Jazz city Turku

Turku Jazz Orchestra

Turku Jazz Orchestra is a 17-member big band, founded in spring 2012, involving more than 30 professional musicians from Turku area. The wide resumé of Turku Jazz Orchestra includes both classic and contemporary jazz.

The orchestra has performed with many top artists from around the country, e.g. saxophonists Timo Lassy and Jukka Perko, pianist Iiro Rantala, vibraphonist Severi Pyysalo, singer/guitarist Sami Saari and singers Sami Pitkämö, Aili Ikonen and Johanna Försti. The orchestra's first international co-operation was in the autumn of 2014, featuring Belgian composer and saxophonist Bert Joris.

In the year 2012, the orchestra placed second in the Finnish Big Band competition at Imatra Big Band Festival, which gave a convincing foretaste of the orchestra's future. In fall 2013 arranger- composer Vellu Halkosalmi became the artistic leader and conductor of the orchestra.

Turku Jazz Orchestra also offers education for people of all ages interested in rhythm music. The orchestra´s education programme includes periodical Big Band workshops for amateurs and students, as well as courses in arrangement and composing.

Turku Jazz Orchestra can be booked to play on various venues, as well as all sorts of private events. The orchestra masters a variety of Big Band music, ranging from timeless jazz classics to dance floor party hits.


This is how I feel about Jazz

Turku Jazz Orchestra plays Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones, a giant of musical world, is perhaps best known among the general public of today for producing huge selling pop music, like Michael Jackson's "Thriller". His success in the pop industry often overshadows his brilliant early career as a jazz composer, arranger and bandleader. The Turku Jazz Orchestra is celebrating Quincy Jones' big band legacy presenting his finest big band compositions and arrangements from 1956 until 1963. The program includes classic charts from albums like This Is How I Feel About Jazz (1956), The Birth of a Band! (1959), I Dig Dancers (1960) and The Quintessence (1961) among a couple of other composer´s immortal jazz classics inspired by Quincy Jones.

Although this music has been widely available on records for 60 years, live performances have been extremely rarely heard after the 1960's - all because this material has never been published as sheet music. Roughly 10 years ago finnish composer and arranger Vellu Halkosalmi started to look around for this music to be able to perform it. After a decade of resultless searching, he finally started to transcribe it himself from the records. Eventually, with some help from Metropole Orchestra's long time conductor mr. John Clayton, Jones got in touch with Halkosalmi, and helped him to put this program together.