, Gnomus, Trio Toffa and Ajaton Quartet.
MARJA AHLSVED: VOCALS, KEYBOARDS, COMPOSITIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS
HEIDI KIVIHARJU: VOCALS
JUHANI GRÖNROOS: ELECTRIC GUITAR
JOONA HASAN: ELECTRIC GUITAR, ACOUSTIC GUITAR
KALLE YLITALO: BASS
NIKLAS AHLSVED: DRUMS
TRAILBLAZING POETRY FROM THE SYMBOLIST ERA MEETS MODERN INDIE POP. AROSA ENSEMBLE IS A HELSINKI-BASED BAND THAT PLAYS ELECTRONICALLY INFLUENCED WIDESCREEN INDIE POP.
THE MUSIC IS SET TO THE TEXTS OF EDITH SÖDERGRAN, WHO IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE GREATEST MODERN SWEDISH-LANGUAGE POETS.
AROSA ENSEMBLE’S SONGS ARE COMPOSED BY MARJA AHLSVED, WHO FOUNDED THE BAND IN 2009.
Sanni Orasmaa – vocals
Kari Ikonen – Keyboards
Abdisa “Mamba” Assefa – drums, percussion
An all star trio of Finnish jazz musicians. Slo Motive plays slow, funky grooves fused with Orasmaa’s grand vocals. This is electric jazz at its very best.
MTV Iggy selected Slo Motive as one of the 20 most notable nordic jazz acts.
Liberty Ship returns in spring 2015 with their second double album for Eclipse Music. After the undenieble artistic statement which was the 2013 debut ”Approaching”, the band continues to seek uncharted waters of creative expression in contemporary jazz music.
A bold double album: one acoustic CD, one electric, on which their music is adventurous, mysterious, creative and unpredictable.
The album was premiered at a Concert at Koko Jazzclub, Helsinki, Finland 1.3.2015 and it ail be in shops on 20th of march.
Liberty Ship, formed in 2012, navigates the deep waters of free jazz and improvised music in constant pursuit of liberated self-expression. Acclaimed saxophonist and composer EsaPietilä leads this all-star quartet of accomplished Finnish jazz musicians, pushing eachmusician to the boundaries of their creative ability. According to the reviews, authors,Liberty Ship is without a doubt one of the most exciting and adventurous projects to emerge from the booming Finnish jazz scene
CD “Approaching” voted for ALBUM OF THE YEAR – Best new releases 2013″ by The New York City Jazz Record
Esa Pietilä – tenor saxophone
Aki Rissanen – piano, prepared piano, effects
Antti Lötjönen – acoustic bass
Olavi Louhivuori – drums
Listen to the new album:
Kari Ikonen & Karikko08/04/2015
Winner of the Jazz Musician of the Year award in 2013, recipient of the Jazz Emma (Finnish Grammy) in 2001 and nominee of the highly regarded Teosto Award in 2012, Kari Ikonen is one of the most successful jazz musicians in Finland.
One of his most enduring bands Karikko (featuring the great French cellist Vincent Courtois) has released three albums. The third album “The Helsinski Suite” was nominated for the Teosto award in 2012.
Radio Interview @ Classic Jazz
Revered, loved and perhaps even a bit feared throughout the Finnish session scene, Jaan Wessman (b. 1974) is a modest multi-instrumentalist who has worked with many chart-topping artists and bands. Especially in his hometown of Tampere he is the first to get the call when a producer needs a brainstorming partner. A man of many talents, Wessman helped launch the career of platinum-selling rapper Paleface in 2001 and went on to become the de facto bandleader and arranger for his hard-hitting funk septet.
A decade later, Wessman was again at ground zero when international heart throb rocker Jonne Aaron (of Negative fame) embarked on a very successful solo career. Like he did with Paleface, Wessman stayed with Jonne Aaron’s live band through the making and touring of his sophomore effort as well.
In addition, Wessman has written string arrangements for Finnish pop and rock mainstays like Apulanta and Yö. He has worked with theater groups from small to extra large since the early 1990s and keeps his chops up with residencies in Top 40 bands and bossa nova, tango and jazz groups. A voracious appetite for good music is satisfied by performing with cover groups in various styles. Wessman has played the drums in a Metallica tribute outfit, the bass in a Pekka Pohjola tribute band and so on.
Ever since the turn of the Millennium, the skilled craftsman has mainly worked as a bass player. After catching the eye and ear of guitarist and composer Mike Keneallyin 2002, Wessman has toured the continent in his ensemble on five occasions.
In August 2018, the man shared the stage with another Frank Zappa alumnus as Steve Vai appeared with conductor Jukka iisakkila and the Tapiola Sinfonietta in Helsinki to perform the Nordic premiere of ten of his orchestral pieces.
Nevertheless, Jaan Wessman was never destined for a supporting role. As proven by None for the Money, Two for the Show, he is a consummate singer, explosive lead guitarist and formidable songwriter.
And there’s more. On his debut solo album, Wessman creates the illusion of a band going full-throttle by handling all instruments and programming himself. The subdued virtuoso manages to tastefully reference many of his influences from Led Zeppelin and The Beatles to Prince and from Björk to Frank Zappa and Stevie Wonder.
