MP3 Eeppi Ursin Band - Violet
Multi-faceted musical expressions with stories from real life. Eeppi Ursin Band features Eeppi Ursin (v), Timo Kämäräinen (g), Aki Rissanen (p), Antti Lötjönen (b) and Olli Krogerus (d). Guest performers appear on several tracks.
10 MP3 Songs
FOLK: like Joni, JAZZ: Jazz Vocals
EEPPI URSIN has been both a musician and a vocalist in bands since her elementary school music classes. A career in music seemed even then to be the only satisfying goal. She played the piano to accompany her own singing and studied oboe for ten years, thus becoming quite familiar with the world of classical music. Another style of music was, however, closer to her heart. In high school, Eeppi developed an interest in jazz music: after graduation, she studied in Orivesi and in Joensuu, and then returned to her hometown of Helsinki in 2000 to study pop/jazz music and singing further at Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia. Eeppi was rewarded for her many years of concentrated efforts in jazz by winning the first place in the Lady Summertime Jazz contest. After an exclusive jazz phase, Eeppi dared to trust her own voice without emotional limitations brought upon by varied musical styles yet benefiting from the different influences. In a few years time, Eeppi has gained a foothold in music circles in Finland, and she is presently engaged as a singer, composer and arranger for both her own Eeppi Ursin Band and Warp!, Castafioren Korut and Aino A. Eeppi can be heard in various jazz compositions as a guest vocalist as well, and she has extensive experience on the stage in Finland as well as abroad, for example, in Norway, Kenya and The United States.
In addition to the Eeppi Ursin Band Violet album, Eeppi sings for example on the "Pehmeä" record by the Soi-Ensemble, on Mika Pohjola''s "Muumilauluja" (Moomin Voices) and "Scandinavian Yuletide Voices" records (available at CD Baby), and on the Warp! Group record. Eeppi performs as a guest vocalist on "Canto Finlandia" records that have been on the hit list.
AKI RISSANEN grew up in Kuopio. He studied classical piano for 13 years but early on became interested in improvised music. Ultimately jazz influences triumphed, and he played in several jazz assemblies in Kuopio before moving to Helsinki in 2000 to study pop/jazz piano at Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia. In 2002, Aki started to study at the Sibelius Academy jazz department. He has been involved in both classical music and jazz all along, with the two styles interacting.
Presently Aki is directing his own bands Warp! and Aki Rissanen Trio, and plays in Verneri Pohjola Quartet and Joonas Riippa Quartet. He has succeeded in contests as well. In 2003 Warp! took first place in Finland in tryouts for the Young Nordic Jazz Comets contest. In summer of 2004, he won second place in the international Montreaux Jazz Solo Piano competition. Solo piano playing is an important part of Aki´s career. He has recorded a solo piano performance for the Finnish national radio broadcaster, Yleisradio. In addition to playing music, Aki has composed music for years, with the courage to trust his own style. Aki believes in intuitive playing and the power of music that is created when musicians open their ears and trust one another.
ANTTI LÖTJÖNEN comes from Kuopio where he got a lot of practice working as a musician. He played bass in various jazz assemblies: e.g., with pianist Aki Rissanen. Antti´s road led to Helsinki as well. After a year of studying pop/jazz music at Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia, he transferred to the Sibelius Academy jazz department majoring in double bass. Now Antti is one of the most appreciated young jazz bass players in Finland. He plays in the Ilmiliekki-group that has already gathered much fame and glory. In 2002, Ilmiliekki won the Young Nordic Jazz Comets contest, was chosen as Artist of the Year in the Finland Festival, and in 2004, the group was awarded the Teosto-prize for the "March of the Alpha Males" record. In addition to Eeppi Ursin Band, Antti plays in Five Corners Quintet and Aki Rissanen Trio. Antti relies on free communication between musicians, and he is an accomplished free player himself. Antti adds sensitivity as well as basic bass to Eeppi Ursin Band and, most importantly, he plays with a great sense of style.
OLLI KROGERUS was born and raised in Kuopio. He started his drummer career as a five-year-old banging pots and pans in the apartment complex sauna, using brushes as sticks.
Many years in music classes steered Olli into the classical music realm for years, until the early teenage years brought Led Zeppelin into his attention. There was no going back.
After high school, Olli started studying in Orivesi and in Joensuu and came to Helsinki in 2000 to study pop/jazz drums at Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia. As his studies progressed, so did the list of influential drummers that started to include more jazz players.
Now Olli is a very sought after freelance drummer, and he is skillful in many varied playing styles.
In addition to Eeppi Ursin Band, Olli plays regularly in Beagon, in Jiri Kuronen & Lähiö and the Sansa group. On the Joonas & Ruben talk show, Olli acts as a co-hosting drummer.
