Den finske pianisten, harpisten, komponisten og arrangøren Iro Haarla holder konsert på Cosmopolite torsdag 23 oktober, sammen med sin norsk/finske kvintett bestående av Mathias Eick på trompet, Trygve Seim på saxer, Uffe Krokfors på kontrabass og Jon Christensen på trommer. Kvintetten, som fremfører musikk komponert av Iro Haarla, ga ut sin første cd, med tittelen Northbound, på det tyske plateselskapet ECM i 2006.
Iro Haarla - piano
Trygve Seim - sax
Mathias Eick - trumpet
Ulf Krokfors - bass
Jon Christensen - drums
Iro Haarla was for many years the inner architect and orchestrator of the music of her husband, drummer and bandleader Edward Vesala (1954-1999). She had just left Helsinki Sibelius
Academy when she met Vesala in 1978 and put her own career as a composer and concert pianist on hold to help him realize his musical visions. Vesala was very much an intuitive musician, and it was Haarla who gave shape and colour to many of his ideas in her arrangements and editing of material for his Sound & Fury group. Like all his players, she was devoted to the cause. When Edward needed an improvising harpist, Iro promptly learned how to play the harp (and, later koto, analog synthesizers, accordion, whatever was required). Vesala’s influence on her work and her musical values was profound and continues, but she gave much to his work, too – as can be adjudged by listening to the four Sound & Fury ECM albums on which she appears: “Lumi”, “Ode To The Death of Jazz”, “Invisible Storm” and “Nordic Gallery.” If she started out as Edward’s gifted amanuensis and muse, in the end they were creating the music together. After Vesala's untimely death in 1999, Haarla began truly concentrating on her own career. In the last couple of years, Haarla has collaborated in the live setting with artists like Tomasz Stanko, Tomasz Szukalsky, Anders Bergrantz, Christian Wallumröd, Terje Isungsetin, RinneRadio, Loco Motife, Raoul Björkenheim and Otná Eahket. She is a member of Juhani Aaltonen Quartet, Esa Pietilä- 4 streams and The Art&Health Ensemble (Johanna Iivanainen, Juhani Aaltonen, Iro Haarla, Mikko Iivanainen, Ulf Krokfors). In addition, she has composed music for e.g. the UMO Jazz Orchestra. Iro’s own leader debut for ECM, Northbound, is a beautiful, melancholy album. The quality of the playing ensures that this is a thought provoking and stimulating set. Haarla's free-flowing piano ballads and cascading harp stir powerful associations with music from the North. In 2006,
Iro Haarla became the recipient of the Yrjö Award. Later the same year, she won also the Emma award for the best jazz record “Loco Motife: Penguin Beguine” (TUM Records). Iro Haarla has been performing her compositions in solo concerts since year 2000. Her instrument in solo concerts is usually piano, but sometimes she plays a concert harp. Iro has performed solo for instance in International Jazz Festival in Prague and had a tour in Japan 2002. After releasing her critically acclaimed debut album in 2006, she has been touring mostly with the same Finnish-Norwegian quintet she recorded the album with.