International activities


Jazz Finland is a member of Europe Jazz Network. EJN is a non-profit Europe-wide association of producers, presenters and supporting organisations who specialise in creative music, contemporary jazz and improvised music created from a distinctly European perspective. The membership in September 2019 includes 156 organisations (festivals, clubs and concert venues, independent promoters, national organisations) in 35 countries.


The Nordic Jazz Network’s objective is to tighten the collaboration between Nordic jazz operators as well as to increase the visibility, export and industry diversity of Nordic jazz. The members of the Nordic Jazz Network include Jazz Finland, JazzDanmark, Norsk jazzforum, Svensk Jazz and the FÍH Music School in Iceland, as well as the Estonian Jazz Union who joined in 2019.

The network’s core activity is organising the annual Nordic Jazz Comets showcase. In 2000-2012, the Nordic Jazz Network produced an ensemble competition for jazz musicians under the age of 26, titled Young Nordic Jazz Comets. This event evolved to Nordic Jazz Comets, a showcase event for young jazz musicians. Each Nordic country chooses one ensemble to participate in the annual event. Up until 2017, the showcase was organised in conjunction with existing jazz festivals in the participating countries. Through two-year project funding from the Nordic Culture Point in 2017-2018, Nordic Jazz Comets has now been organised for the first time as a career and networking event outside of the Nordic countries. In 2017, the event was organised in Berlin as a part of the Scope Festival, and in 2018 in conjunction with the EFG London Jazz Festival. The 2019 Nordic Jazz Comets showcase took place in Paris on 2 December, in collaboration with Association Jazzé Croisé, a French network of clubs and festivals.

The upcoming showcase will draw the Comets and the European jazz professionals to Finland. The event – 5-band showcase and a seminar on sustainable live productions – takes place at We Jazz Festival in Helsinki on December 2–3, 2020. The band application is open on the Nordic Jazz Comets website until March 15, 2020. The selected bands will participate in a two-year pilot project that raises awareness and seeks best practices for sustainable touring and event production in the Nordic region.

The event’s website can be found at

Finland’s most recent representatives at the Nordic Jazz Comets showcase:

Katu Kaiku (2015)
OK:KO (2016)
Virta (2017)
Signe (2018)
Kaisa's Machine (2019)


Jazz Finland coordinates a new project pilot for 12 Nordic jazz promoters.  The network project takes place in 2020–2021 is funded by the national jazz organizations and Nordic Culture Fund.

The project aims for strengthening relations between the Nordic promotors, national organizations and emerging musicians. In the project the participants share, create and test environmentally, socially and economically sustainable practices in jazz events and touring. This increases accountability and adds value to Nordic jazz art, artists, community and jazz as a future business.

Altogether 12 jazz festivals, clubs and venues are members of the network during the pilot period. They also collaborate with their national and regional colleagues outside the network.

The second participant group in the project are five emerging jazz bands, one from each Nordic country. The bands apply through an open call, and the promotor network selects 5 bands who will perform at the Nordic Jazz Comets showcase at We Jazz Festival in Helsinki in December 2020.

Together the promotor network, the national organizations and the bands learn about environmental, economical and social sustainability and plan sustainable Nordic tours and concerts for the showcase bands in 2021.

Read more about the project and the network members on the Nordic Jazz Comets website at


Jazz Finland International, administered by Jazz Finland, is a project designed to advance the international efforts of Finnish jazz. The project aims to develop the export skills of Finnish jazz businesses as well as to increase Finnish jazz music’s performance activities, name recognition, networks and international esteem. The project’s inaugural season was launched in 2016, followed by a new season from 2017 to 2018. The third season was launched in the autumn of 2019 and will finish at the end of 2020. The project is funded with support from the Ministry of Education and Culture. The businesses chosen to participate in the project use the provided funding to carry out activities based on their own export plans, as well as taking part in joint mentoring sessions for all participants, professional training, networking events and trade fairs. 

