45th International Pori Jazz Festival

Magnus Carlson och the Moon Ray Quintet i Pori. Foto: Markku Åberg/Pori Jazz

The 45th International Pori Jazz Festival was held during 17-25 July 2010 in Pori, Finland.

Pori Jazz Festival is one of the oldest and most well-known jazz festivals in Europe. It is very popular in Finland –  one could say that it is the biggest festival in Finland. The festival is held annually in the city of Pori, and more than 150.000 people attend the event each year. Pori lies on the west coast of Finland.

The focus of Pori Jazz Festival is on various forms of jazz music. But other forms of music, including various types of pop music, are available as well. Some of the famous artists who have performed at Pori Jazz Festival include James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Paul Anka, Bob Dylan, Phil Collins, Alicia Keys, Jamiroquai, and Erykah Badu.

This year was the 45th time that Pori Jazz Festival has been held. It lasted nine days, starting on July 17th and ending on July 25th. Performers include Tomasz Stanko Quintet, Sharon Jones, Toto, Tori Amos, Mayer Hawthorne, N.E.R.D, Gotan Project, Melody Gardot, Massive Attack, Jeff Beck, Bobby Hutcherson & Cedar Walton Quartet and many more.

Toto’s Steve Lukather presented some oldies such as “I Will Remember”, “Pamela”, “Stop Loving You”, “Africa” etc. Melody Gardot and her Band performed new versions on “Caravan” and “Fever”.

As to jazz music for instance the Polish trumpetist icon Tomasz Stanko together with pianist Alex Tuomarila and drummer Olavi Louhivuori from Finland as well as Bobby Hutcherson & Cedar Walton Quartet performed more of traditional jazz with masters’ style. See more performers at www.porijazz.com

The Festival arranged also the 6th Annual Pori Jazz Kids Festival. The 5-day-long kids festival offered over 70 different types of musical workshops, concerts and performances on three different stages.

Pori Jazz Kids Festival’s this year’s main theme was “Exotic Rhythms and Instruments”. Caribbean Steel Pans, Cuban Sway, Soul Music and Hot Balkan Rhythms which took the audience to a musical trip around the world. The Swedish Day on Monday the 19th presented Swedish-speaking Finnish young musical talents with Svarvar Allstars Band on the grand stage.

The first Pori Jazz Cruise on m/s Baltic Prince from Helsinki to Pori was organized by FF Cruises on 22nd July which brought 1400 visitors to Pori Jazz Festival, too.

Plenty of visitors – the organizers exceeded their expectations: Pori Jazz Festival had around 150.000 visitors this year of which 60.000 paid tickets.
The first Pori Jazz Cruise on m/s Baltic Prince from Helsinki to Pori was organized by FF Cruises on 22nd July  which also brought 1400 visitors to Pori Jazz Festival.

As Pori Jazz Festival has become during recent years a mega festival it has changed the composition of the performers more to popular and rock style with some stars to attract more visitors – this year out of 17 performing bands only 4 were actual jazz music performers.

“Mr. Pori Jazz” Jyrki Kangas has retired after being 43 years the Artistic Director but still works as a Senior Adviser for the festival board –  a new Artistic Director Tuomas Kallio has now been developing the festival with his professional team this megafestival with a promise to have more jazz performing by Finnish and foreign talents – as there are no new  jazz mega talents available any more.

Esa Paavolainen