National activities


The Jazz Finland website is a comprehensive source of information on Finnish jazz music and jazz culture in Finland. The website includes a database on Finnish jazz operators, a national concert calendar, a news section, and more. Jazz Finland collects industry statistics and organises industry-related seminars and training events. Jazz Finland’s office staff, board and members represent a diverse cross-section of jazz music and event production professionals, and the organisation cultivates an extensive network of stakeholder groups. You can contact the Jazz Finland office with any questions related to the industry. The office hours are Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. We recommend pre-bookings for appointments. 


Jazz Finland acts as an expert participant in discussions about Finland’s cultural policy as well as engaging in a range of development projects across the industry, both nationally and internationally. Cultural policy influence is also exercised through Jazz Finland’s memberships with the Finnish Music Council and KULTA, a central organisation for Finnish culture and arts associations.


Jazz & Etno Finland LIVE is a joint endeavour by Jazz Finland, the Finnish Musicians’ Union and MES (The Finnish Music Foundation). Launched in 2015, the scheme aims to establish an industry-wide and unified subsidy system which supports the regional availability of professionally produced cultural services, employment across the independent and freelance arts sector, and the continuing improvement of the prerequisites for the industry. In this subsidy model, municipalities work together with local operators by subsidising their regular concert activities, and concert organisers are subsequently eligible to apply for a Jazz Finland LIVE subsidy from MES, the maximum amount being double the municipal subsidy. In 2016-2017, the project had a sole focus on jazz music and was titled Jazz Finland LIVE. In 2018, the subsidy was extended to include world music and the scheme was renamed Jazz & Etno Finland LIVE. In 2019, €150,000 worth of subsidy funds was distributed to 13 recipients.


Jazz Finland’s tour productions represent its most visible form of activity in Finland. Producing nationwide tours for Finnish jazz musicians boosts the amount of live jazz music on offer, promotes the regional public’s access to jazz, and creates work opportunities for musicians, especially outside of the capital region. The current operational model includes nine tours each year, resulting in around 80 separate concerts. Jazz Finland produces four of the tours, with five tours co-produced with external producers. In addition, Jazz Finland supports its member associations’ concert activities through discretionary travel assistance.

Jazz Finland tours

Jazz Finland organises four fully produced tours each year. Two rounds of applications are open each year for interested participants, one in October (for tours in the following year’s autumn season) and one in April (for tours in the following year’s spring season). The touring ensembles are chosen by an artistic committee, which consists of Jazz Finland board members. The successful applicants will be able to undertake a fully produced national concert tour, where their concerts are predominantly booked by Jazz Finland’s member associations.

Co-produced tours

Jazz Finland grants a production subsidy towards four co-produced national tours each year. Two rounds of applications are open each year for interested participants, one in October (for tours in the following year’s autumn season) and one in April (for tours in the following year’s spring season). The touring ensembles are chosen by an artistic committee, which consists of Jazz Finland board members. Each co-produced tour is managed entirely by an external producer who must operate a registered business. The maximum amount of subsidy is €6,000 per tour.

In addition, Jazz Finland co-produces one Finnish-French tour each year together with the Free Voices / Free Sounds agency. In 2020 the Free Voices tour is Superposition! // Roberto Negro & Emile Parisien Les Métanuits (FRA) in the fall of 2020. 

The 2020 Jazz Finland tour participants are Sami Linna Quartet (28.1.–7.2.), Kadi Vija Key Project (4.–16.5.), Kari Ikonen – Impressions, Improvisations & Compositions & JAF Trio (double bill tour 2.–12.9.) and Mikko Pettinen Why Not (3.–13.11.).

The co-productions in 2020 feature Aki Rissanen Trio by Raitala Music (1.–8.4.), Pope Puolitaival Nordic 4 by Creatika Agency (23.3.–22.4.), Dalindèo by Creatika Agency (fall 2020) and Manuel Dunkel Quartet by Raitala Music (fall 2020). 

