Tampere Jazz Happening, the festival that earlier this year won the prestigious EJN Award for Adventurous Programming, will be organized for the 36th time, taking place between 2nd and 5th November, 2017. The festival features some of the most innovative musicians in modern jazz, both from Finland and from abroad. The festival includes ten concert events that bring to the stages of Klubi, Pakkahuone, and Telakka altogether 25 ensembles and orchestras.
Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, one of the brightest rising stars of British jazz, will perform in Tampere with two ensembles. In Pakkahuone, he plays together with South African jazz musicians in the ensemble Shabaka & the Ancestors. On Friday, Hutchings will perform at Klubi with his trio The Comet Is Coming, whose musical style combines jazz with electronic elements, funk, and psychedelic soundscapes.
Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser arrives to Tampere in conjunction with the release of his latest album, Early in the Morning. Blaser will play together with saxophonist Oliver Lake, who has throughout his career – spanning decades – collaborated with iconic artists, including Lou Reed, Björk, and Vijay Iyer. Equally impressive and lengthy is the career of jazz drummer Tony Allen, who will bring to Tampere Jazz Happening his tribute to the legendary drummer Art Blakey from the Jazz Messengers.
Tunisian oud lute player Dhafer Youssef will charm the festival audiences with his musical style that incorporates masterfully intricate oud playing, Arabic lyrics, and jazz. The festival also features New Zion with Hamid Drake, who take inspiration from the spiritual jazz of the 1970s. Furthermore, Nordic jazz sounds in this year’s festival will be represented by the Icelandic Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio, who play in Tampere together with the legendary Finnish trumpeter Verneri Pohjola.
The festival programme at Telakka is also filled with some of the most interesting jazz ensembles of today. Earlier this year, the rock-jazz trio Virta released their critically acclaimed album, Hurmos, and went on to enchant audiences at Pori Jazz Festival and Flow Festival. In addition, the international nature of the Finnish jazz scene is reflected by the ensemble Sid Hille & Foreign Friends, whose members hail from all over the world, but have all settled to live in Finland.
Tampere Jazz Happening also offers two concert events that are free of charge to the audiences. The festival’s opening concert is dedicated to Estonia, which will celebrate the anniversary of the country’s 100 years of independence next year. The evening is titled Spotlight on Estonia and showcases Estonian modern jazz through performances by the ensembles Kirke Karja Quartet, Kadri Voorand in Duo with Mihkel Mälgand, and Heavy Beauty. During Tampere Jazz Happening’s final concert evening, listeners will be treated to the ethereal melodies and stunning vocals of Swiss Lucia Cadotsch. Modern classics from Strange Fruit to Moon River will transcend to the present time through Cadotsch’s evocative interpretations.