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Teppo Hauta-aho

bassist/ composer

Kuva/ Photo: Kalevi Plattonen

Teppo Hauta-aho (b. 1941) is a veteran of Finnish jazz, but still tightly involved in the field of Finnish free jazz. The first merits of Hauta-aho on the area of jazz music are from the late-1960s when the European jazzfield got to know the skills of this bassist as Tuohi Quartet, where Hauta-aho played, won the Association of European Radios' band contest in Montreaux in 1971. Hauta-aho's own band Kalmisto-Klang was also a great way to access the world of free jazz, and in the 1970s Hauta-aho already recorded actively with i.a. Edward Vesala and Junnu Aaltonen.

Composing has always been an important part of Hauta-aho's music career. Many different works were born in the beginning of 1980's but at the end of the decade he started to work on the field of jazz more actively. In Finland Hauta-aho recorded with e.g. trumpetist-composer Jarmo Sermilä and through the Quintet Modern he made contacts to the German freejazz musicians. Hauta-aho and the saxophonist of the quintet, Harri Sjöström, played later in the European group of the giant of free pianism, Cecil Taylor. In Finland this group performed at the Tampere Jazz Happening in 1998. Hauta-aho has also played with such freejazz legends as German pianist Alexander Von Schlippenbach and British saxophonist Evan Parker.

Teppo Hauta-aho has also been the most trusted bass player for the world class musicians of free jazz: he played with Anthony Braxton in 1989 and 2006 and with pianist Marilyn Crispell, and drummer Olavi Louhivuori, he performed at the Raahen Rantajatsit Festival in 2005. Recently the most important Finnish groups for Hauta-aho have been Trio Nueva Finlandia, with saxophonist Paroni Paakkunainen and pianist Eero Ojanen, and Sound Kitchen with trombonist Jari Hongisto and Dane guitarist Hasse Poulsen. With composer-singer Carita Holmström Hauta-aho has performed as a duo since 1970s. Besides the extensive career on the field of jazz, Hauta-aho has also a respectable resumé on the field of classical music, both as a composer and a bassist e.g. in the orchestra of Finnish National Ballet. Hauta-aho has also worked as the artistic director of Jazz @ Opera Festival organized annually at the Alminsali of the National Opera.