Maja Mannila to Nordic Jazz Comets 2023

Raisa Siivola

The Nordic showcase of 2023 takes place in Gävle on May 12, as a part of the Swedish jazz association’s annual Jazzfesten event. The Nordic jazz promoter network selected five ensembles out of the 69 applicants to participate in the event. Finnish new jazz is well represented by Maja Mannila.

The representatives of the national jazz organizations, a network of 17 club & festival promoters and five emerging bands meet at a showcase in Sweden in May. The event is a part of the Nordic Jazz Comets Dagsverke project. The two-year project broadens the focus of Nordic co-operation from artistic and collegial aspects to social and ecological sustainability.

In addition to the concert and networking events, all the five Nordic Jazz Comets bands spend a ”dagsverke” day in Stockholm on the previous day. Dagsverke is a traditional Nordic concept for working one day for free, for the common good. The participants visit various projects and services that promote social justice and community welfare. The stakeholders of the projects are invited to the showcase on the following day in Gävle. The showcase takes place at the Svensk Jazz (Swedish jazz association’s) general assembly event Jazzfesten, so the audience boasts with Swedish musicians, club and festival professionals.

The open band call in September 2022 produced 69 applications across all the Nordic countries. The national jazz organization juries and the Nordic jazz network selected five ensembles to take part in the 2023 edition of the Comets. Finland is represented by singer-pianist Maja Mannila, alongside her fellow trio members, bassist Johannes Granroth and drummer Severi Sorjonen.

Maja Mannila is a charismatic vocalist, pianist and composer. With her trio, she performs her original songs in English. Mannila’s compositions are a blend of R’n’B, soul, jazz and gospel music. In addition to her trio, Mannila is a member of the energetic Peela, a sextet that features also her trio bandmates. June 2022 saw the release of Up & Down, Mannila’s debut as a band leader.

Other handpicked Comets of 2023 are ”revolution jazz” playing ALAWARI sextet from Denmark, pianist-vocalist Gunnarsson’s Fanny Gunnarsson Quartet from Sweden, eccentric and highly productive pianist Magnús Jóhann’s trio, and Trondheim-hailing saxophonist’s Mona Krogstad Quartet from Norway.

Nordic Jazz Comets x Jazzfesten
Showcase on May 12, 2023 in Gävle

  • Fanny Gunnarsson Quartet
  • Magnús Jóhann
  • Maja Mannila
  • Mona Krogstad Quartet

More info about the bands and the event can be found on the website The programme of the event will be announced on the website in early 2023.

Information about the Nordic Jazz Comets co-operation:
Raisa Siivola, producer-publicist at Finnish Jazz Federation,

Information about the 2023 event:
Lisa Löfgren, producer at Svensk Jazz,

Maja Mannila’s interview requests and booking:
Minna Huuskonen, CEO at Minnamurra Agency,

The Nordic Culture Point awarded a grant for the Nordic Jazz Comets Dagsverke project in 2022–2023. Finnish Jazz Federation, among other Nordic national organizations, Jazz Danmark, Svensk Jazz, Norsk jazzforum and FÍH – Iceland Jazz, form the steering and co-funding group of the project. Dagsverke is a continuation to the 2020–2021 NJC project In The Key Of Green, that studied the environmental impact of touring. The 2022 Dagsverke event took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Finland was represented there by Adele Sauros Quartet.