The business participants chosen for the project’s third season are: Aki Rissanen Music, Aleksi Tuomarila, Astra Music Oy, Boulder Music Helsinki, Creatika Agency Oy, Diamond T Oy, Eclipse Music, EK Productions Oy, Fiasko Records, Jazz HUG, Joonas Haavisto Productions, KJC Iisalmi Oy, Johnny Island Tmi, No Problem! Music, Vapaat äänet ja We Jazz Oy


Jazz Finland Residency is a new international jazz residency program in Helsinki launched by Jazz Finland, Sibelius Academy Jazz Music Department at Uniarts Helsinki, UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra and the Finnish Musicians’ Union. The Jazz Finland Residency is a top-level, invitation-only residency for jazz musicians, composers and conductors. Organised and coordinated by Jazz Finland, the program invites two international guest artists each year to Finland for a residency which can last anywhere from one to two months. The Jazz Finland Residency will help create and strengthen networks between international and Finnish jazz professionals, as well as providing opportunities for new creative collaborations and ideas. The residency includes giving masterclasses at the Sibelius Academy Jazz Department, as well as performing with the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra. The residency concept enables local professional jazz musicians to initiate collaborations with the Artist-in-Residence. Further residency partners include Music Finland, Finnish Jazz Musicians’ Association and the Helsinki International Artist Programme (HIAP). Drummer and composer John Hollenbeck from the US has been invited to visit Helsinki in August 2020 as the inaugural Artist-in-Residence.

Read more:


Each year, Jazz Finland and the Vapaat äänet (Free Voices / Free Sounds) agency co-produce a shared tour for one Finnish and one French jazz ensemble. Operating since 1996, the Vapaat äänet agency actively promotes jazz and improvised music collaboration between France, Finland, Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. Each year Vapaat äänet organises four or five French jazz tours to the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Heimojazz is an ensemble exchange model between Jazz Finland and the Estonian Jazz Union. Each year, one or two of Jazz Finland’s touring ensembles play a concert in Tallinn, followed by a guest appearance in Helsinki by an Estonian ensemble. The Helsinki concerts are organised in collaboration with the Freelance Musicians’ Association and Club Rytmihäiriö at the Juttutupa restaurant.

Vapaat äänet co-productions tours:

2019 Max Zenger Maxxxtet & Sylvaine Hélary Spring Roll
2018 Verneri Pohjola & Mika Kallio + Les Voyageurs de l’Espace 
2017 PLOP + Benoit Delbecq 3
2016 Théo Ceccaldi Trio + Pepa Päivinen & Good Romans
2015 Aleatoric & Impérial Quartet
2014 Mikko Innanen Innkvisitio & Vincent Courtois Mediums
2013 Kahden Miehen Galaksi & Sylvaine Hélary trio
2012 Raoul Björkenheim Ecstacy & Francois Corneloup Trio
2011 Kuàra & Emile Parisien Quartet
2010 Kalle Kalima K-18 & PRINT

2009 Elifantree & Vincent Courtois Quartet/Trio
2008 UNIT
2007 Oddarrang & Thôt
2006 OCT3
2005 La Campagnie des Musiques à Ouïr & Gourmet
2004 Yves Robert trio & André Sumelius Lift
2003 Urban Mood & Gnomus
2002 Stephan Oliva quartet & Rollin’ Thunder
2001 32 Janvier & Lieka
2000 Marc Ducret trio & Nuijamiehet & Markku Veijonsuo trio 


Jazz Finland maintains a website in their own name. The Jazz Finland database hosts up-to-date information about Finnish jazz artists and operators, events and venues, new publications and other industry news. The website also maintains a national jazz concert calendar. All information on the website is displayed in Finnish and English, thus extending information about Finnish jazz to our international colleagues. For Finnish jazz professionals, the website provides information and marketing tools both nationally and internationally. The Jazz Finland concert calendar is linked with the Jazz Near You service on the All About Jazz website.