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Kimmo Pohjonen (born August 16, 1964) is a Finnishmarker accordionist, whose singular mission is to expand the capabilities, sound, scope, performance and experience of the accordion to levels never before attempted, seen or heard. Accordion, voice, effects, surround sound and light show combine to make a unique and captivating performance event.

A visionary of boundless energy, Pohjonen’s roots go back thirty years in all forms of accordion music including folk, dance, classical, rock, experimental, theatre music and more. His studies in the progressive and innovative Sibelius Academymarker Folk Music Department were a critical factor in Pohjonen’s transition to the boldly creative and versatile musician / performer he is today. Currently, Pohjonen is simultaneously involved in numerous projects:

Projects

KTU

KTU (pronounced ”K2”) is the trio featuring Pohjonen with Texans Pat Mastelotto and Trey Gunn from King Crimson. The second KTU album, entitled Quiver, is released in February 2009 in Europe, Japan and America. It features all new music composed and produced by the trio with three pieces mixed by Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson. Since 2004, KTU have performed in Finland, Russiamarker, Norwaymarker, Denmarkmarker, Estoniamarker, Portugalmarker, Spainmarker, Germanymarker, Austriamarker, Sloveniamarker, Slovakiamarker, USAmarker, Canadamarker, Mexicomarker and Japanmarker. In August 2008, KTU performed at the Creation of Peace Festival in Kazanmarker, Tatarstan (Russia) with Patti Smith, Keith Emerson, Zemfira, Adrian Belew and many more. This was followed by a double bill at B1 Club in Moscowmarker with Adrian Belew Power Trio.. The first KTU album 8 Armed Monkey (also featuring sampling genius Samuli Kosminen) was released in 2005.

Kluster

Kimmo Pohjonen Kluster features sampling experts Samuli Kosminen (also known from Icelandic band MuM) or Juuso Hannukainen (know for his work with RinneRadio and more). The Kluster album is released in Europe via Rockadillo and Westpark.

Uniko

Kluster meets Kronos Quartet in the Uniko project featuring music composed by Pohjonen and Samuli Kosminen, commissioned by Kronos. Concerts in Helsinki, Moscow and Moldemarker Jazz Festival were major successes. The US premiere of Uniko was October 3,5,6, 2007 at Brooklyn Academy of Musicmarker. The Uniko album with Kronos was recorded in 2008 and will be released in 2010.

Pohjonen and Kluster also perform Uniko with Finland’s Proton String Quartet and have performed in Helsinkimarker and Estoniamarker, with recent performances in Macaumarker International Arts Festival in 2007 and Köln Philharmonie in 2008. Kluster / Proton Uniko tours Estonia in February 2009.

K3: Pohjonen, Kämäräinen, Kuoppamäki

K3 is the trio with drummer Sami Kuoppamäki and guitarist Timo Kämäräinen. Their most recent concert was a sold oput performance in Helsinki at Viapori Jazz Festival in August 2009.

Pohjonen / Echampard

Pohjonen works in the improvisation duo with French drummer, Eric Echampard. Their album Uumen was released by Rockadillo and Westpark and they have performed in Finland, France, Estonia, Norway and Netherlandsmarker.

Earth Machine Music

Pohjonen’s Earth Machine Music project is a live concert program featuring Pohjonen in collaboration on farms with farmers, featuring accordion with live and sampled sounds of farm machines and noises. Earth Machine Music began in Rämsöö, Finland in 2006, toured UK in May 2008 and returned to Finland in August 2008 in the Motor Symphony festival in Rämsöö. Earth Machine Music tours Queenslandmarker, Australia in summer 2009.

Kelavala

Improvisational trio: Reijo Kela (dance), Heikki Laitinen (voice), Kimmo Pohjonen (accordion). Celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2009.

Animator

Animator features Pohjonen with live computer designs by multi-media artist/designer Marita Liulia and live video mix by Antti Kuivalainen. Successful concerts took place in Helsinki, Viennamarker, Düsseldorfmarker and in the late 2005 tour of Portugal.

Other projects

Pohjonen has composed music for a Swedish dance performance premiered in October 2006 by choreographer Lisa Torun. Pohjonen also collaborated in Paris in June 2006 with dancers /choreographers Tero Saarinen and Carolyn Carlson.Pohjonen’s ”solo” show continues to tour regularly.

Pohjonen enjoys a high profile UK with performances at The Proms at Royal Albert Hallmarker Londonmarker, Jazz Festival at the Barbican, Kalmuk and Kluster at Queen Elizabeth Hallmarker and solo in the Purcell Roommarker. Pohjonen has performed at two Meltdown Festivals in London. Pohjonen / Kosminen Kluster at David Bowie’s Meltdown performed one set of Bowie music followed by their own show. At Patti Smith’s Meltdown at Royal Festival Hall 2005, Pohjonen and drummer Sami Kuoppamäki participated in the Songs of Experience concert performing music of Jimi Hendrix. Pohjonen was nominated for BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards in 2002 and again in 2005 for the BBC Radio 3 Planet Award.

Finnish choreographer Jorma Uotinen directed the Finnish National Operamarker Ballet performing Pohjonen’s Kielo music at Helsinki‘s National Opera House and again in Netherlands and Australia with local dance companies.

Kimmo Pohjonen has received two consecutive five year artist grants from the Finnish state. He was Named “Accordionist of the Year” for 2000 and 2001 in Finnish Jazz magazine Jazz Rytmit and received the Nordic Council Music Award.

Past projects include:

Kalmuk, featuring fifteen piece Tapiolamarker Sinfonietta orchestra plus Samuli Kosminen, a second percussionist, light show and surround sound. Kalmuk premiered in Helsinki 2000 then toured UK in 2002 with a simultaneous DVD release featuring extra video effects and archive film footage.

The Manipulator project, 2002, featured multimedia artist Marita Liulia and buto dancer /choreographer Aki Suzuki and was performed in Helsinki, Sweden, Belgiummarker. In Helsinki, the show was six hours of improvised performance on each of three days, total eighteen hours. Folk music groups included the side project Pinnin Pojat with JPP fiddler Arto Järvelä and Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department group Ottopasuuna.

Film music

Pohjonen has composed and performed music for three films: the British short film ”Flickerman and the Ivory-Skinned Woman”, the Russian full length feature film, ”Majak” and, with Samuli Kosminen, the full length Finnish feature film ”Jade Warrior”. They have also composed music for a Finnish ”new circus theatre” performance, Keskusteluja.

Discography

  • 1999 Kielo (Finland: Rockadillo, Japan: P Vine)
  • 2002 Kluster (Finland: Rockadillo, Germany: Westpark)
  • 2002 Kalmuk (Westpark)
  • 2002 Kalmuk DVD Symphony (Lilith)
  • 2004 Iron Lung (Russia: Soyuz) (compilation from Kielo and Kluster)
  • 2005 Kimmo Pohjonen and Eric EchampardUumen (Finland: Rockadillo, Germany: Westpark)
  • 2005 KTU8 Armed Monkey (Finland: Rockadillo, Germany: Westpark, North America: Thirsty Ear, Japan: Besection)
  • 2009 KTUQuiver (Finland and Europe: Rockadillo and Westpark Music, Japan: Disk Union, America: 7dMedia)


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