Pauli Lyytinen – sax
Siggi Rögnvaldsson – guitar, baritone guitar
David Maier – drums
The Finnish-Swiss-Icelandic trio Equally Stupid is yet another brilliant group in the Eclipse Music roster to break conventions in jazz. Fusing King Crimson-esque progressive rock with free form jazz imrpovisation this group is a real gem to jazz and prog fans alike.
Their debut album “Exploding Head” was released in September 2014 to critical acclaim and supported by a two part tour of Finland. The first 300 unit edition of the CD sold out very quickly.
Band of the Year 2014 @ Kaustinen International Folk Music Festival
Juha Kujanpää’s debut solo album “Tales And Travels” is a real must-have to all fans of symphonic prog rock. Kujanpää’s sound combines a folk-influenced string ensemble with a prog rock quartet, and the result is majestic music that rivals Mike Oldfield and Pekka Pohjola at their best. Timo Kämäräinen’s excellent guitar playing gives the music the “virtuoso”-element.
The album was released to a plethora of fantastic reviews from both critics (jazz, prog and folk alike) and fans. It very soon became one the all time best selling albums in the Eclipse Music catalogue.
Kujanpää Ensemble is currently finishing their second album due to be released in the autumn of 2015.
Jere Haakana Varjosto03/06/2019
JERE HAAKANA VARJOSTO
Jere Haakana (guitar)
Artturi Rönkä (keys)
Ville Pynssi (drums)
Juho Kivivuori (bass)
Operating firmly in the realm of instrumental jazz-rock guitarist Jere Haakana leads his group with virtuosity and great compositions.
Well known for his work with platinum-selling rapper Redrama, Haakana is a versatile guitarist whose chops are equal to his famous jazz-rock peers Timo Kämäräinen and Teemu Viinikainen. His own compositions are international level guitar instrumentals with a fare dose of world class improvisation.
Verneri Pohjola – trumpet
Pauli Lyytinen – saxophones
Aki Rissanen – piano, Rhodes
Jori Huhtala – bass
Mika Kallio – drums
Jere Haakana – guitar
Teemu Viinikainen – guitar
Tapio Ylinen – compositions
Bringing together an all-star cast of musicians from the vibrant Helsinki jazz scene the Finnish jazz supergroup Mortality combines the conceptual aesthetics of progressive rock with the harmonic and tonal soundscapes of jazz and jazz improvisation.
The group’s self-titled concept album debut is the brainchild of the group’s producer Tapio Ylinen, who wrote the bulk of the compositions after the tragic death of his wife in 2015. For the album, each member of the ensemble took on the task of arranging the pieces of music to create a cohesive piece of art under a unified theme.
Despite the heavy subject matter the music on the album is delicate, melodic and hopeful. Each member gives their own, distinctive interpretation of the topic in their pieces, while Ylinen’s melodic language keeps the overall piece coherent as a whole.
Sarah Riedel – vocals, zither
Joonas Kuusisto – acoustic bass
When one of the most highly regarded singers in Sweden and one of Finland’s top acoustic bass players join musical forces, the result is magical. Somewhere between indie-folk-pop and jazz Common Creature’s music swirls together timeless melodies and atmospheric musical spaces.
Perhaps the most in-demand jazz drummer in Finland, Olavi Louhivuori has toured the world with several high profile groups. Tomasz Stanko, Ilmiliekki Quartet, UMO Jazz Orchestra and Piirpauke to name a few.
In recent years he has also gained great personal success composing, performing and recording with his own group Oddarrang and his solo albums.
Louhivuori’s second solo effort “Existence” is a minimalistic/ambient masterpiece fused with sonic experimentation and jazz drumming.
Janne Tuovinen (double bass)
Artturi Rönkä (keyboards)
Pauli Lyytinen (sax, keyboards)
Anssi Tirkkonen (drums)
Tomi Kämäräinen (FI) – drums
Marek Konarski (PL) – sax
Grzegorz Tarwid (PL) – piano
Petter Asbjørnsen (NOR) – bass
Polish mysticism, echoes of the Norwegian fjords and Finnish romanticism are the inspiration behind Case Kämäräinen’s debut album “Waiting”. Originally hailing from the northern parts of the Savo region, in the lake district of Finland, drummer Tomi Kämäräinen had been teaching drums for about 10 years at various music institutes, until he decided to change his own path and applied for the Master of Music degree program in Copenhagen. After moving to Copenhagen things began progressing quickly and Kämäräinen found the perfect crew for his new music – saxophonist Marek Konarski, pianist Grzegorz Tarwid (both from Poland) and bassist Petter Asbjørnsen from Norway.
Eclipse Music is an independent record label based in Tampere, Finland. Formed in 2007 Eclipse has in recent years become one of the premier publishers of jazz, progressive music and singer-songwriters in Finland.
High artistic quality and independent spirit are the essence of Eclipse Music.
Distribution – Finland: Supersounds Music
Distribution – Germany: Galileo Music & Communication
Digital Distribution: The Orchard
Eclipse Music Digital
Main Office & Warehouse:
c/o Kulttuurikeskus Uulu
Erkkilänkatu 11 C, 4th floor
tel. +358 (0) 44 553 2977