Jazz Finland’s touring ensembles 2016-2019 (co = co-production):

Jere Haakana Varjosto
Alder Ego
Riitta Paakki Quartet OK:KO (co)
Signe (co)
Herd (co)
Iro Haarla Quartet (co)


Njet Njet 9 (co)
Jussi Lehtonen Band
Jukka Perko Tritone (co)
Kaisa's Machine
Berghäll-Kalima-Ikonen (co)
L'alliance Takalo
William Suvanne Chess'n Jazz (co)
Anni Elif – Edith

Martti Vesala Soundpost Quintet
Sointi Jazz Orchestra (co)
Jukka Eskola Soul Trio (co)
Flame Jazz Messengers (co)
Kalevi Louhivuori Quintet
Timo Lassy Band (co)
Raoul Brjörkenheim Triad

Kasperi Sarikoski & Nuance
Jorma Tapio & Kaski + Pauli Lyytinen Machinery
Elena & The Rom Ensemble (co)
Fifth Avenue (co)
Nina Mya
Mirja Mäkelä Trio (co)
Teddy’s West Coasters (co)
Alexi Tuomarila Trio


Jazz Finland’s Andania awards are granted for continuous and distinguished services to Finnish jazz. The awards have been given out since 1988.

Andania award recipients:

2019 Veli-Pekka Heinonen
2016 Charles Gil
2014 Juha Söder
2013 Jussi Sierla
2010 Ilkka ”Emu” Lehtinen
2009 Natta Holma
2005 Erik Lindström
2004 Timo Vähäsilta
2003 Raija Sarmanto

1997 Old Time Jazz Band
1995 Paavo Einiö
1995 Klaus Järvinen
1995 Jukka Haavisto
1994 Jaakko Vuormaa
1994 Oiling Boiling
1988 DDT-Jazzband 



Jazz Finland organises an annual two-day event for its member associations, the National Jazz Convention. As part of the event since 1967, an annual Yrjö prize is granted to a distinguished and topical Finnish jazz musician. In addition, the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle’s Jazz Radio gives out their own Varjo-Yrjö (“Shadow Yrjö”) prize, granted for services to jazz culture. Since 2014, the National Jazz Convention has been organised in conjunction with the Tampere Jazz Happening.

Yrjö prize recipients:

2019 Riitta Paakki
2018 Jussi Lehtonen
2017 Verneri Pohjola
2016 Esa Pietilä
2015 Ulf Krokfors
2014 Markku Ounaskari
2013 Kari Ikonen
2012 Markus Ketola
2011 Manuel Dunkel
2010 Joonatan Rautio
2009 Teemu Viinikainen
2008 Mikko Innanen
2007 Teppo Mäkynen
2006 Iro Haarla
2005 Jari Perkiömäki
2004 Pekka Pohjola
2003 Kirmo Lintinen
2002 Anna-Mari Kähärä
2001 Kari “Sonny” Heinilä

2000 Pepa Päivinen
1999 Pentti Mutikainen
1998 Esko Heikkinen
1997 Antti Sarpila
1996 Iiro Rantala
1995 Eerik Siikasaari
1994 Jarmo Savolainen
1993 Markku Johansson
1992 Tapani Rinne
1991 Jukkis Uotila
1990 Esko Linnavalli
1989 Jukka Perko
1988 Severi Pyysalo
1987 Häkä Virtanen
1986 Mape Lappalainen
1985 Seppo Kantonen
1984 Raoul Björkenheim
1983 Pentti Lahti
1982 Kari Komppa
1981 Reiska Laine
1980 Edward Vesala
1979 Jukka Linkola
1978 Pekka Sarmanto
1977 Gusse Rössi
1976 Sakari Kukko
1975 Olli Ahvenlahti
1974 Jukka Tolonen
1973 Paroni Paakkunainen
1972 Edward Vesala
1971 –
1970 Heikki Sarmanto
1969 Eero Ojanen
1968 Juhani Aaltonen
1967 Eero Koivistoinen 


Jazz Finland has been organising the annual Jazz-Espa festival in Helsinki since 2000. With its high performer profile, the event has established itself as one of the main showcases of Finnish jazz. Jazz-Espa takes place each year in late July and early August and its main venue is the outdoor Espa Stage in the heart of Helsinki. The week-long festival presents around 20 high-level jazz concerts. The event’s aim is to introduce its large target audiences to the top Finnish jazz names as well as young and promising future stars, all through an accessible atmosphere. Even from an international perspective, Jazz-Espa provides a rare cultural service to both Helsinki residents and visitors to the region, with its main program and large fringe selection. The event has its own webpage at    


Jazz Finland’s 2018 Annual Report.