Internet did its magic: I got a contact from Iowa State University, more precisely its jazz studies leader Mike Giles, who wanted to feature my big band composition “Good Night and Good Luck” on their upcoming concert. Would be nice to hop over there to listen, but geography might put a stop on that. Anyway, Thanks Mike!

The new year is upon us, some new things cooking as well. I am currently putting together new material for a project that will include trumpeter Jukka Eskola and drummer Teppo Mäkynen, stay tuned for that. In early January I finished a 15 minute work for a string orchestra, commissioned by violinist Kreeta-Maria Kentala.

Also working on a new big band-project for the Air Force Big Band here in Finland, that will get its first performance in 2024-2025 season. The work will feature live visuals, so there are a lot of things to consider. The visuals are designed by the magnificent video artist Arash Irandoust!

Will also be working with the Air Force BB as an instructor, in guiding the Sibelius-Academy wind conducting class to the secrets of how to conduct a big band.

I’m happy to release an album’s worth of new music, under Jussi Lampela Ensemble! 8 tracks are available today at most streaming sites, go ahead and have a listen:

The personnel for the album is the following:

Reijo Tunkkari, vln (1,2,3,4,5,7,8)

Annica Heino, vln (1,2,3,4,5,7,8)

Hanna Pakkala, vla (1,2,7,8)

Ari Hanhikoski, vla (3,4,5)

Ulla Lampela, cello (1,2,3,4,5,7,8)

Jonas Kuhlberg, el. bass

Timo Roiko-Jokela, drums/percussion

+ a special guest on “Surly Bonds”: Jukka Eskola, trumpet

Mixing: Tommi Vainikainen (1,2,4,6,7,8), Miikka Huttunen (3), Markus Isojärvi (5)

Artwork: Pirkko Mäkelä-Haapalinna

Jazz Noir has been getting overwhelmingly good reviews, below a summary from a couple (in Finnish…):

Loistelias jazzsävellys, oikeastaan orkesterisarja, big bandille, kahdelle solistille ja äänitallenteille/videoprojektioille ei ole enää pelkästään sodan historiaa film noir -rikosviitteillä ja ”agenttijazzilla”. Se on maailmanpoliittista kommentaaria tässä ja tänään.

Juuri ihmisten läsnäolo tekee konsertista sen oikean paikan nauttia tästä mestariteoksesta, joka jää Suomen jazzin historiaan suursaavutuksena.

-Kari Salminen, Turun Sanomat 10.09.2022

Tämänhetkinen maailmantilanne sälyttää albumiin säpsäyttävää ajankohtaisuutta: YYA-Suomen mielenmaisemasta on lyhyt matka Ukrainan sotaan.

Jazz Noir vakuuttaa myös teknisesti. Soinnin livemäisen avara dynamiikka ja tekstuurien rikkaus kasvattavat musiikin kosketuspintaa poikkeuksellisten sisällöllisten merkitysten rinnalla.

Matti Komulainen – Turun Sanomat – 22.08.2022

The first single from my upcoming big band album is out now! The album will be released in Sep 2022, with help from Flame Jazz Records.

I had the chance to record the music with Turku Jazz Orchestra in 2021, together with the great soloists Jukka Perko on sax and Jukka Eskola on trumpet.

The single is out on most streaming platforms, choose your preferred listening method here:

Concerts done with the Oulu All Star Big Band and the Air Force Big Band, I’m finally starting to think that we are past the worst of covid-19!

Next bigger thing coming up is the “Jazz Noir” record release with the Turku Jazz Orchestra on Sep 9. LP’s and the CD’s are in the manufacturing, waiting for those!

Also some more gigs coming and some new projects coming soon, updates later on.

Concerts are slowly starting to happen, and I’ll be conducting Oulu All Star Big Band in April, and Air Force Big Band in May. In Oulu we are doing a Gil Evans/Miles Davis tribute with trumpeter Jukka Eskola, and with the Air Force BB we are doing my Jazz Noir concert in Jyväskylä and Tampere in early May.

Also, finally, after two years of moving and cancelling, we should have three concerts of my music with the Kokkola Youth Wind orchestra, together with soprano Mari Palo and Jukka Eskola. The concerts are mid-March in Kokkola, Ylivieska and Pietarsaari.

We had a chance to document a couple of my wind ensemble pieces with Lohja City Orchestra’s wind ensemble, two videos below.