The Finnish-Estonian jazz co-operation turns 10 next year


The core of the co-operation between the Finnish and Estonian jazz organisations has been Heimojazz band exchange. The last of the Heimojazz concerts this year is Bad Habits Trio at Restaurant Juttutupa's Club Rytmihäiriö on Wednesday, December 19. In 2019 the co-operation expands to a FinEst Jazz Rally competition for young jazz ensembles. The last day to submit applications to the contes is tomorrow, Saturday, December 15.

On Wednesday, December 12,  at Ravintola Juttutupa, Rytmihäiriö-klubi presents music from our neighbor country as the Estonian ensemble Bad Habits Trio arrives to Helsinki. Acclaimed musicians Peedu Kass on bass, Andre Maaker on guitars, and Ahto Abner on drums create and make music in Bad Habits Trio. The trio focuses on spontaneous team play and adventure in creating their music. Bad Habits Trio got together in 2014 and ever since, the band has given concerts in Estonia, Latvia, and Russia. Two of the trio's members reside in Denmark and were nominated at this year's Danish Jazz Awards. Bad Habits Trio released and presented their debut album Looking for Trouble in April 2018.

The concert is a part of Jazz Finland's and Estonian Jazz Union's Heimojazz project. The Heimojazz (“Tribal Jazz”) is a music exchange project, which takes two Finnish bands to perform in Estonia annually, and vice versa. The concerts in Helsinki are produced together with Freelancermuusikot ry at restaurant Juttutupa's Rytmihäiriö-klubi. In 2019 the federations celebrate the 10-year anniversary of theHeimojazz project.

Jazz journalist and Rytmihäiriö's promotor Markus Partanen has been a part of the project since the beginning, year 2009:
“Heimojazz concerts started at the Club Rytmihäiriö in the spring 2010. Estonian jazz was familiar to me and I had even played as a DJ together with Jaak Sooäär and Tanel Ruben. Back then Finnish jazz musicians frequented to teach at the Estonian Academy of Music and that is how I got the idea of booking young Estonian jazz bands to Finland. After the jazz federations of both countries came along to share the travel and accommodation expenses, it was easy for Juttutupa to start the cooperation”, Partanen recalls.

When asked of promising Estonian artists, Partanen first mentions vocalist Kadri Voorand, guitarist Jaak Sooäär and pianist Kristjan Randalu, whose reputation has risen all over Europe in recent years.
“They are fine, active, diversified and inernational jazz musicians. Recently I was impressed with the pianist-composer Kirke Karja, who composed great music for this year’s Euroradio Orchestra. As a side note, the band featured also the Finnish saxophone talent Adele Sauros in the saxophone section! Kirke’s compositions are heard as a part of Jazzklubi’s evening gig on 30th December”, Partanen hints.

The academic jazz education in Estonia began later than in Finland, but Partanen thinks the levels are equal today.
"Interesting bands who create something new come from both countries all the time, and the mainstream tradition does not limit the expression in any way”, Partanen comments.

The jazz federations of Finland and Estonia are currently cooperating also with their FinEst Jazz Rally competition for young jazz musicians. The first edition takes place at TUJA festival on the 8th of March next year. The winner will be rewarded with two festival gigs in Finland and Estonia in March 2020. The application period ends tomorrow, on December 15, 2018.

More information: 

Bad Habits Trio (EE), Club Rytmihäiriö, 19.12. at 7pm
Ravintola Juttutupa, Helsinki