The 38th annual Tampere Jazz Happening presented a wide and colourful spectrum of contemporary jazz in the Tullikamari Square during the long weekend of All Saint’s Day.

Audiences were treated to swinging rhythms, beautiful melodies and exciting combinations of styles. The theme country of the opening concert was France, and altogether there were performers from 17 different countries. The festival was once again applauded for its imaginative programming and warm atmosphere.

During the four-day event, 25 ensembles appeared on the stages of Pakkahuone, Klubi and Telakka in Tampere. Friday’s highlights included Cross Currents Trio, a summit meeting of three iconic figures, Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain and Chris Potter. On Saturday, Das Kapital captivated the audience with new versions of classic French songs. The closing concert at the main venue Pakkahuone was Ambrose Akinmusire’s Origami Harvest, a highly original project which brings together jazz trio, rapper and string quartet.

Finnish performers attracted a lot of attention among international promoters, resulting in several concert invitations abroad. This year the prestigious Finnish jazz prize, the Yrjö Award, was given to pianist Riitta Paakki. “Riitta Paakki has had an impressive career on the top of Finnish jazz scene”, summarizes Jussi Fredriksson, a member of the jury, which consists of members of the Board of Jazz Finland. “Her refined pianism draws from the traditions of jazz. The groovy and distinctive expression is branded by playfulness and ease.” The next Tampere Jazz Happening will be held October 29 – November 1, 2020.