Finland’s jazz festivals heat up the Nordic summer

jazz2.gifFinland’s brief but glorious summer is the jazz festival season in this Nordic nation. Many music fans will be surprised to learn that Finland has a thriving jazz music scene, and a number of festivals with impressive line-ups are scheduled at cities throughout the country.It will be another bumper crop of jazz festivals this summer, according to the Helsinki Times, especially in July and August. These two months are the pinnacle of the Finnish summer so there’s literally something happening every weekend during this period.

This year’s events feature a nice mix of homegrown Nordic talent with some of the greatest international names in the world of jazz. The Pori Jazz Festival (July 11-19) will feature soul legend Booker T Jones as the headliner at Finland’s biggest and most popular event of its kind. Last year saw more than 120,000 fans flock to the west coast town of Pori for the music. Pori has been a hotbed for local Finnish jazz since the 1960s.

The Jazz-Epsa Festival (July 6-31) in Helsinki will help the capital’s workers unwind after a day in the office, as jazz concerts are offered every weekday afternoon in the city centre. Suommenlinna’s Viapori Jazz Festival (August 26-29) will showcase Finnish talent like “nu-jazz” trumpet player Verneri Pohjola.

Outside of the capital, the Linna Jazz Festival (July 9-12) delivers the swing to Hameenlinna, and Raahe’s Jazz on the Beach (July 23-25) blends the sea with the sounds of popular Finn ensemble The Five Corners Quintet.


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