When the winner of the Finnish leg of the Eurovision song contest (with the duo Norma John), a finalist for the Voice of Finland and two stalwarts of the Finnish jazz scene come to together to form a band, it's bound to be interesting. North of Kallio Ensemble shakes up the Helsinki jazz scene with catchy songs, top class musicianship, energy and a world class vocalist. Their debut album 'Constellations' is out on Eclipse Music on March 17th 2023.
They have previously released three singles: ”Ferris Wheel” feat. Jukka Eskola (recent Jazz Musician of the Year award winner), ”Equilibrium” and most recently ”Kallio”.
The band describes their music like this: ”Our music is nordic jazz with cinematic soundscapes. You can hear influences from all of the members musical jurneys through out the years. There are big emotions, fragile moments, all the colors of life.”
North Of Kallio Ensemble is comprised of major players in the Finnish music business.
Lasse Piirainen – piano / keyboard
Piiranen won the Finnish qualifier contest of the Eurovision Song contest in 2017 as part of the duo Norma John and thus represented Finland in the semi-final round held in Kyiv, Ukraine. Beyond Eurovision Piirainen is know from numerous tv bands: for example The Voice of Finland, Idol and X-factor. He has toured with the some of the biggest names in the Finnish music scene: Cheek, Sunrise Avenue and Isaac Elliot just to mention a few. He has also collaborated with international superstars like Hurts and John Patitucci.
Jennie Storbacka – vocals
Musical theatre star and vocalist, finalist of the Voice of Finland in 2015 Jennie Storbacka is currently starring as ”Diva” in the hit musical Priscilla – Queen of the dessert at the City Theatre of Helsinki. She was also chosen to headline the annual Ball of Independence at the Presidential Palace in 2018, which is one of the most prestigious assignments you can get as a vocalist in Finland.
Ville Herrala – bass
Winner of Jazz-Emma of the year (Finnish Grammy) with PLOP 2023, Jazz-artist of the year 2022, known from numerous jazz bands and records, one of the most famous bassplayers in the jazz genre in Finland.
Tuomas Timonen – drums
Drummer virtuoso who has played with all of the biggest names in jazz in Finland: Timo Lassy, Jukka Perko, Yona, Verneri Pohjola, Aili Ikonen, UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra to name a few. He is one of the most sought after drummers in jazz in Finland due to his personal and bold style of playing.
The name, North Of Kallio Ensemble, is a play on SoHo (South of Houston Street) in New York. Kallio, like SoHo in NY used to be, is a kind of bohemian part of the city that is open minded, where musicians and all kinds of artist come together to celebrate art and life. When they started this band, all of them lived north of this are, so therefore they became North Of Kallio Ensemble, simple as that.