VERNERI POHJOLA trumpet, composer
Trumpeter and composer, Verneri Pohjola, is acknowledged as a jazz star in the making. With a series of hugely successful releases behind him on ACT Music and Edition Records, his previous album Bullhorn, released in Feb 2015 on Edition Records, received massive praise internationally. Jazzwise Magazine said: ‘…this album takes its place among the truly finest albums of recent times and sees him graduating from the star-in-the-making mantle he has carried for so long in European Jazz, to fully-fledged star”.
Born into a Finnish musical dynasty, Verneri was destined for a musician’s life. His grandfather, Ensti Pohjola, was a well respected and highly active amateur conductor and cellist and his father’s cousin is the conductor Sakari Oramo. His father, Pekka Pohjola, climbed to international fame in the 1970’s playing with Finnish prog group Wigwam and leading his own groups in the progressive rock, rock and jazz scenes. Verneri first came to prominence as leader of Ilmiliekki Quartet, a band that won numerous accolades including the prestigious Teosto Award for original composition. Pohjola soon emerged as a rising star on the Finnish scene, picking up the coveted gong for Musician of the Year at the 2004 Pori Jazz Festival.
As is the case with many great horn players, Pohjola has a distinctive tone, which has a deeply affecting purity and lyricism. His highly melodic improvising is matched by personal compositions marked by memorable and imaginative themes that steer clear of any hackneyed notion of ‘Nordic jazz.’A truly progressive artist with a firm grip on popular culture, Verneri Pohjola is one of the most exciting and original artists of his generation.
In June 2017 he releases, Pekka, an album that promises to be a defining moment in Finnish culture, reinterpreting the music of Verneri’s late father Pekka Pohjola, the internationally acclaimed and revered prog-rock bassist and composer, through the prism of his son’s unique vision.