Jazz Camp for Girls Return to Pori and Turku this July

Valtteri Pokela

In July, Finland will host two Jazz Camp for Girls events. The first camp will take place from July 12th to 15th, 2024, in Pori as part of the Pori Jazz Kids program. This camp is organized in collaboration with the Pori Jazz Festival, the Palmgren Conservatory, and the Finnish Jazz Federation. The second camp will be held in Turku from July 29th to August 1st, 2024, organized by Jazz City Turku, the Turku Conservatory, and the Finnish Jazz Federation.

Jazz Camp for Girls is a concept launched by the Danish Jazz Federation (JazzDanmark) in 2014, aimed at inspiring young girls to engage with music. Traditionally, the gender distribution in music, especially in jazz, has been predominantly male, with women often taking on the role of singers in bands. The idea behind Jazz Camp for Girls is to provide an inspiring and safe environment for participating girls to explore different instruments, band playing, improvisation, and music composition.

In addition to Finland, Jazz Camp for Girls camps will be held this year in Sweden, Poland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Turkey. This is a multinational project where participants closely collaborate and exchange ideas and knowledge about best practices in efforts to address the gender imbalance in the field.

“In Denmark, we organize over ten camps a year, and our long-term goal and dream is to expand this activity in Finland as well. We need various tools to correct the gender imbalance in jazz music and the broader music industry. Jazz Camp for Girls offers one proven and impactful tool to achieve this goal.”
-Maria Silvennoinen, Executive Director, Finnish Jazz Federation

“The idea is to get more female jazz musicians. They are still quite rare. I think this is a good way to inspire younger girls to discover instruments that are perhaps typically chosen by boys, like the drum set.”
-Bassist Kaisa Mäensivu (HS)

“I had actually never tried the electric bass before. This was the first time.”
-Elena Lönnroth, participant in the Turku camp 2023 (HS)

During the camps, participants form their own band, come up with a band name, create their own music, and play together. Over four days, they learn music through improvisation and by playing in new ways. The camp is free of charge for participants.

Bands are formed with both beginners and more experienced players, so anyone can join regardless of their musical background. The only requirement is a desire to play together and meet new friends through music.

In Pori, the instructors will be musician and music educator Jasmin Afaneh and Palmgren Conservatory bass guitar lecturer Tomi Harrivaara.

In Turku, the instructors will be internationally recognized New York -based bassist Kaisa Mäensivu and Turku Conservatory’s electric bass and pop & jazz band instructor Jussi Karhujoki.

Under the guidance of these instructors, the children will find inspiration in playing music through new methods and will get the chance to create music together.

Learn more and register for the Turku Jazz Camp for Girls on the Turku Sea Jazz Festival website: Registration is open until 30.6.2024.

Registration for the Pori camp also opens this week. Follow updates at:

Jazz Camp for Girls is supported by the Nordic Culture Fund and the Finnish Music Foundation.

Photo: Tomi Vastamäki