domenica 15 giugno 2014


The always imaginative saxophonist Jussi Kannaste accompanies the quartet as if he is the piano player. Pianist Roy Assaf often doesn’t play chords, but instead uses his melodic gift to create a dialogue with drummer Jaska Lukkarinen, who adds multiple colors in addition to his already extraordinary rhythmic approach. The band courageously explores this instrumentation, playing solo, duos, trios and full quartet with bassist Antti Lötjönen, who brings it all together in a unison sound full of melodies, dialogues and stories. Never having experienced this kind of natural freedom of music in any other group, the members of NYConnection decided to start a fresh concept that benefits the music and brings a new sound to the audience. When the new songs were first played in public, some people referred to their music as “folk jazz.” The compositions have the intellectuality, harmonies, and swing flavors that originate from the jazz tradition, combined with the simplicity and lyricism of the folk world. Picture four artists who work on the same canvas and paint the most simple and beautiful Finnish landscape in its midsummer peace. Each one of the painters has a slightly different artistic view of colors, lights and landscape. NYConnection paints this picture with compositions, in which interplay and listening connects the worlds and visions together.The origins of NYConnection, as the band’s name implies, date back to New York City in 2007, where Roy and Jaska shared some of their most influential moments as young musicians. The foundation for the group is drummer Jaska Lukkarinen's Finnish trio, which includes Jussi Kannaste and Antti Lötjönen. This is a trio that has worked together since 2005 and has created a personal band sound without a harmonic instrument.Their new album Urban Griot introduces the band members as composers and instrumentalists, today's jazz-griots. Griots were West African poets and storytellers and were known for their ability to picture current events and improvise based on traditional songs. The original songs on Urban Griot are based on experiences and stories that the four share together. The songs are mixed with a menu-like concept. The original music serves as main courses, and it is mixed with great jazz standards that serve as the tasty appetizers.The bond between Roy and Jaska, both on and off the stage, keeps NYConnection evolving as a true band, not just another music project. Having the four of them together is meant to be. Urban Griot is the start of a life long journey to be explored, developed and shared with the audience. NY CONNECTION

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