35th Tampere Jazz Happening

The 35th annual Tampere Jazz Happening will take place from November 3rd to 6th, 2016, when audiences will be treated to concerts  by some of the most innovative musicians in modern jazz. Altogether 24 ensembles – 8 of which are Finnish – will play on the stages during the festival.
One of the most captivating contemporary performances arriving at the Tampere Jazz Happening is undoubtedly the Donny McCaslin Group. The ensemble played on David Bowie’s last album, Blackstar, and Donny McCaslin will publish his own new album, Beyond Now, just before their upcoming concert in Tampere. Saxophone player Charles Lloyd is worth special mention, as well, as he rose to the top ranks of jazz in the early 1960s. His lengthy career has been extraordinarily diverse, and his larger-than-life charisma continues to enchant audiences worldwide.
This year’s festival programme highlights the innovative blending of musical genres. One of the most interesting musical hybrids is the fusion of jazz and opera. This particular mixture can be experienced firsthand during the concert of Norway’s Håkon Kornstad, whose primary instruments include the tenor saxophone and a tenor singing voice and who likes to take his audiences on truly exciting musical adventures. Also hailing from Norway, the phenomenally talented saxophonist Marius Neset and his quintet create lush sonic worlds, further embellished by the playing of cellist Svante Henryson, who recently won the Nordic Council Music Prize.
Sly & Robbie Meet Nils Petter Molvær will deliver another powerful blend of musical genres. Norwegian trumpet virtuoso Molvær has previously been known as the chameleon-like maestro of pop, rock, funk, and modern jazz. This time, he will play at Tampere Jazz Happening with the Jamaican dub masters Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. The concert will include futuristic dub, ethereal free jazz, and electronic experimentation. The music of other distant islands is also represented at this year’s festival by the Icelandic improvisational virtuoso AdHd as well as the Australian cult band The Necks.
Many Finnish ensembles performing at this year’s Tampere Jazz Happening create music that exists at the crossroads between jazz and progressive rock. One of the most evocative moments of the festival may be when trumpetist Verneri Pohjola takes the stage to perform music by his late father, legendary Finnish musician Pekka Pohjola. During the concert the audience will witness a dialogue between two musical genres and two musical generations, as well.
New experimental compositions from Finland in this year’s program will be heard during a concert by Lauri Porra, who has been praised for an open-minded approach to the crossing of musical styles and genres. Indeed, Porra often artfully crafts musical mosaics that move from expressions of grand soul-searching to sensitive reflection.
In addition to ticketed performances, Tampere Jazz Happening also offers two concerts that are free for all audiences. The first of these is the opening evening of the festival and includes three Swedish ensembles: the Naoko Sakata Trio, the Susanna Risberg Trio, and Nuaia. The second free concert is the last of the festival and will feature the energetic electrojazz of the Danish orchestra Kalaha.