The Yrjö Jazz award 2016 was given to saxophonist Esa Pietilä (b. 1964) for his original, genre-defying work in the field of avant-garde jazz.
“Pietilä is known as a fearless improviser and musical visionary. His repertory is extremely versatile, including collaborations with classical orchestras. Moreover, he has brought not only Finnish but also international critics to their knees: the influential jazz magazine New York City Jazz Record shortlisted the debut album of Pietilä’s group Liberty Ship among the albums of 2013,” Petteri Klintrup, the Chair of the Finnish Jazz Federation board, explained.
The Yrjö Jazz Prize is an annual award given to a Finnish jazz artist in acknowledgement of his or her outstanding contribution to Finnish jazz music.
Internationally acclaimed Finnish contemporary composer Kalevi Aho wrote a tenor saxophone concerto and dedicated it to Esa Pietilä. Esa will do the premiere performances of the new concerto with two Finnish orchestras in march 2016. The concerto is the first (and only one) in the world written for tenor saxophone from a truly notable composer of major international “big league”. The concerto will present Aho´s extraordinary compositional skills, orchestration technique and his magnificent ability to write for a solo instrument as a soloist for orchestra. In the concerto Aho has used all the possible (and extended) playing techniques for the todays modern tenor saxophone to handle plus allowes some room for Esa´s improvisational skills. Esa Pietilä is proud have the privilige to do the first performances of the concerto. The first performance of (a double premiere) is on 10th of march with Pori Sinfonietta at city of Pori in Finland and the second premiere will happen on 17th of march with Lappeenranta City Orchestra in Lappeenranta, Finland
Liberty Ship returns in spring 2015 with their second double album for Eclipse Music. After the undenieble artistic statement which was the 2013 debut Approaching, the band continues to seek uncharted waters of creative expression in contemporary jazz music.
The Wide Open Suite & Noises At Sea, a bold double album: one acoustic CD, one electric, on which their music is adventurous, mysterious, creative and unpredictable.
The album was premiered at a Concert at Koko Jazz Club, Helsinki, Finland 1.3.2015 and it ail be in shops on 20th of march.
Liberty Ship, formed in 2012, navigates the deep waters of free jazz and improvised music in constant pursuit of liberated self-expression. Acclaimed saxophonist and composer Esa Pietilä leads this all-star quartet of accomplished Finnish jazz musicians, pushing each musician to the boundaries of their creative ability. According to the reviews, authors, Liberty Ship is without a doubt one of the most exciting and adventurous projects to emerge from the booming Finnish jazz scene
Editor (The Guardian & Jazz Journal) and Jazz enthusiastic Wif Stenger has made his top 10 list of Finnish Jazz releases 2013-2014. We´re proud to announce that Liberty Ship´s “Approaching” belongs into the list. Thanks!
Liberty Ship Quartet´s album “APPROACHING” was voted as an “ALBUM OF THE YEAR”on category “Best new releases 2013” by The New York City Jazz Record magazine. You can check it out (jan. 2014 issue, page 26) at: nycjazzrecord.com
Wif Stenger (The Guardian & Jazz Journal) also lists “Approaching” in his top 10 Finnish albums released in 2013 – 2014.