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Valtteri Laurell Pöyhönen

guitarist/ composer/ arranger/ producer

Kuva: Miikka Pirinen

Valtteri Laurell Pöyhönen (b. 1978) is a Finnish composer, arranger, musician and producer. One of the leading young jazz artists of the vibrant Helsinki jazz scene, he is the leader of the jazz sextet Dalindèo and the new 17-member all-star outfit Ricky-Tick Big Band, both recording artists for the Ricky-Tick Records.

Pöyhönen has studied jazz composition in Helsinki, Paris and Rotterdam. Originally a guitar player, he also plays the piano, old Casio-synths and electronics. He composes all arrangements for Ricky-Tick Big Band and has composed other big band music as well, for example a 60-minute commission piece, “Yön Rakastaja”, for UMO Jazz Orchestra (feat. Timo Lassy).

Pöyhönen says that his aim as a composer is to use the language of jazz music in a ways that speaks also to those listeners that are not devotees of the genre. Indeed, Pöyhönen’s music shows that ambitiousness and accessibility are not incompatible. His richly heterogeneous compositions are inspired by the tradition of swing jazz and the distinctive atmospheres of the cities he has sojourned in, for instance the acclaimed third album of Dalindèo tells stories about Kallio, a district in Helsinki, whose spirit is clearly embodied by the guitar and the wailing of the saw. Visuality and cinematic moods are always firmly present in Pöyhönen’s projects.

Pöyhönen lives currently in Helsinki and Berlin, Germany.