|Jere Laukkanen in the press
About Jere Laukkanen Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra:
"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
" 'Jere Laukkanen's Finnish Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra' is an ensemble that clearly understands both the spirit and the content of the music."
--- Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times 11/19/2000
"[Jere Laukkanen] has a smart ear and engaging compositional style."
--- C. Michael Bailey, www.allaboutjazz.com
"There is certainly no way of knowing, without looking at the personnel listing of Finnish Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, that Jere Laukkanen's 21-piece orchestra is from Helsinki, Finland. His Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra has an appealing sound... This spirited set, which sounds more contemporary than most American Latin jazz groups (and does not exclusively play Afro-Cuban jazz), is worth exploring."
--- Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
"...Jere Laukkanen's Finnish Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra is destined to be the hottest thing to come out of Finland since the sauna."
"En definitiva una buena orquesta con un muy buen nivel y otra referencia imprescindible (y ya van unas cuantas) del sello Naxos."
["Definitely a fine orchestra of a high level, and again an unsurpassable reference (of which there are already a few) from the Naxos label."]
--- José Francisco Tapiz, www.eternius.com (Spain)
"...men spille kan de, de i alt 21 finner. Og der drilles med kontrastrige indfald og pudsigheder, der ofte bryder radikalt med det afro-cubanske koncept. En klodeberejst rundtur med perkussion, rockrytmer, blæsere og - noget underligt finsk under det hele."
["But they really can blow, those 21 Finns in all. And their renditions play with contrasting ideas and dexterity in a way that often radically breaks the Afro-Cuban concept. A worldly-wise round trip with percussions, rock rhythms and horn players and - something curiously Finnish under the whole."]
--- Christian Munch-Hausen, Jazz Special, April/Maj 2001, Denmark
"The Jere Laukkanen Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra... is a good band, playing good arrangements and well worth a listen by anyone who like me is a fan of melodic Big Band jazz."
--- Don Mather, www.musicweb.uk.net (United Kingdom)
..."there are ridiculously few reasons for a music lover not to buy this record. Afro-Cuban Jazz can be made here up north, too, and very well... Great."
--- Pekka Nissilä, Muusikko ["Musician"] 4/2001, Finland
"L'orchestra di Jere Laukkanen è... per gli ascoltatori di tutto il mondo, un assaggio irrinunciabile d'avanguardia jazz per grandi ensemble."
["Jere Laukkanen's orchestra is... for all listeners in the world, an unsurpassable treat of avant-garde big band jazz."]
--- Laura D'Incà, wwww.allaboutjazz.com (Italy)
"Att det finns ett sådant här bra band inom afro-cubanstilen i kalla nord var en klart glädjande överraskning."
["The fact that a good Afro-Cuban band like this exists in the cold North was a delightful surprise indeed."]
--- Göran Olson, Jazz Stage - The Scandinavian Jazz Magazine 3/2001, Sweden
"Laukkanen combines elements from Caribbean folk tradition and tranquil Western jazz with absolute mastery, in a way which doesn't make the transitions from one style to another sound angular or unnecessarily gimmicky. On the recording, he paints very unique harmonic spheres, which makes the music even more complex and brings certain originality to it."
--- Liisa Lipas, Synkooppi op.64, 2001, Finland
"The music that was heard was - to put it in a Cuban way - sabroso, delicious."
--- Markus Partanen, Rytmi 3/2001, Finland
"...Jere Laukkanen's Afro-Cuban-style big band was a pleasant surprise. ...composer, arranger and band leader Laukkanen is a very ambitious musician. Thus, from the Afro-Cuban dance rhythms, he could extract also quite interesting, sometimes ethereal, but especially artistic qualities."
--- Jukka Hauru, Helsingin Sanomat 9/4/2001, Finland
"Das ist eine hochkarätige Big Band, schon abzulesen an der Besetzung..."
["This is a high-class Big Band, which can be seen by looking at the line-up..."]
--- Tim Jonathan Kleinecke, www.nordische-musik.de (Germany)
About Other Activities:
"Årets dirigent og hovedkomponist, den sympatiske og uhyre kompetente finne Jere Laukkanen, f∅rte på overbevisende manér orkestret..."
["This year's conductor and first composer, the sympathetic and exceptionally competent Finn Jere Laukkanen, steered the orchestra in an impressive manner..."]
--- Flemming Nordenhof, Herning Folkeblad 15.4.2011
"...dirijorul, compozitorul, aranjorul Jere Laukkanen. El Maestro! Maestrul vrâjitor!"
["...conductor, composer, arranger Jere Laukkanen. El Maestro! Master wizard!"]
--- Anca Romeci, Societatea Romania de Radiodifuziune Mar. 2006
"Arranger Jere Laukkanen developed an original arranging style influenced by René Hernandéz and Chico O'Farrill."
--- Austerlitz, Paul 2005. Jazz Consciousness: Music, Race and Humanity. Middletown, CT, U.S.A.: Wesleyan University Press.
(Well, Paul could have asked me who I was and am influenced by... Cheers, anyway!)
"Composer, arranger and bassist Jere Laukkanen (b. 1963) has gained a reputation as a specialist in Afro-Cuban rhythm music. "
--- Harri Uusitorppa, Helsingin Sanomat 11/7/2005, Finland
"The salsa concert by Pauliina May, Jere Laukkanen and the UMO Orchestra was perhaps the greatest success in the short history of UMO Jazz House."
--- Jukka Hauru, Helsingin Sanomat 1/13/2002, Finland
"Jere Laukkanen, who has gotten deeply into the tradition of Latin American music, ... is a many-sidedly distinguished professional in music."
--- Reetta Karppinen, Jazzrytmit 6/2001, Finland
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