Olli Ojajärvi


The multifaceted saxophonist Olli Ojajärvi feels at home both when making studio recordings with Finland’s most respected rock and pop artists and when leading his own “drum’n’organ” band, So So, in intimate club gigs around Europe. He is equally at ease when playing with the UMO Jazz Orchestra in big arenas and when teaching at Sibelius Academy and Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory.

Ojajärvi keeps himself busy with So So but also Kannaste-Ojajärvi Quartet (K-O-Q) which he formed with another young and talented saxophonist, Jukka Kannaste. Both have received the respected Josef Kaartinen Prize that the Finnish Saxophone Society grants to classical and jazz musicians on alternate years. Ojajärvi was awarded with the prize in 2003 with the jury stressing Ojajärvi’s strong professionalism and original style as the selection criteria.

So So’s debut album Smooth (Rockadillo, 2004) is described as “moving smoothly from one mood to another whilst always maintaining its own strong, personal sound” (www.rockadillo.fi). This description also fits Ojajärvi as a musician.

Ojajärvi’s new trio (with Jan Simons in bass and Markku Ounaskari in drums) is one of the most promising newcomers in the Finnish jazz scene. The trio’s debut album, “Out of Mind”, was released in Japan in June 2009 and in Finland in September 2009.