with NEOTOLIA feat. DAVE WECKL and ARTO TUNÇBOYACIAN: Thrill of the Chase
from the album “Neotolian Song” (Interrobang Records, 2017)
From Anatolia, From the Heart: Bridging East and West, Neotolia’s Originals Spring from Mediterranean Traditions, Turkish Folk Songs, and Jazz Forms
In Anatolia, where Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and the Mediterranean world overlap, layers of history – thousands of years of it – can translate into layers of melody, rhythm, and sound. This is the vision of Neotolia, an international ensemble of diverse, highly skilled musicians based in Boston. Led by singer-songwriter Nazan Nihal and pianist/composer Utar Artun, the project explores traditional and tradition-inspired pieces through the lens of contemporary composition, jazz, world music and improvisation.
On their latest album, Neotolian Song (Interrobang Records; release date: April 23, 2017), the Turkish-born duo imagine lost ancient languages (“Neotolian Song”), mourn those lost to terrorism (“Değişmek Cesaret İster/ Change Takes Courage”), and weave new emotion into striking folk songs. Artun and Nihal have enlisted musicians hailing from Finland to Lebanon, from Iraq to China to add their own voices to complex yet elegant pieces. Turkish traditional instruments like the qanun, ney and oud, Western and Eastern strings (violin, cello, erhu) join a core quintet (Nihal voice, Artun on piano, Jussi Reijonen on guitars, Bruno Råberg on bass, and Giuseppe Paradiso on drum kit). Read More…
I’m happy to announce that I’ll be doing two teaching-artist-in-residencies in Finland this coming February:
13-15 February 2017
GLOMAS Nordic Master of Global Music program
+ Folk Music Department
20-21 February 2017
The residencies will discuss melodic and rhythmic concepts from Middle Eastern, African and Indian traditions, as well as questions of identity as a contemporary musician in today’s increasingly cross-cultural world.
ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO AID SYRIAN REFUGEES THROUGH QUESTSCOPE
Curated and organized by musicians Gabriela Martina (CH), Sophie Maricq (ESP/UK/BE) and Jussi Reijonen (FIN) in collaboration with Berklee College of Music’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, SONIC RELIEF is a humanitarian fundraising concert to gather donations and raise awareness to aid refugees of the war in Syria. Now in its fifth year, the war has cost the lives of more than 250,000 people, and displaced over 11 million people, creating a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented scale.
This concert brings together musicians from around the world who will perform classical repertoire of their respective traditions to promote social awareness of the Syrian humanitarian crisis. Performing onstage will be world-renowned Arabic oud (11-string fretless lute) and violin virtuoso Simon Shaheen, as well as the Lee Swensen Katz Trio with Cleveland Quartet founding member and Grammy-award winning cellist Paul Katz. All artists are forgoing their performance fees to support the cause.
All proceeds will be donated towards humanitarian aid in refugee camps and conflict-affected areas in Syria and Jordan via Questscope, an international 501(c)(3) organization based in Jordan. All gifts to Questscope qualify as charitable contributions and are 100% tax-deductible.
Guitarist/Oudist/Composer Jussi Reijonen Brings New Project trï
To Burlington Discover Jazz Festival
Sunday, June 7 at BCA Center in Burlington, VT
“…extraordinary music…(Reijonen’s) playing is deep and profoundly nuanced throughout.”
— Barry Cleveland, Guitar Player
“Reijonen’s musical universe has no frontiers. It is a beautiful, sensual mosaic of traditions and influences.”
– Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz
“Musical cultures and sensibilities cross, evocatively… without blinking or apologizing.”
— Josef Woodward, DownBeat
Finnish guitarist/oudist/composer Jussi Reijonen showcases new arrangements of music from his acclaimed CD Jussi Reijonen: un at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 7. In his new trio Jussi Reijonen: trï, he is joined by an international cast of players: Turkish pianist Utar Artun and Palestinian cellist Naseem Alatrash. Together they create a fascinating multi-cultural collage where the open spaces and silences of Scandinavia effortlessly rub shoulders with the maqamat of the Arab world and the rhythmic richness of India and West Africa, creating a truly enchanting musical mosaic.
Some new incriminating live evidence has been leaked from our October 30th concert in Brooklyn NY’s ShapeShifter Lab featuring Japanese percussion wizard Keita Ogawa…
JUSSI REIJONEN: UN feat. Keita Ogawa – Kaiku
(Live at ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn NY Oct 30 2013)
JUSSI REIJONEN: UN feat. Keita Ogawa – Serpentine
(Live at ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn NY Oct 30 2013)
Jussi Reijonen,Valerie June, Melissa Ferrick, Yuck, The Soul Of John Black, Omar Sosa, Willie Sugarcapps, Born Of Osiris, Vienna Teng, and Suzzy Roche & Lucy Wainwright Roche Are Among The Nominees of
The 13th Independent Music Awards
Nearly 400 Self-Released & Independent Label Artists Nominated
For Immediate Release
March 11, 2014 – Finnish fretted/fretless guitarist and oudist Jussi Reijonen of Boston MA joins nearly 400 exceptional self-released and independent label artists, as well as former major label acts named today by Music Resource Group (MRG) as Nominees in The 13th Independent Music Awards (The IMAs), the influential awards program for independent bands and fans.
Jussi Reijonen is nominated among an eclectic mix of established artists and artists on the rise including Melissa Ferrick, Yuck, The Soul of John Black, Omar Sosa, Willie Sugarcapps, Born Of Osiris, Vienna Teng and Suzzy Roche & Lucy Wainwright Roche, among many other deserving artists whose recordings were released during the 13th IMA program eligibility period.
I’m taking a break from sketching some new cello arrangements to write this, sipping a chai latte at home as Boston is getting ready for another round of snow to hit the city. I have to say, though, that the correlation between “snow fall” and “snow storm” has seemed a little interesting sometimes around here – from a northern Finnish, more Arctic perspective, that is…
Anyhow, first, I would like to send a huge Thank You to all who voted for “un” in WNYC’s New Sounds Best of Poll – we made it to #6 in the results! I was floored by the amount of support the album received. To top everything off, the album turned up in Lucid Culture’s Best Jazz Albums of 2013 list as well as in KMUW Global Village’s Best of 2013… to say I was surprised is a major understatement.
So… Thank You again!
I realize this is the umpteenth post of this nature lately (I apologize), but I’m quite taken aback by “un” showing up in so many Best of 2013 polls. I never could’ve imagined anything like this.
I’m humbled to be on the same list as Bill Frisell, Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road ensemble, Vijay Iyer and Nashaz and so many other amazing musicians… kiitos, kiitos, kiitos to all of you who voted and supported independent music!
Thanks to KMUW for believing in the music!