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Versatile Tampere Jazz Happening 2022 Culminated in Spiritual Jazz

Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few. Photo: Maarit Kytöharju.

On All Saints Weekend 2022 Tampere Jazz Happening filled the Tullikamari Square with modern jazz for the 41st time. Over the course of four days, a total of 25 ensembles performed at the event, with musicians from 14 different countries. As usual, the festival was praised for its warm atmosphere and versatile program offering guests both young and old a chance to experience the beautiful music of modern contemporary jazz.

Tampere Jazz Happening cast its light on Norway spreading the spotlight on Emmeluth’s Amoeba, Moskus and Ville Lähteenmäki Trio who kicked off the festival in high gear with the opening concert at Klubi this Thursday.

The Start of Friday evenings programme saw a myriad of individuals recognized for their contributions to the Jazz music scene of Finland. The first of which saw the Yrjö Prize granted by Jazz Finland to trumpeter-bandleader Jukka Eskola. The Andania Award for lifetime achievement was granted to drummer-influencer Reiska Laine by Jazz Finland. Yle Jazz Radio shortly followed suit and presented their “Shadow-Yrjö” recognition to Sibelius Academy’s student advisor Anne Etelätalo.

Friday’s highlights included LIUN + The Science Fiction Band’s magical album release concert as we took a journey through “Lily of the Nile”. The evening was also filled with “Ritual Dances” which cast a new light on the music of Stravinsky through the modern arrangements and translations of Stefan Pasborg accompanied by the amazing musicians of UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra.

Old and new generations of jazz were explored on Friday’s concert at Telakka, as Plop & Junnu, Selma Savolainen Horror Vacui and Lightboxer performed. Several years of jazz were touched and revisited as we were given a taste of modern jazz through the eyes and ears of Kadi Vija Key Project, Joona Toivanen Trio and Varre Vartiainen Almost Standards Live! + Severi Pyysalo performed at Telakka.

The Japanese Satoko Fujii Tokyo Trio, Mette Rasmussen Trio North and The End received the praise of hundreds of new and old time fans at Pakkahuone. At the sold-out show of Saturday evening, we heard Seppo Kantonen’s most recent and riveting musical piece called “Bias”, which was commissioned by Tampere Jazz Happening. Saturday night at Klubi ended on a massive high note following the sold-out concert by the “Father of Ethiopian Jazz” Mulatu Astatke.

Mulatu blew the bank, two hours of pure charm. Theo Croker gave a perfect example of what the music of the future will sound like. The commissioned work of Kantonen was something unheard of before, beautiful new music performed by fantastic and well-seasoned musicians. The new work has already garnered several concert requests for the orchestra and it has only just begun. A wonderful multifaceted body of work.”,

says Juhamatti Kauppinen, who has been the Artistic Director of Tampere Jazz Happening for 20 years.

The highlight of Sunday included a transcendental performance by Hamid Drake’s Turiya, with Mr. Drake returning to Tampere Jazz Happening for the tenth time honoring the well-respected life and history of Alice Coltrane. Grammy-nominated artist Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few performed for the first time in Tampere, Finland, taking the crowd by storm.

The total number of visitors at the festival was more than 4200 and the occupancy rate was approximately 93 percent.

The next Tampere Jazz Happening will take place from the 2nd to the 5th of November 2023.

2023 Artists

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