Jussi Fredriksson, one of the central figures in today’s Finnish jazz scene, has recently formed a new trio with bassist Jori Huhtala and drummer Mika Kallio. Their debut album ?explores the positive and empowering aspects of uncertainty. Stylistically, the group goes for a warm living room feels.

Jussi Fredriksson Trio releases a new album on 24 October on Fredriksson’s own Fredriksson Music label, which forms part of the Jazz HUG collective. The enigmatically entitled album, ?, presents a debuting trio, composed of Jussi Fredriksson on the piano, Jori Huhtala on the bass and Mika Kallio on the drums. This so-called “question mark album” includes seven new compositions by pianist Fredriksson. The two launching shows will be held in Southern Finland: on 24 October at Café Tiljan, Turku, hosted by Flame Jazz, and on 26 at Malmitalo in Helsinki.

As the title, or non-title, hints, the trio approaches the theme of uncertainty on their debut release. Fredriksson’s primary inspiration for the recording has been the following maxim which he spotted in the book Taikatalvi by Tove Jansson: “Everything is essentially uncertain, and it is precisely that which makes me calm.” Instead of seeing the unpredictability of life as a threat, Fredriksson approaches the theme from a positive angle: “Uncertainty has nothing to with personal flaws or lack of self-confidence in this context”, says the composer, “rather, the album celebrates the empowering sides of uncertainty and the openness that is vital for creative thinking.”

As to the production, Fredriksson has aimed at a dry but warm living-room sound – a conscious step away from the often-heard piano trio sound dominated by a generous use of echo effects and a sense of distance. The outcome is an albumful of immediate, balanced and timeless modern jazz. In addition to the album-launching shows, Fredriksson can be heard live on 8 December at Aleksanterin teatteri, at the We Jazz 2014 event, where he plays a rare solo gig.

Jussi Fredriksson (b. 1980) is one of the handymen of Finnish jazz. In addition to working actively as a musician, he coordinates the concert series Flame Jazz in Turku, co-runs the Jazz HUG collective, and acts as the manager of Fredriksson Music label and the vice-chairman of the Finnish Jazz Federation. Currently, he leads three active groups; Jussi Fredriksson Trio, Fredator and Jussi Fredriksson Jazz Wars, and belongs to several major Finnish jazz bands, such as Nassaun Fasaani, Aura Flow and Koko Jazz Orchestra, as a sideman. Bassist Jori Huhtala (b. 1984) will soon release his debut as a leader with Jori Huhtala 5. The sought-after bassist plays in a number of other groups, including Kvalda, Big Blue, Raoul Björkenheim Ecstasy and Jussi Fredriksson Jazz Wars. Mika Kallio (b. 1974) is unarguably one of the stylistically most versatile drummers in Finland, who adapts to any genre with his signature nuanced bravura. Kallio’s recent own projects include Kallio Slaaki, whose debut came out in 2013. Kallio wields the drumsticks in such groups as Teemu Viinikainen Trio, Nuijamiehet, Gourmet and Kari Ikonen & Karikko.

Jussi Fredriksson Trio: ?

Fredriksson Music / Jazz HUG FRMCD012 (release date 24 Oct 2014)

1. Why / 2. Chat With a Bass Drum / 3. Uuno Walk / 4. Aei-Man Kaeki / 5. Keep It Real / 6. Dudi Dudi / 7. Confusion Part II

Jussi Fredriksson, piano / Jori Huhtala, basso / Mika Kallio, rummut
Compositions, production: Jussi Fredriksson


Jussi Fredriksson Solo Piano
Mon 8 Dec at 7:00PM Helsinki, We Jazz 2014 / Aleksanterin Teatteri

Nassaun Fasaani release their debut album


Electric jazz-funk band Nassaun Fasaani released their debut album “Return” on September 19th, 2014. On their new album, Nassaun Fasaani – founded in 2010 by drummer Toni Porthén and saxophonist Joonatan Rautio – present a fascinating mixture of different shades music coming together under the broad heading of “jazz funk”. Different influences come together naturally, and the album showcases the undisputed talent of composer Rautio is and  producer Porthén.

The lineup of musicians in Nassaun Fasaani includes some of the most sought-after names working in the Finnish jazz scene. Toni Porthén is a familiar face in a large variety of groups from jazz to funk and rock, and regularly plays in such ensembles as the Lenni-Kalle Taipale Group and MP4. He is also known as the virtuoso drummer of Finnish pop acts Redrama and pop singer Anna Abreu. Saxophonist Joonatan Rautio is the 2010 winner of the prestigious Yrjö Award presented to the jazz musician of the year by the Finnish Jazz Federation. Rautio is one of the most highly-regarded craftsmen in Finnish jazz. Pianist Jussi Fredriksson electrifies Nassaun Fasaani’s soundscape, and the cornerstone of Nassaun Fasaani’s rhythmically strong approach is provided by Juho Kivivuori on electric bass and Abdissa “Mamba” Assefa on percussion.

After the release of their eagerly-awaited debut album the band will be touring 9–18 October around Finland on a tour produced by the Finnish Jazz Federation, performing a total of seven concerts.

