Quintessence With Strings – 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.
Fri 5.3.2021 at 7 p.m.
The Quintessence band will make a comeback on Friday, 5 March. It has been 20 years since the release of this legendary band’s first EP album, White Light. This special concert will include new arrangements from Quintessence’s two albums, and the band will be accompanied at the concert by the Vantaa Orchestra’s string ensemble consisting of 10 musicians.
The super band Quintessence was big at the beginning of the millennium and is now making a spectacular comeback with a 10-person string section. The band plays a fusion of jazz, hip hop and soul known as nu soul and introduced to the Finnish audience Emma Salokoski, Tuomo Prättälä and Verneri Pohjola, who later found success as solo artists, as well as guitarist-composer Aki Haarala, known as the leader of Sirius Sextet and Lightboxer, and the comp-playing duo Heikki Laine/Mikko Kaakkuriniemi who became an instant legend. The band was involved in renewing the musical scene in Helsinki towards a more international direction and performed, for example, at the Cargo club’s Worldwide event in London, hosted by Gilles Peterson. The band’s name, Quintessence, refers to the fifth element, the aether (lat. quinta essentia), which was originally proposed by Aristotle in his philosophy of nature and which he claimed is the material that fills the region of the universe above the moon. The name also refers to the meaning of the word in English, i.e. the intrinsic aspect of something. According to Tuomo Prättälä, there are about 500 bands around the world called Quintessence. Listen: https://open.spotify.com/album/2YeA0gwWH1Bfs00ipzFqd1?highlight=spotify:track:0g2VqZxvuwNPpZ6sS3fGEw
Over its more than 70 years of history, the Vantaa POPS Orchestra has developed into a versatile symphony orchestra focused on popular music and also has a rhythm section. The orchestra’s home is the culture centre Martinus in Vantaa and its chief conductor is Welsh-born Nick Davies. Depending on the requirements of the production, the Vantaa Orchestra performs as a full-fledged symphony orchestra or a smaller and more flexible ensemble. Savoy JAZZFest will feature the VVO Ensemble consisting of 10 top professionals playing the strings.
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.