Finns at London Jazz Festival

London Jazz Festival is just around the corner. This year the festival presents a special program entitled Finnish Jazz at the London Jazz Festival. The program features Verneri Pohjola Quartet, Oddarrang, Black Motor and Iro Haarla among others.

Finns at London Jazz Festival

Verneri Pohjola Quartet released its latest album Ancient History on ACT. The album was well received, as John Fordham writes in The Guardian: “This is imaginative, beautifully executed contemporary jazz.” Verneri Pohjola Quartet will play on Friday November 9 at 18:00 at South Bank Centre.

Drummer Olavi Louhivuori’s Oddarrang is a sextet that crafts cinematic soundscapes, which unveil themselves slowly and build remarkable sonic narratives in the process. Their second album, released in 2011, got them well deserved attention from all over the world. Oddarang is featured at BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 10 November and will play at South Bank Centre on the same day.

And then for more energetic approach to jazz can be found at Barbican Freestage on Sunday. The Finnish day on the Barbican Freestage features Rakka, Kuára, Anna-Mari Kähärän Orkesteri and Black Motor, which have also won over audiences far beyond the”jazz crowd” with their honest and hard-hitting musical approach.

On Tuesday 13 November it’s the turn of Nordic co-operation as Iro Haarla, Trygve Seim and Ulf Krokfors takes the stage at St James Piccadilly. Iro Haarla has made a long career in jazz through her involvement with the scene since the 1970’s, collaborating with the likes of legendary drummer Edward Vesala.

The hailed pianist Iiro Rantala, who just won the German Echo Prize (Best Jazz Pianist of the Year) and is about to release a new album My History of Jazz from ACT, will be offering an interesting approach to the history of jazz at the London Jazz Festival

And the last of the Finnish Jazz at London Jazz Festival program is the Juhani Aaltonen Quartet. It’s a quartet where a long time saxophonist Aaltonen has reconnected with musicians representing a link to different phases in his career. The quartet is Juhani Aaltonen, Iro Haarla, Ulf Krokfors and Reino Laine.

The Finnish Jazz at London Jazz Festival series is produced by Annamaija Music Company and Serious.

Show times

Verneri Pohjola Quartet
Friday Nov 9, 6:00-7:00pm at Queen Elisabeth Hall

Saturday Nov 10, 6:00-7:00pm at Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall

Finnish day on the Barbican Freestage
Sunday Nov 11, 2:00-6:50pm

2:00-2:50pm Black Motor
3:20-4:10pm Rakka
4:40-5:30pm Kuara
6:00-6:50pm Anna-Mari Kähärän Orkesteri

Iiro Rantala
Mon Nov 12, 7:30pm at St James' Piccadilly

Iro Haarla - Trygve Seim - Ulf Krokfors
Tue Nov 13, 7:30-9:00pm at St Jamesä Piccadilly

Juhani Aaltonen Quartet
Sat Nov 17, 6:00-7:00pm, Barbican Freestage

Read more about the Finns at London Jazz Festival (pdf).