Toni Porthén – drums / Joonatan Rautio – saxophones, EWI, keyboards / Jussi Fredriksson – piano, Rhodes, keyboards / Juho Kivivuori – bass / Abdissa Assefa -percussions

Fredriksson Music CD, release date in Finland 19.9.2014
Distribution: Playground,

1. Vaillant / 2. Majira / 3. Wagtails / 4. Wanaajili / 5. Hidden / 6. Tarangire / 7. The Return of Fasan de Nassau

Thu 9.10. Lappeenranta, Ravintola Kolme Lyhtyä
Fri 10.10. 21:00 Turku, Café Tiljan
Sat 11.10. Raahe, 3” Kuppila

Wed 15.10. Kajaani, Kaukametsän Kouta-sali
Thu 16.10. Jyväskylä, Poppari
Fri 17.10. Kuopio, Musiikkikeskus, Jazzklubi
Sat 18.10. Joensuu, Teatteriravintolan terassi

Aili Ikonen & Tribute to Ella ja NYConnection Kappelin kellarissa


TributeToElla4_hiresJazz HUG -kollektiivi järjestää jazzillan sunnuntaina 21.9. perinteikkäässä Kappelin kellarissa. Tapahtumassa kuullaan kahta kotimaisen jazzin kärkiyhtyettä: Aili Ikonen & Tribute to Ella ja NYConnection.

Loppuunmyydyille saleille konsertoinut Aili Ikonen & Tribute to Ella esiintyy nyt intiimissä klubiympäristössä. Suomalaisen jazzlaulun kuuma nimi Aili Ikonen tulkitsee Ella Fitzgerandin klassikkoja vastustamattomalla svengillä. Rumpali Jaska Lukkarisen ja israelilaispianisti Roy Assafin tähdittämä NYConnection julkaisi hiljattain toisen albuminsa, ja tekee nyt vahvaa kansainvälistä läpimurtoa.

Konserttien jälkeen Jazz HUG kutsuu viikonlopun aikana järjestetyn Jazz Finland Festivalin artistit jamisessioon, jossa muusikot päästävät ilmoille festivaalikeikoilla soittamatta jääneet äänet.

Su 21.9.2014 klo 18 Jazz HUG @ Kappeli: Aili Ikonen & Tribute to Ella + NYConnection

Ovet auki klo 17. Liput käteisellä 15/10€.


Jussi Fredriksson Jazz Wars to tour in Italy


Finnish group Jazz Wars, led by pianist-composer Jussi Fredriksson, will give a three-concert tour in Northern Italy this July.

Jussi Fredriksson Jazz Wars’s album, Jussi Fredriksson Jazz Wars I & II, was released in 2012, and it was noted with eager interest by the international jazz community. Fredriksson’s group is composed of six major figures of today’s Finnish jazz. They will now be seen for the first time on stage in Italy.

Jussi Fredriksson Jazz Wars is exceptional in its compositional strategy. Comprising of two approximately 30-minute compositions, each consisting of four parts, Jazz Wars diverges from what is traditionally expected from a jazz performance. The members represent the crème de la crème of Finnish jazz musicianship. Trumpeter Jukka Eskola and saxophonist Joonatan Rautioshare the soloist’s spotlight with Fredriksson, and bassist Jori Huhtala and drummer Jussi Lehtonen are a guarantee of a vigorous rhythm section. On the Italian tour guitarist Tuomo Dahlblom will step in for the resident Marzi Nyman.

The next live gig by the group on the Finnish soil will be at Korjaamo on 20 September, at Jazz Finland Festival.

Jazz Wars live:

10 July Castello Sforzesco, Milano

11 July Castel San Giovanni, Piacenza

12 July Castione Andaveno, Sondrio

20 September Jazz Finland Festival, Helsinki

NYConnection to release their second album


NYConnection, consisting of top names of Finnish jazz and internationally famous Israeli pianist Roy Assaf, has released its’ second album Urban Griot. Never having experienced this kind of natural freedom of music in any other group, the members of NYConnection decided to start a fresh concept that benefits the music and brings a new sound to the audience.

The always imaginative saxophonist Jussi Kannaste accompanies the quartet as if he is
the piano player. Pianist Roy Assaf often doesn’t play chords, but instead uses his melodic gift to create a dialogue with drummer Jaska Lukkarinen, who adds multiple colors in addition to his already extraordinary rhythmic approach. The band courageously explores this instrumentation, playing solo, duos, trios and full quartet with bassist Antti Lötjönen, who brings it all together in a unison sound full of melodies, dialogues and stories.

The music has been referred to as “folk jazz.” The compositions have the intellectuality, harmonies, and swing flavors that originate from the jazz tradition, combined with the simplicity and lyricism of the folk world.

NYConnection’s new album Urban Griot introduces the band members as composers and instrumentalists, today’s jazz-griots. Griots were West African poets and storytellers and were known for their ability to picture current events and improvise based on traditional songs. The original songs on Urban Griot are based on experiences and stories that the four share together. The songs are mixed with a menu-like concept. The original music serves as main courses, and it is mixed with great jazz standards that serve as the tasty appetizers!

Picture four artists who work on the same canvas and paint the most simple and beautiful Finnish landscape in its midsummer peace. Each one of the painters has a slightly different artistic view of colors, lights and landscape. NYConnection paints this picture with compositions, in which interplay and listening connects the worlds and visions together.

Urban Griot is the start of a life long journey to be explored, developed and shared with the audience.

Jazz HUG at Jazzahead 2014


Jazz HUG will attend at Jazzahead 2014 in Bremen from April 24th to 27th. We are very excited to hear new interesting artists and meet lots of international colleagues. Jazz HUG is booking now internationally for four talented artists: Jussi Fredriksson Jazz Wars, NYConnection, Aili Ikonen & Tribute to Ella and AR Quartet. Let´s meet by the Finnish stand at Jazzahead 2014!

Jussi & Minna