Leroy Jones and Spirit of New Orleans are playing Ylläs Jazz Blues, one of the world's northernmost jazz festivals in Finnish Lapland.
Helsinki-based group Spirit Of New Orleans (SONO) is headed to Ylläs in the end of January with one of New Orleans' top trumpeters, Leroy Jones, as its soloist. Ylläs Jazz Blues is one of the world's northernmost jazz festivals; it takes place in the villages of Ylläsjärvi and Äkäslompolo in the western Finnish Lapland, about 95 miles (150 km) north of the Arctic Circle. The festival is celebrating its sixteenth anniversary this year and is offering, as usual, a varied program of high-quality music.
In addition to SONO and Leroy Jones, the festival lineup features many Finnish jazz luminaries like Jukka Perko and Teemu Viinikainen and seasoned blues artists like Jo' Buddy and Tomi Leino. This year's event consists of 26 concerts taking place in the hotels and restaurants of the villages, in cafes along ski trails and ski slopes and in the chapel of Ylläs.
Spirit Of New Orleans is an internationally known group that was founded ten years ago. It has performed on most Finnish jazz festivals and also in for example Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Denmark. The band's three recordings have had a very positive reception and the latest, "Mahogany Hall Stomp", is often played on New Orleans' WWOZ jazz station.
SONO has collaborated with several soloists including Yolanda Windsay, Tricia Boutté, and Leroy Jones from New Orleans, Miriam Aïda from Malmö, Sweden and Eeppi Ursin from Helsinki, Finland. The lineup for Ylläs features some illustrious musicians: Riitta Paakki on piano, Teemu Keränen on bass and Tommi Vainikainen on drums. The frontline horns will be the band's founder, trombonist Katja Toivola and trumpeter and vocalist Leroy Jones. This is Spirit Of New Orleans' third visit to Ylläs Jazz Blues; the first two were in 2002 and 2005.