Veronica Swift (USA) & UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra – Savoy JAZZFest 4.-7.3.2021
Savoy JAZZFest will take place for the third time on 4–7 March 2021. The festival’s main theme is "With Strings", i.e. jazz and rhythm ensembles reinforced with stringed instruments.
Trumpeter Jukka Eskola will continue as the artistic director of Savoy JAZZFest for the third year. Due to the exceptional arrangements required due to the coronavirus, Eskola’s term as artistic director has been extended to four festival years, making the 2022 JAZZFest his last.
The third Savoy JAZZFest is a four-day event, as in previous years. The festival’s programme for Saturday and Sunday, as well as other days will be announced in January.
JAZZFest’s partners in 2021 are the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra, Vantaa POPS Orchestra and Hotel Haven.
Thu 4.3.2021 at 7 p.m.
The four-day event will be opened by the highly sought-after American jazz singer Veronica Swift who will perform as a soloist for the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra. The concert programme includes jazz classics that have been rearranged by Swift, whose skills as a scat singer have been highly praised. The orchestral arrangements for UMO within Swift’s repertoire will be created by UMO’s artistic director Ed Partyka (USA), who will also conduct the JAZZFest concert.
Veronica Swift is a 26-year-old American jazz and bebop singer. Born to a family of musicians, she started doing gigs at the age of nine, and her first album Veronica’s House of Jazz came out the same year in 2004. Swift has released four solo albums, graduated from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and toured with numerous top musicians, including Benny Green and Wynton Marsalis. Listen to Swift and Marsalis’ gig here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH2k8GccrqI
Founded in 1975, UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra is a professional orchestra that performs jazz and new rhythmic music, giving about 100 performances a year. UMO has released more than 50 albums. Its repertoire ranges from jazz to soul and classical music. UMO’s artistic director and principal conductor is Ed Partyka from the United States.
Ed Partyka is known as a high-class orchestral instructor and a developer of orchestral skills. An American-born trombonist, composer, arranger and conductor who has lived in Europe for almost 30 years, Partyka is the artistic director and principal conductor of the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra from 2020 to 2021. He has acted as a guest conductor, planner and arranger for key European big bands such as the German hr-Bigband and NDR Bigband, as well as the Vienna and Zurich Jazz Orchestras. He has collaborated, for example, with Bob Brookmeyer, Carla Bley, Robben Ford and even Sunrise Avenue and conducts his own orchestra, the Ed Partyka Jazz Orchestra. He is the department chairman of the Jazz Institute at the University of Graz and teaches composition at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland.
Jukka Eskola is not only a top trumpeter, but also a master of the flugelhorn. He plays in several ensembles carrying his name: Jukka Eskola Quintet, Jukka Eskola Orquesta Bossa and Jukka Eskola Soul Trio. He has also played in numerous top Finnish line-ups. Eskola has released six solo albums. He has been a guest musician on hundreds of Finnish record releases and has acted as a session musician on many entertainment programmes on Finnish television. He was awarded the Sony Jazz Award in 2006 and named the Artist of the Year at Pori Jazz in 2007.