I’m sitting in a café in Boston as I write this, reflecting on quite a whirlwind year. About the same time last summer, I was doing much the same – staring at a laptop screen in a café – and working on the zillions of details related to what would be the release of my debut album un and its subsequent release tours in Finland and on the US East Coast.
But “doing much the same” doesn’t begin to do the past 12 months any justice – so much has happened since then.
It has been quite an experience, to say the least. Not only has the album’s music gotten an overwhelmingly positive reception in the international press – a personal highlight being a glowing review in Guitar Player magazine, the same magazine I used to devour from cover to cover at the Rovaniemi public library in my teens, looking for more pieces to the eternal puzzle that is music – but, most importantly, the reactions of people who have come to our gigs has been something I never could have anticipated in my wildest fantasies. Getting to play for and connect with you all at our shows in Finland and in the US has been a true gift.
All this to say – for all your support, I am thankful beyond words.
As I write this, the band I are preparing to take to the stage again after a summer break; we’ll be doing two dates in Massachusetts in August (Acton Jazz Café in Acton on August 9th and Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham on August 31st), so if you’re around, mark your calendars, come out and join us! I’m also honored (and somewhat bewildered) to be part of a workshop entitled The Art of the Oud together with Mehmet Ali Sanlikol from Turkey, Mal Barsamian from Armenia/US, and Nima Janmohammadi from Iran on August 11th in Boston.
As far as future plans with JUSSI REIJONEN: UN go, I’m sketching out another tour for the East Coast for October, so please stay tuned for more dates; latest updates will be on both my website and Facebook page.
Meanwhile, if you didn’t already get a copy, un is still available online; you can order your copy from the links on the right. As always, in these social media saturated times, each “Like” on Facebook goes a long way as well – I’m very grateful for each click, which, funny as it is, really helps us to spread the word and get to perform this music in more and more places, which, ultimately, is what this all is about for us.
Hope to see you at one of our fall shows!
P.S. For fans of another kind of world/jazz fusion, check out the amazing Sissy Castrogiovanni‘s new album Intra Lu Munnu, which I was honored to be part of and which was just released. Those of you who came to our shows at Acton Jazz Café and Ryles Jazz Club last spring will recognize Sissy as the guest vocalist we had onstage for “Kaiku”. As an all-in-the-family aside, both Bruno Råberg and Tareq Rantisi from my quartet also play on the album, so check it out!