Kari Ikonen – piano  //  Olli Rantala – bass // Markku Ounaskari – drums

”Kari Ikonen Trio achieve an ensemble sound that is fresh, subtle, and tickled by gentle surprises.” -Joe Woodard, DownBeat (USA)

“Kari Ikonen shows a sparkle and gently questing spirit that engages the listener (…) an aesthetically satisfying album”  (****)  -Stuart Nicholson, Jazzwise (UK)

Yes, it’s another piano trio again… so what makes the Kari Ikonen Trio sound so special and unique?

It’s undoubtedly Nordic, but upgraded with a wide dynamic range and a vibrant, energetic rhythmic flow. It has a rich, big and original ensemble sound – the bassist’s exceptional bowing skills make it sound there was a cello in the band. And the music itself – no meaningless notes and chords, each composition has its own story to tell. Abundance of colors, innovative harmonies, strong melodies, striking rhythms… And everything played with lots of joy and passion. Spend a minute listening and you’ll hear the difference.

The Trio’s two albums, released by German label Ozella, have gained a lot of international success, making the band busy playing in clubs and festivals all over Europe, and in Japan, South-Korea, Russia, Turkey, Australia and the USA. German Jazzthetik and American Something Else Reviews chose Bright on their lists of the best jazz albums of 2013. Beauteous Tales and Offbeat Stories was picked as “the jazz album of the week” at NDR and one of the ”hot new releases” at The Europe Jazz Media Chart. British Marlbank ranked KIT as one of the five ”state of the art trios” of 2015. By the end of the year the album made its way to 10 lists of the best albums of 2015 in various media.

Ikonen has won several international awards for his compositions, and in 2013 he received the Yrjö Award as the Finnish Jazz Musician of the Year. Ounaskari got the same award in 2014 – so this group is definitely on the very top of the Finnish jazz scene.

”This is a wholly original take on the improvising piano trio.”  (****)  -Dave Foxall, Jazz Journal (UK)

“A lot of intensity in the interaction, clear compositions, tremendous energy here in the band communication, this was an impressive band.” -Ralf Dombrowski, LondonJazzNews (UK)

“Full of moments of beauty and offbeat explorations, ‘Beauteous Tales and Offbeat Stories’ builds on and expands beyond the artfulness of ‘Bright’ which itself was a strong effort. The Kari Ikonen Trio is the emerging European piano trio that people should be paying a lot of attention to.” Something Else! Reviews (USA)

”Kari Ikonen Trio grabbed the moment with an assured and highly imaginative display of contemporary piano trio aesthetics.” -Jon Newey, Jazzwise (UK)

”…vertiginous piano playing…”  -Democrat & Chronicle (USA)

The 2013 Yrjö Award recipient as the Finnish Jazz Musician of the Year, pianist, keyboardist and composer Kari Ikonen (b.1973) is perhaps best known for his trio and for his international sextet Karikko, as well as for his writing for various ensembles, such as the UMO Jazz Orchestra. He has played with the likes of Lee Konitz, Bob Moses, Ingrid Jensen, Louis Sclavis, Majid Bekkas, Magnus Broo, Vincent Courtois and Ron McClure. His compositions have been honoured internationally, taking first prize in the Julius Hemphill Composition Awards (USA) and in the Italian Scrivere in Jazz. After his studies with Anders Jormin at Göteborgs Universitet, bassist Olli Rantala (b.1981) stayed in Sweden, and is now part of Gothenburg’s active jazz and world music scene. ECM recording artist, Markku Ounaskari (b.1967) is known for his work with Jarmo Savolainen, Piirpauke and Pekka Pohjola. Today he plays regularly with artists such as Per Jørgensen, Anders Jormin, Arve Henriksen, Trygve Seim, Markus Stockhausen and Raoul Björkenheim. Markku got the Yrjö award in 2014.

Listen to the music at Soundcloud or see the videos below !!!

Download info sheet: KIT onesheet      Download rider & stage map: KIT tech rider

Management & Booking
Annamaija Music Company
Ms. Annamaija Saarela
annamaijasa@gmail.com  +358 50 3076095

Please include mail at kariikonen dot com in all booking inquiries !!!