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UMO Helsinki participates in new international jazz residency program

5.3.2020

Jazz Finland, Sibelius Academy Jazz Music Department at Uniarts Helsinki, UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra and the Finnish Musicians’ Union are launching a new international jazz residency program in Helsinki. The Jazz Finland Residency is a top-level, invitation-only residency for jazz musicians, composers and conductors. Organised and coordinated by Jazz Finland, the program invites two international guest artists each year to Finland for a residency which can last anywhere from one to two months. The residency program is designed for top jazz names and promising up-and-coming musicians.

Drummer and composer John Hollenbeck from the US has been invited to visit Helsinki in August 2020 as the inaugural Artist-in-Residence. Hollenbeck is best known from his ensemble Claudia Quintet and from his collaborations with Bob Brookmeyer. Hollenbeck is a recipient of numerous industry awards as well as five GRAMMY Award nominations, among others. In 2005-2016, Hollenbeck was Professor of jazz drumming and improvisation at the Jazz Institute Berlin and in 2015, he joined the teaching faculty at the Shulich School of Music at the McGill University in Montreal. The 2021 spring season Artist-in-Residence is Linda May Han Oh, who will visit Finland already in April 2020 with her ensemble. Oh, who was born in Malaysia, grew up in Western Australia and is now based in New York, is best known for her long-time collaboration with Pat Metheny.  

I think John Hollenbeck is the perfect choice to launch our Jazz Residency Finland program. He is a brilliant drummer-composer and a hugely versatile musician with an open-minded outlook. I’m particularly happy that he will be able to participate in the professional development camp offered for the Sibelius Academy Jazz Department teaching staff every three years. John is one of the three top international names invited to lead ensembles made out of Sibelius Academy’s jazz teachers. During the three-day-camp, John will get to know some 20 Finnish musicians at the top of their field. My sincere hope is that these encounters will inspire new future collaborations. In addition to the camp, he will give private lessons to our composition students and alumni. -Jussi Kannaste, Head of the Sibelius Academy Jazz Department  

The UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra is excited to be part of this groundbreaking residency project, and we are very much looking forward to collaborating with other leading Finnish cultural and educational institutions such as Jazz Finland and the Sibelius Academy. Our goal is to develop a vibrant musical dialogue between the outstanding international guest artists of the residency program and the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra. This project will enrich the cultural diversity of the Finnish jazz scene and also help create new international networks and connections for Finnish jazz musicians abroad.
-Ed Partyka, Artistic Director, UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra

The Jazz Finland Residency will help create and strengthen networks between international and Finnish jazz professionals, as well as providing opportunities for new creative collaborations and ideas. The residency co-organisers believe that extended artist visits help develop the Finnish jazz scene in a diverse way through advancing international concert activities, strengthening international ties and increasing the access to top level masterclass teaching in Finland. The aim is to establish the residency program as an ongoing and permanent collaboration model, which will enable top international jazz artists to teach and give concerts in Finland.  

The leading idea behind the residency program is to facilitate extensive networking with Finnish jazz professionals, in addition to supporting the participants’ own artistic work. The residency includes giving masterclasses at the Sibelius Academy Jazz Department, as well as performing with the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra. The residency concept also enables local professional jazz musicians to initiate collaborations with the Artist-in-Residence.

Further residency partners include Music Finland, Finnish Jazz Musicians’ Association and the Helsinki International Artist Programme (HIAP).

Read more about the Jazz Finland Residency at www.jazzfinlandresidency.fi


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