Lahti Jazz ry places its trust in the power of community

Valtteri Pokela

The newest member of the Finnish Jazz Federation, Lahti Jazz ry, founded in 2022, aims to bring jazz enthusiasts together, provide immersive listening experiences, and create a framework for the development of jazz culture in Lahti. The club nights organized by Lahti Jazz ry have been a success, and the association’s membership approached one hundred during its first concert season in the spring of 2023.

Lahti Jazz ry was born in the autumn of 2022 when few passionate jazz enthusiasts found each other. “We realized that Lahti has a long tradition of jazz, but a common denominator was missing. We wanted to bring together all jazz enthusiasts – listeners, bands, and educational institutions in the field – under one roof to collaborate, spread the message of jazz, and build Lahti into one of the most significant jazz cities in Finland,” says Pekka Rekula, the Chairman of Lahti Jazz ry.

At the heart of Lahti Jazz ry is a volunteer-driven board consisting of jazz enthusiasts. The association’s activities are made possible by membership fees, concert ticket revenues, as well as grants from the City of Lahti and other sources. The association also collaborates significantly with Teerenpeli, a restaurant in Lahti.

Ryhmäkuva Lahti Jazz ry:n perustamiskokouksesta.

The founding meeting of Lahti Jazz ry in the autumn of 2022. Photographer unknown.

Central to the association’s activities is regular club programming, which includes concerts by top jazz bands and jam sessions led by a professional local house band to conclude the evenings. The aim is to provide immersive and intimate listening experiences while offering performance opportunities for local students, jazz enthusiasts, and professional musicians.

One of Lahti Jazz ry’s artistic goals is to introduce new audiences to traditional jazz music but eventually expand its repertoire to other jazz genres. “We want to offer an interesting journey into the various dimensions of jazz for all age groups”, sums up Rekula.

Paljon yleisöä Lahti Jazz ry:n klubilla ravintola Teerenpelissä.

The club nights of Lahti Jazz ry at the Teerenpeli restaurant have gained a large audience. Photo: Janne Tarmio

The association aims to develop its activities, with potential future offerings including lectures on jazz history and jamming courses. The long-term vision and dream involve the “Jazz House”, towards which the association operates its club activities at Teerenpeli restaurant. “The future of our association looks bright – we have plenty of visions for continuous improvement and new collaborative initiatives”, rejoices Rekula.

Lahti Jazz ry’s autumn 2023 program has been announced, with the first concert taking place on September 14th at Teerenpeli restaurant in Lahti. The program features Anna Inginmaa’s “Tribute to Nancy Wilson / Cannonball Adderley” concert and jam sessions hosted by Lahti Jazz Collective. The club nights are held at Teerenpeli every second Thursday of the month. More information can be found through the link below.

Cover photo: Janne Tarmio