Laukkanen (b. 1963, Helsinki, Finland)
Composer, Arranger, Conductor, Bass
Senior Lecturer in Popular Music and Jazz
Although Jere Laukkanen is probably best
known for his work in combining modern jazz and Afro-Cuban
rhythms, he has a long history of various musical activities.
As a youth he played flute and alto sax in Oulunkylä
Brass Bands, studied drums, recorded as a singer,
guitar player and bandleader, and then commenced professional
studies on the bass at the Helsinki Pop &
Laukkanen later concentrated more
and more on composing and arranging, with Henrik Otto
Donner and Kaj Backlund as his teachers, ao.
He also studied conducting with Maria Schneider ao.
Laukkanen continued his studies at the Sibelius
Academy, Jazz Dept., where he earned a Master
of Music degree in Jazz Composition. He is also a graduate of The Helia
School of Vocational Teacher Education, Helsinki, Finland. Currently he is writing
a doctoral dissertation on jazz rhythm at the Sibelius Academy.
Jere Laukkanen works as Senior Lecturer at the
Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Department of Music, teaching composition, arranging, ear-training,
music theory, songwriting, and orchestras/ensembles. He was the Head of the Music Department in 2008-2016 and is now the Lecturer in Charge of the Music Writing and Production Major. Laukkanen is
a much sought-after arranger, composer and conductor, and has written
for all the major Finnish television channels and numerous
orchestras, including European Jazz Orchestra, UMO Jazz Orchestra, Vantaa Pops
Orchestra, and Lahti Symphony Orchestra.
Besides his own band, Jere Laukkanen Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, for which he
is the sole composer and arranger, he has conducted jazz orchestras like the European Jazz Orchestra, UMO Jazz Orchestra, Berklee Jazz Composers' Big Band (USA), Radio Romania Big Band, Big Band Conservatori del Liceu (Spain), and Estonian Dream Big Band, to name a few.
”This year's conductor and first composer, the sympathetic and exceptionally competent Finn Jere Laukkanen...”
--- Flemming Nordenhof, Herning Folkeblad
”...conductor, composer, arranger Jere Laukkanen. El Maestro! Master Wizard!”
--- Anca Romeci, Societatea Romania de Radiodifuziune
” Jere Laukkanen's Finnish Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra is an ensemble
that clearly understands both the spirit and the content of
the music. ... Any doubters who question the global reach of jazz in general,
and latin jazz in particular, are directed to the superb writing
and playing on this easy-to-overlook album.”
--- Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times
”... Talk about a multicultural affair.
It was once said of Baroque composer Handel that he...'was
a Saxon, living in England, writing Italian operas.' Jere
Laukkanen's Finnish Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra is a Scandinavian
bunch playing American Music, channeling Chano Pozo. The result
is a brash, loud, complex mercurial affair that jumps out
and grabs the listener by the shirt collar. ... He
has a smart ear and engaging compositional style.”
--- C. Michael Bailey, www.allaboutjazz.com
”Afro-Cuban Big Band with Finnish musicians would
not seem a likely success story but Jere and his band do an
excellent job! They capture nuances in the music with daring
new arrangements that freshen classics like "Manteca"
and modernize ancient chants of the Yoruba tribe.”
--- D. Oscar Groomes, O's Place Jazz Newsletter (New Jersey)
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