Ara Yaralyan & Kari Ikonen, Markku Ounaskari, Mia Simanainen „Alone and Together” - Festival Jazzkaar

ADDRESS: Pärnu maantee 30-5, Tallinn 10141

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Ara Yaralyan & Kari Ikonen, Markku Ounaskari, Mia Simanainen „Alone and Together” Estonia-Finland

Sunday 22. October 18:00

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Ara Yaralyan double bass, compositions
Mia Simanainen vocal
Kari Ikonen piano, moog, maqiano
Markku Ounaskari drums

Sunday 22. October 18:00

Buy ticket

Kumu auditoorium

23.- / 15.-

At Autumn Jazz, you can hear compositions from the debut album “Alone and Together” by Estonia’s prominent double bassist Ara Yaralyan, which was recorded with his Finnish friends, inspiring musicians Kari Ikonen, Markku Ounaskari, and Mia Simanainen. The program includes Ara Yaralyan’s original work ranging from jazz to Eastern compositions, which, according to the author, reflects the environment in which he as a musician has grown. Ara has particularly focused on motifs from his homeland Armenia’s folk music, highlighted by the chosen instruments in the ensemble – piano, moog & maqiano, drums, and vocals. Among the solo pieces created for the double bass are an improvisation dedicated to Arvo Pärt, a composition by the 10th-century Armenian composer Narekatsi, and a piece from French composer Henry Salvador.

Armenian-born double bass virtuoso Ara Yaralyan studied at Metropolia University in Finland and the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. He has collaborated with internationally renowned musicians such as Vardan Ovsepian, Vahagn Hayrapetyan, Ingrid Jensen, Karen Kocharyan, Jaak Sooäär, Andre Fernandes, Datevik Hovhanesyan, Verneri Pohjola, and many others. Ara Yaralyan creates, performs, and records with numerous top musicians, and teaches young Estonian musicians. Guitarist Jaak Sooäär, who has played with Ara Yaralyan for years and has recorded several albums with Ara and Markku Ounaskari, recalls, “Our collaboration has been very fruitful. In addition to his exceptional technical skills, Ara is a very musical, a melodic bassist who always offers inspiring ideas in the musical dialogue. This, in turn, often elevates the ensemble’s musicality and energy to new heights and trajectories.”

Markku Ounaskari is one of the most esteemed drummers in the Nordic region, with an impressively long list of musical partners. Music critic and writer Petri Silas has said that it would be easier to list the Finnish ensembles with whom Ounaskari hasn’t played. The same can be said about Markku’s generation of Estonian ensembles. In addition to top Finnish and Estonian musicians, Ounaskari has played with Ray Anderson, Furio di Castri, Marc Ducret, Tim Hagans, Ed Jones, Arve Henriksen, Anders Jormin, Nils Petter Molvær, Trygve Seim, and others. He has recorded over 60 albums in Finland and abroad, including six albums for ECM Records.

Mia Simanainen is a versatile singer who keeps her music fresh by constantly questioning the usual and traditional. Her distinctive artistic vision and compositions have attracted attention, and her clear vocals have been described as acrobatic. Simanainen doesn’t follow genre nor format boundaries in her works; both solo and in ensembles, as well as a guest in projects, she performs music from classical to folk, sometimes singing classical pieces with folk-like expression. Only in recent years has the singer focused on jazz. Her founded quartet Ajaton performs actively in Europe and is preparing for their third album. Simanainen also participates in the a cappella jazz ensemble JimJamMurMur.

Kari Ikonen is a key figure in the European jazz scene, an acclaimed pianist and composer, and a recognized inventor – the revolutionary Maqiano™ Microtuning System is allowing him and other pianists to explore with the Arabic maqamat and other microtones on acoustic piano! Ikonen operates as a solo pianist in his trio, in duos with Louis Sclavis, in the quartet Al-Qantara, and in several Finnish and international bands like the quartet Ajaton, Wishamalii, Orchestra Nazionale della Luna, and Trio Toffa.

With the concert, we celebrate the beloved bassist Ara Yaralyan’s 50th birthday.