Jazz på ”finlandssvenska” gave extra spice to ”Viapori Jazz” Concerts


As the last of foremost jazz venues of this summer in Finland ”Viapori Jazz” was organized during 24-27 August with a nice variety of fine Finnish musicians on the Viaborg Island in front of Helsinki.

”The poetry of Viapori Jazz is in the words, the music and in the rare encounters on the sea surroundings.” Festival director of music, Jukka Perko, had with his experience of 25 years of musical trailblazing has managed to conjure a rainbow of musicians to the Viaborg Island.


Viapori Jazz started on Wed 24.8 under Verneri Pohjola’s leadership by Jukka Perko’s invitation for two concert entity – the first one being ”Birth of The Cool” by Verneri Pohjola – nonet:

Verneri Pohjola – trumpet, Jukka Perko – alto saxophone, Mikko Innanen – baritone saxophone
Ilmari Pohjola – trombone, Petri Keskitalo – tuba, Aki Rissanen – piano, Antti Lötjönen – bass, Joonas Riippa – drums.
If bebop caused an upheaval with its frenzy in the early 40s, cool jazz was the smooth voice of suave control at the end of the decade. In Viapori Jazz, Verneri Pohjola’s band performed a nonet of these finest musicians to the legendary Miles Davis – Gil Evans production of the late 40s – adaptations on their ”Birth of The Cool” (1949-50) – Moon Dreams, Boplicity, Budo and Move with excellent cool intensity of music.

– and the second one ”Killing The Cool!” by Verneri Pohjola Progressive:

Verneri Pohjola – trumpet, Jukka Perko – alto saxophone, Aki Rissanen – piano, Antti Lötjönen – bass
Joonas Riippa – drums, Ville Hyvönen – visualization

This latter part of jazz concert entity was totally different and released these young masters for starting with later production of Miles Davis to their own electronic and progressive modern style… These two concerts made together a very nice ensemble.

On Thu 25.8. ”Stream carries the line” was performed by Jukka Perko Streamline Jazztet:
Top jazz musicians Jukka Perko – saxophone, Teemu Viinikainen – guitar, Teppo Mäkynen – drums, Ville Herrala – bass
The Jazztet architects drew their music with inspiration from Streamline Moderne, a school of design prevalent in the U.S.A of 1930-1950. This resulted in streamlined and frolicking new jazz, the soil of which accommodates both Finnish traditionals, as well as fresh, jazzy sprouts bopping forth.

Second concert: Panu Savolainen & Proprius: Panu Savolainen – vibraphone, Aili Ikonen – vocals, Timo Kämäräinen – guitar, Jori Huhtala – bass – A new breed of Finnish jazz muscians with improvisations on intricate compositions

On Fri 26.8 ”Jazz på finlandssvenska” by Niklas Winter Band feat. Emma Salokoski

Emma Salokoski – vocals, Niklas Winter – guitar, Alexi Tuomarila – piano, Ulf Krokfors – bass, Tom Nekljudow – drums

The concert was led by Niklas Winter and lifted by vocals of Emma Salokoski – the audience got carried away with classic melodies of jazz, enhanced with new, contemporary lyrics written by the eternally jazzy Finnish poet, Claes Andersson – på ”finlandssvenska” – among others: ”Lov e For Sale” was titled ”Åren går” and ”There Will Never Be Another You” became ”En vacker winterdag när solen sken”, Monk’s ”Dream” became ”Det kändes konstig i kroppen i går” and Monk’s ”Pannonica” became ”Påminn mig om att jag älskar dig” – all which the ”finlandssvenska” audience liked very much as well as the Finnish audience.

Alexi Tuomarila created dramatic fine pianosolos as well as Ulf Krokfors with contrabass and Tom Nekljudows with drums had also fine pieces to perform.

”Kiestinki”, with Paula Vesala and Pekka Kuusisto
Paula Vesala has written war-time experiences of her grandmother’s into lyrics, which Pekka Kuusisto has then composed into music. The series of songs, matured during a stretch of years, depict solemn, emotional and raucous moods.

On Sat 27.8 – From Foreign Lands – Music by Sid Hille
Frizzle, Sizzle, Dazzle – music for jazz guitar and a string quartet by Sid Hille, soloist: Teemu Viinikainen -guitar and poems written by Finns, freshly acquired from abroad, composed into music by Sid Hille, and José Mäenpää.

”Unela” – the music of tranquility by Jukka Perko, Samuli Kosminen and Yona led their audience into a magical borderland between wakefulness and sleep – ”Unela”.

the Lost Heroes by Iiro Rantala, piano
The Mad Hatter of ebony and ivory keyboard, Iiro Rantala slowed down (for once) to respect the memory of his influences in a touching concert, offered music from his recent album by the same name. In addition to paying homage to great jazz pianists, also e.g. Pekka Pohjola, Jean and Aino Sibelius and Luciano Pavarotti received a tune of honor in this concert.

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