Jussi Reijonen: un
It is said that music does not lie in the notes themselves but between them, and it is exactly in that space where Boston-based Finnish fretless/fretted guitarist and oudist JUSSI REIJONEN‘s music thrives and blossoms. His critically acclaimed and Independent Music Award -nominated 2013 album, un, was a lifelong musical journey in the making – a journey that has spanned over three decades and four continents, and which has taken him from his native Northern Finland to years spent living in the Middle East, East Africa, and now the United States.
Where un brought together five seasoned musicians from Finland, Turkey, Sweden, Palestine and Spain to pay tribute to the traditions of American and Scandinavian jazz as well as the folk musics of the Middle East and Africa, Reijonen’s wandering muse has more recently found a home in that most symbiotic of musical constellations: the duo. Joined by his long-time collaborator, pianist Utar Artun from Turkey, the Finnish musician has begun to explore new sounds and shades of his handwriting in a more stripped down, naked setting, taking on the form of a fascinating multicultural collage where the open spaces and silences of Scandinavia effortlessly rub shoulders with the maqamat of the Arab world and the rhythmic richness of India and West Africa, creating a truly enchanting musical mosaic.
Saturday, April 16th | 7pm doors | 7:30 performance
tickets $15 general; $7 seniors | free for SCC members
Born in Rovaniemi, a small town on the Arctic Circle in northern Finland and moving between Finnish Lapland, the Middle East and East Africa, Reijonen has spent his life soaking up the sounds of various cultures. He studied music at the Pop & Jazz Konservatorio in Helsinki, as well as at Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory in Boston where he earned his Master’s degree in the groundbreaking Contemporary Improvisation Department. While living in Finland, he played with the country’s top artists; he has also performed in the USA, Canada, Sweden, Latvia, Germany, France and Lebanon with top names such as jazz drummer Jack deJohnette, legendary flamenco singer Pepe de Lucia, multiple Grammy Award-winning flamenco guitarist and producer Javier Limón, Palestinian oud/violin master Simon Shaheen, fretless guitar pioneer David Fiuczynski, Turkey’s gypsy clarinet legend Hüsnü Senlendirici, and Lebanese nay virtuoso and multi instrumentalist Bassam Saba, among many others.
Pianist, percussionist, composer and arranger Utar Artun has performed in workshops, concerts and clinics with Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Simon Shaheen, Jason Lindner, Kenwood Dennard and David Fiuczynski. He is in involved with the Rhythm of the Universe Project as arranger, performer and orchestrator, as well as the Planet MicroJam Institute at Berklee College of Music. He has also composed and arranged over 50 pieces for symphony orchestra, as well as more than 100 pieces for brass bands and big bands. Featured on various studio albums as a piano player, arranger, and drummer. His compositions and arrangements are performed in USA, Switzerland, Turkey, Holland and Russia. Artun is working as an arranger for Ankara Kent Bigband and is currently on the faculty of Berklee College of Music in Boston.