Olli has a way with words, and he is the joker in the band. He has a keen sense of the comic and finds the appropriate response in every situation. This can naturally be heard in his energetic music making as well: just listen to the brilliant attitude in his drum track in "Russian Chant"!
TIMO KÄMÄRÄINEN was born in Sonkajärvi. Music was a second language for him ever since early childhood. Timo expressed himself through music, both composing and playing many instruments. Guitar became his main instrument as years went by. He met drummer Olli Krogerus in music high school in Kuopio, and this duo has played together from then on. After high school, Timo came to Helsinki to study pop/jazz music at Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia and at the Sibelius Academy jazz department. Now he is one of the most wanted guitarists in our country both in the studio and on the stage. Timo´s own band, Beagon, plays his songs, and he is the vocalist in the band, too. In addition to Eeppi Ursin band, he plays in Ismo Alanko Säätiö and in Pepa Päivinen Trio+. This spectrum of bands tells much about Timo´s talents in many varied musical styles. Timo`s role on the Eeppi Ursin Band Violet album is significant. In addition to guitar playing, he acted as the chief arranger and artistic producer for the record. He is a visionary who uses mental images in making music in order to reach the right state of mind. This is an essential factor in the Violet albums overall atmosphere.
EEPPI URSIN BAND BIO BY EEPPI
In the year 2001 I had the good fortune to win the Lady Summertime jazz singing contest, and consequently I was invited to perform in the jazz@opera-festival in the fall of 2002. The creative director of the festival, Teppo Hauta-Aho, told me on the phone that he is not interested in hearing any more common jazz standards, "do something individual, perhaps with only a bass and a guitar..." That was an important and also a much-needed kick-start for me; "now I write a set of songs," I thought.
Composing had been on the to-do list for long enough already, ever since I was sixteen. The gig was to take place in about 6 months, which left enough time to both compose and practice. Choosing of a bass player and a guitarist was easy; I immediately booked trusted names, Timo Kämäräinen and Timo Hirvonen. I had gotten to know this duo through the drummer, Olli Krogerus; the four of us had already done a few gigs together, for example, in Juttutupa and Jazz-Espa, under the name Eeppi Ursin & Roking'' (B) Trio. We did not play my music, however, because there was none - at least nothing I would have wanted to present or offer to the band to play. Finally Olli was brought along, too, to play at the opera gig. Timo Kämäräinen gave one song for the program, and I wrote the lyrics for it: Far Away Lands.
When I was starting with the composing, I had a semester off from school, Pop Jazz Conservatory, and made my living by performing in the Calypso musical. The spring of 2002 was a very positive time. Songs began to emerge in my mind and even I was pleased by the sound of them. I sat in my small single room apartment in Vallila in Helsinki and roamed through my soul''s landscape with an electric piano. The lyrics fell into place rather naturally in English, and most told of my own experiences and feelings with almost frightening accuracy.
The jazz@opera gig went quite well. It was for me a big event, and I can''t even recall in detail what went on. Kämäräinen had a guitar string breaking in the middle of playing My Guy. It really was wonderful to be able to present my own songs. The Almi hall was full, but that was probably due to U-Street All Stars who performed after us.
Most of these songs are on the Violet album. The band has changed since then; Antti Lötjönen is now playing the bass, and a wonderful pianist, Aki Rissanen, has joined the band as well. Aki has composed the Two in One song on the Violet album. Antti and Aki are colleagues from Kuopio, and I have co-operated with Aki at other occasions, mostly in the Warp! Ensemble. At this stage Timo Kämäräinen took over the instrumental arrangement of the songs. I have strong faith in Timo´s visions and believe that it is sometimes essential to have another person''s input in one''s work. At times I get so personally involved with my songs that I am not able to develop an arrangement.
The first assembly of the band was a guitar trio, and the style of music was more or less rock/funk. Now we do a more acoustic and down-to-earth type of music, partly because Antti is a splendid double bass player. The boys in the band have a common denominator: they are all from Savo. I come from Helsinki, but I do have relatives and a summer cabin in Savo. Maybe that is why we get along so well and think along the same lines.
The band got a chance to record when I met Jukka Varmo from Buckshotmusic. Jukka came to listen to our gig at Jumo Jazz Club in March 2003 and wanted to promote the band. Jukka first recorded a demo in the fall of 2003 and about a year later it was decided that we publish an album through Buckshotmusic 6Sense Records. Jukka deserves credit for coaching the band to its present state.
I think that the strength of Eeppi Ursin Band is in its many dimensions; the music covers a wide range of feelings, and the stories are genuine. In all music and songs, the main ingredient is sharing emotions, and every musician has an opportunity to express their own spontaneous visions. The most important thing is to express feelings, not to show off masterful singing or playing. The final product offers something familiar and safe yet new and interesting, in just the right degrees. I sincerely hope that Eeppi Ursin Bands music stirs your emotions.
Eeppi Ursin, Helsinki 5.1.2005