for big band

Between 1994 and 2002 I held a teaching position at the Central Ostrobothnian conservatory in Kokkola in northern Finland.

Part of my job was to conduct the school’s excellent big band.
Before that I had composed mainly for the small ensembles I played in myself, but while conducting I got acquainted with some great traditional and modern big band scores. The orchestration techniques of Finnish composer Jukka Linkola and American composers Maria Schneider and Thad Jones intrigued me most.

Eventually I started writing scores, at first orchestrating some of my small band pieces. Then in 2001, I received a grant from the Finnish cultural fund which allowed me to take some time off from work and concentrate on composing.
In three months time I wrote 50 minutes of music, Frutas Maduras, a concerto for trombone and jazz orchestra.

The flow experience during this time convinced me that composing was what I really wanted to do in life.
In 2002 I took the risk of quitting my teaching job.
Even though I’d always enjoyed teaching I never looked back.

One of the movements of Frutas Maduras, a piece called Tango Mòrbido Y Cìnico, went on to win the international composition competition Scrivere in Jazz in Sardegna, Italy in 2008.
Here it is, listen to my ‘Tango’ as performed by the great Finnish jazz orchestra UMO:

Hashtag jazz orchestra duration: ca. 5’
Rain Check (listen) jazz orchestra duration: ca. 7′
Tip-top jazz orchestra duration: ca. 4′
Raw Bones jazz orchestra duration: ca. 12’
Dual Layers – trumpet concerto jazz orchestra duration: ca. 32’
Vrindavan in Vindala solo vocalist and tentet duration: ca.8’30
Felsenfest – drum concerto
(listen to part III. Les Cloches)
jazz orchestra duration: ca. 30’
Odd Men Out jazz orchestra duration: ca. 8’
Conversations in the ditch jazz orchestra duration: ca. 8’
Pitch Bend jazz orchestra duration: ca. 8’
Musta Kissa jazz orchestra & 3 voices duration: ca. 8’
Uanda jazz orchestra & 3 voices duration: ca. 7′
Frutas Maduras – trombone concerto jazz orchestra duration: ca. 50’

And here is another piece from Frutas Maduras called Claredad.
This piece is dedicated to the great American composer Clare Fischer.
It was actually the first original big band composition I ever wrote.
On trombone Antti Rissanen, the orchestra again UMO.