Finnish trumpeter and composer, Verneri Pohjola, is acknowledged as a jazz star in the making.
Finnish trumpeter Verneri Pohjola is a force of nature, unquestionably a huge talent and a musician with a commanding and individual voice who is able to bring warmth and stillness to his playing as well as a vibrant intensity. His writing is strong and bold, adept at finding those hooky melodies that jump out at you as progressive, creative and individual.
With a series of hugely successful releases behind him, Jazzwise Magazine said of his 2015 album, ‘Bullhorn”: ‘…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 May 2020 2017 he released, The Dead Don’t Dream, an album that connects the work on his previous three albums with complete coherence, individualism and creativity. This album is an artistic work, built from all the influences that have informed Verneri’s life to date. There’s balance in colour, light and dynamic, a deep sense of collaboration and sharing of a common purpose and as an explorer of sound. The music balances freedom and composition, expression and voice. It’s a defining work of art for Verneri, for Finnish culture and a statement of intent for an artist immersed in the world of European Jazz.Artist’s Website