Jere Laukkanen Clinic
Using examples from his recorded music, Jere Laukkanen will discuss various aspects of his compositional technique and concepts about writing. Along with sharing some ideas from his doctoral thesis research about jazz rhythm, he will analyze and explain the content of "Hispaniola," a large ensemble piece of his that will be featured in the Jazz Composition Department concert Fall Together on October 28.
Although Jere Laukkanen is probably best known for his work in combining modern jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms, he has a long history of various musical activities. As a youth he played flute and alto sax in Oulunkylä Brass Bands; studied drums; recorded as a singer, guitar player, and bandleader; and then commenced professional studies on the bass at the Oulunkylä Pop & Jazz Conservatory. Laukkanen later concentrated more and more on composing and arranging, with Henrik Otto Donner and Kaj Backlund as his teachers. He also studied conducting with Maria Schneider. After Oulunkylä, Laukkanen continued his studies in Sibelius Academy, Department of Jazz Music, where he earned a master of music degree in jazz composition. He is also a graduate of the Helia School of Vocational Teacher Education, Helsinki, Finland. Laukkanen continues his studies at the Doctoral Study Program of Music and Drama in Finland, where he is writing a dissertation on jazz rhythm.
Jere Laukkanen is currently working as head of degree programme and senior lecturer at the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Degree Programme in Pop and Jazz Music, teaching composition, arranging, ear-training, music theory, songwriting, and orchestras/ensembles. He is a much sought-after arranger, composer, and conductor, and has written for all the major Finnish television channels and numerous orchestras, including UMO Jazz Orchestra, Vantaa Pops Orchestra, Settlemen Big Band, and Lahti Symphony Orchestra. Besides his own band, Jere Laukkanen Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, for which he is the sole composer and arranger, he is the musical director of the Finnish/Cuban Orquesta Mucho Machito, and has conducted jazz orchestras like the UMO Orchestra, Radio Romania Big Band, Estonian Dream Big Band, and Jyväskylä Big Band, to name a few. He has also acted as the arranger and conductor with the Saimaan Sävel national songwriting competition held annually in Lappeenranta, Finland.