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Aki Rissanen

Jazz
  • Aki Rissanen
    piano
  • Antti Lötjönen
    bass
  • Teppo Mäkynen
    drums
booking in Europe besides France & Finland

Pianist Aki Rissanen (b.1980) has been quickly rising among the few top forces of Finnish jazz. Over the last years, he has also made a name for himself in the international jazz scene especially as a leader of his own trio. Although originally classically trained, he has always had a heart for improvised music and jazz.

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biography
Pianist Aki Rissanen (b.1980) has been quickly rising among the few top forces of Finnish jazz. Over the last years, he has also made a name for himself in the international jazz scene especially as a leader of his own trio. Although originally classically trained, he has always had a heart for improvised music and jazz.
His debut album Amorandom (Edition Records, 2016) with Aki Rissanen Trio was critically acclaimed all around the world and has gained him a fast growing reputation on the European scene. The album received praises at home and abroad from prestigious newspapers like the Guardian and jazz magazines like Jazzwise. Finnish main newspaper Helsingin Sanomat selected the album as “The Best Jazz Album of the Year”. The album also won the Finnish Grammy, the Emma Award for the Best Jazz Album in 2016.
Aki Rissanen Trio released their second album “Another North” in November 2017 on Edition Records. It is an ambitious and rhythmically intense album that raises Aki Rissanen Trio undeniably into the forefront of the entire European jazz field. At the moment they are touring internationally on a regular basis. The trio features Antti Lötjönen (b.1980) on bass and Teppo Mäkynen (b.1974) on drums. Both players are the most sought-after musicians in the Finnish scene. They are founding members of one of the most successful Finnish jazz act, The Five Corners Quintet and they have collaborated with such names as Timo Lassy, Verneri Pohjola, Ilmiliekki Quartet, Jukka Eskola, Jukka Perko, Jeff ´Tain´ Watts, Nicola Conte, Ricky-Tick Big Band, Umo Jazz Orchestra among many others.
Aki Rissanen studied classical piano for 12 years in Finland and jazz and improvised music at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique in Paris, France. He took private lessons in New York, USA and Cologne, Germany in 2005-2008. In 2009, he graduated with a Master’s degree from the Sibelius Academy Jazz Department in Finland after studing jazz piano and composition for 7 years.
His teachers have included Jarmo Savolainen, Jukkis Uotila, Kirmo Lintinen, John Taylor, Jim Beard, Anders Jormin, Hervé Sellin, Markku Hyvärinen, Jouni Kuronen, Seppo Kantonen and Frank Carlberg, to name a few.
In addition to his high merits in the Solo Piano Competition at the Montreux Jazz Festival and La Defense competition in France, Rissanen has been best known for his works with saxophonist Dave Liebman on German Ozella Music and trumpeter Verneri Pohjola on British Edition Records and on ACT Music in Germany.
He has shared the stage with UMO Jazz Orchestra, The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Dave Liebman, Rick Margitza, Randy Brecker, Sten Sandell, Tim Hagans, Emil Strandberg and Robert Ikiz among others. He has performed in most European countries, USA, Japan, China and North Africa.
Besides his trio, he leads a quartet titled Sininen Syksy featuring classical soprano Mari Palo, guitarist Teemu Viinikainen and drummer Joonas Riippa which performs the music of the Finnish composer Leevi Madetoja. He co-leads the trio entitled Aleatoric with Robin Verheyen (sax) and Markku Ounaskari (drums) and the quartet featuring the sax legend Dave Liebman. Other groups include Verneri Pohjola Quartet, Mikko Hassinen Elektro GT and Lauri Porra Flyover. He has released 10 albums as a leader or co-leader in UK, USA, France, Sweden and Finland.
review

Winner of the Emma Award, the Finnish Grammy for the best jazz album of 2016 (Amorandom) and nominee for the best jazz album in 2017 (Another North)

Another North was on ‘the best jazz record of 2017’ lists in Archaic Pop (UK), Argonauta Magazine (POR), Time Out (POR), Helsingin Sanomat (FI), Kohta Jazz (FI), Valon Kuvia (FI), Jazzpossu (FI)

Press quotes for Art In Motion:

“He delves into the murky, shifting sounds of glitch-hop and the trip realms of arpeggiator, tucking them under the jazz umbrella with very convincing results. 4 stars” BBC Music Magazine (UK)

“Art In Motion finds the Rissanen trio moving in many directions, all of them interesting.” Downbeat (US)

“Past, present and future don’t collide but smash together in one happy jumble through this trio’s splendid third outing.” All About Jazz (US)

Rich interplay and themes and moods more than AABA formats. Jazz Weekly (US)

“The Rissanen trio is an increasingly distinctive and individual unit whose music is very much their own and transcends these comparisons. “Art In Motion” is an impressive statement from a band that has successfully synthesised its influences and which is at the peak of its creative powers” The Jazz Mann (UK)

“les fondements d’une œuvre en trio composée de pièces riches en contrastes rythmiques.” Citizen Jazz (FR)

“Titre d’ouverture de ce nouvel opus, “Aeropeans” est à l’image de celui-ci: il marque notamment par l’inventivité et les nuances de la batterie” Le gri gri (FR)

“Aki Rissanen Trio’s debut Amorandom from 2016 won, among other things, an Emma, ​​a Finnish Grammy, for best jazz album. The well-played and exciting music on Art in Motion will soon meet a similar fate.” Lira (SE)

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