Lenni-Kalle Taipale

pianist/ composer

Lenni-Kalle Taipale (b. 1978) rose quickly in the mid-1990s to the spotlight of the music life of Finland as a young jazzpianist star. Taipale studied piano and violin at the Music School of Espoo and got interested in jazz music at the Music Camp of Nilsiä in 1994. In several bandproductions that Taipale participated in the Music High School of Tapiola and at the Pop & Jazz Conservatory the skills of the young pianist developed quickly and his own trio was formed when the founder of April Jazz Festival and Espoo Big Band, Martti "Mape" Lappalainen, needed a warm-up band for a gig of Trio Töykeät in the Espoo Culture Centre in 1997. Sami Järvinen on drums and Timo Tuppurainen on bass, Lenni-Kalle Taipale Trio was formed. The concert was a success and soon the trio was touring around Finland. In 1997 Lenni-Kalle Taipale Trio won the Finnish contest of the Talent of Scandinavia 97 Competition and came the second in the finals held in Oslo. The same year Taipale personally was chosen as the Pori Jazz Artist of the Year.

The debut album of the trio Nothing to Hide (Naxos Jazz) was released in November 1998. The groovy album with lots of Latin music influences fitted well to the atmosphere built by Trio Töykeät and the album sold gold as the first jazz album in Finland. In 1999 Lenni-Kalle Taipale Trio, with guitarist Marzi Nyman, started a long-lasting job as the house band of the talk-show Joonas Hytönen Show.

Besides his own trio Lenni-Kalle Taipale has played jazz in the rhythm section of the Espoo Big Band since 1998. With EBB, that works as the host orchestra of April Jazz every year, Taipale has recorded several albums and performed both abroad and in Finland. Taipale has also recorded on numerous schlager albums and in 2003 he joined the live line-up of Vesa-Matti Loiri. One of the most long-lasting groups for Taipale has been the groovy jazzband Hemma Beast, that was formed in 1997 and has ever since performed actively. Lately Taipale has also played in the orchestra of Sami Pitkämö that is known also as the house band of the tv-show Tanssii tähtien kanssa (engl. Dancing with the Stars).