Elected Finnish Festival of the Year 2012 Tampere Jazz Happening celebrates its 31st birthday! From November 1st to the 4th, the city will present 26 acts under the motto ‘free skills, ethnic flavours and free expression’. New York-based pianist Vijay Iyer, virtuoso trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf and the ‘reuniting’ Jazz Passengers are just a couple of names that compose the event’s programme.
Born three decades ago, Tampere Jazz Happening has always aimed at bringing in town what the best jazz musicians have to offer. Its role in the enrichment of the Finnish jazz scene led the festival being designated Festival of the Year. It defeated tough internationally acclaimed competitors such as Pori Jazz Festival and Helsinki’s Flow Festival.
Set in Tampere, the most popolous inland city of any of the Nordic countries, Tampere Jazz Happening has quickly established itself as one of Europe’s most thrilling festivals, presenting more and more rising stars from both the Finnish and international jazz scene. With the philosophy of ‘bringing together friends of modern jazz’, the event offers a programme filled with concerts, exhibitions and workshops. Keeping in mind the concepts of ‘fresh skills, ethnic flavours and free expression’, the festivals hosts improvised-music, world music and rock-influenced jazz performances.
For its 31st birthday and to keep up to its reputation of Festival of the Year, Tampere Jazz Happening (from November 1st to 4th) will present a total of 26 acts, 18 of which are international. Pianist Vijay Iyer, one of the hottest names in jazz and winner in five categories of the JJA Awards, virtuoso Lebanon trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf with percussionist Adam Randolph, the Jazz Passengers (coming back to the city after 20 year of absence) and master improviser John Scofield are the international headlines of this edition. Saxophonist Peter Brötzmann with his Chicago Tentet, Serbian brass band Boban and Marko Markovic Orchestra and afrobeat master Ebo Taylor will also perform.
As for the Finnish acts, Tampere Jazz Happening will present Finnish names from the top: the energetic band Mopo, winner of the Finnish finals of Young Nordic Jazz Comets 2011, the newborn Slo Motive (keyboard player Kari Ikonen, percussionist Mamba Assefa and vocalist Sanna Orasmaa), Jorma Tapio – famous for the legendary Sound & Fury – with his new project Kaski and Tampere-based trio Black Motor with Mikko Innanen as special guest.
Tampere Jazz Happening is without doubt, one of the hottest jazz festivals around. It’s a great chance for every jazz aficionado to experience jazz in a joyful Nordic atmosphere. A beautiful city, a friendly environment and a wide selection of high-quality music. In Tampere there is a little bit of everything. It is going to be fun, guaranteed. After all, it is the Festival of the year. See you there!