Spirit Of New Orleans Productions
Traditional New Orleans Jazz With A 21st Century Flavor


 

Spirit Of New Orleans

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Helsinki based Spirit Of New Orleans a.k.a. SONO was founded in the fall of 2001. The band's goal is to play New Orleans jazz as it is played in jazz's birthplace today. The music scene in New Orleans is still very vibrant – even after the disastrous 2005 floods - and the city has numerous jazz bands playing in different styles. These bands like the Leroy Jones Quintet, Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingers, Bob French's Original Tuxedo Jazz Band and others are the inspiration for SONO. The aim is to play hip, funky, hard-swinging, yet traditional jazz that will get the people dancing and feeling good - not forgetting the artistic standards.

During its first years Spirit Of New Orleans has been working with Leroy Jones, one of New Orleans' finest trumpeters, with the very fine vocalists Tricia Boutté and Yolanda Windsay from New Orleans and Miriam Aïda from Sweden, and with Finnish singers Eeppi Ursin and Susanna Mesiä. The band has played at most major Finnish jazz festivals (Lahti Jazztori, Oulu Elojazz, Pori Jazz, Imatra Big Band Festival, Linna-Jazz, Jazz-Espa, Baltic Jazz, Korpo Sea Jazz, Ruskaswing, Ylläs Jazz Blues, Kalott Jazz & Blues, Jazz by The Sea, Otava Happy Jazz, etc.) and at various clubs, including Storyville and Sture Jazz Clubs in Helsinki. SONO has also performed many gospel concerts in churches around Finland and Norway. In the spring of 2004, SONO made a two-week tour in Fiji and New Zealand and in July 2004 the band played at one of the biggest festivals for traditional jazz in Europe, the JazzAscona New Orleans & Classics in Switzerland. In 2007 SONO played in Haugesund, Norway for Sildajazz Festival, and in 2009 in Silkeborg, Denmark for Riverboat Jazz Festival. The reception has been very positive everywhere: both the audience and the promoters have enjoyed SONO's music. 

SONO's repertoire includes many classic songs that are rarely heard outside of New Orleans. The oldest songs that SONO plays hail from the early 1900's and are part of a standard traditional repertoire in New Orleans. Mobile Stomp, Bogalusa Strut, Panama Rag, and Fidgety Feet all represent the early years of jazz. SONO also plays songs that have been composed by New Orleans' artists in the recent years - Leroy Jones' Carnival's In Town and KT & Me and Katja Toivola's Montego Bounce are prime examples of the continuing tradition.

SONO's latest CD Mahogany Hall Stomp, featuring Eeppi Ursin, Leroy Jones, and Mari Watanabe was released in the fall of 2009. You can find more information on the record here and purchase it here. The band's second CD Some Of These Days featuring Eeppi Ursin and Leroy Jones was released in May 2006. SONO's first CD Bogalusa Strut came out in the summer of 2002. All CDs have received a lot of airplay, especially on the WWOZ jazz station. The regular lineup of the band is a quintet: Risto Salmi - saxophone, Katja Toivola - trombone, Jarkko Palokas - guitar, Jussi Harju - sousaphone, and Thomas Rönnholm - drums.

Listen to SONO @ MySpace


Contact for further information and bookings:
kamtoivola@aol.com

Web design: Katja Toivola
© 2005-2013 Spirit Of New Orleans Productions
Last updated: October 22, 2013