Happy New Year to You! It´s time to celebrate one of the Finnish Top Jazz Festivals – Ylläs Jazz – that will experience the 20th anniversary of great jazz feeling. I´m a lucky girl to have a chance to sing with the vanguard league of the Finnish jazzmen, check up this list: Alexi Tuomarila, piano/Kalevi Louhivuori, trp/Mikko-Ville Luolajan-Mikkola, violin&double bass/Timo Kämäräinen, gtr, Eero Koivistoinen,sax/Jori Huhtala, bass/Tuomas Timonen, drs. I have a gut feeling that there´s gonna be lots of energy, surprising events and beautiful playing out there. This is a dream come true. And we´ll be having a plenty of snow in Lapland – what a crisp and white delight that will be! Northern Beauty!!!
I´m a storyteller and a modernist by inner spirit. I prefer to improvise, explore new ways of using human voice and sounds, and create a touching performance. Writing poems, lyrics and stories give me the opportunity to communicate deeper with the audience and touch their souls. Curiosity, ideas, passion, persistence and sincerity form the basis in my thinking.
Some people say that my alto voice is very expressive, moving from childlike innocence to matured beauty and up to surreal drama - and I think that describes me pretty well. I prefer using the whole scale of human voice when telling the story and capturing its emotions. I also enjoy to improvise - my intuitive feel for rhythm takes me around the music and I am happiest if I can surprise myself with what I´ll find.
It´s very hard for me to define my genre – and I do not want to do it at all. I prefer to explore different music and art features and styles. I have strong roots in swing/mainstream/bebop and therefore I can move with ease around different genres. Either singing jazz standards and arranged big band music with style - or experimenting the contemporary music and absolutely free improvisation with no limits.
During the years of exploring different angles and flavours of jazz I have been an active listener. I am open minded and curious to find interesting sounds, tunes, voices, rhythm patterns, wild attitude, openminded and soulful musicians - anything that catches my attention with unique touch of creativity.
Reija Lang in a snapshot:
Jazz vocalist, lyricist
Winner of ”Lady Summertime” Vocal Jazz Contest in 2002
Albums: Transit 2005, Out of Office 2009, Soundoscope 2010
Performances in festivals & clubs in Finland, Japan, Russia, Estonia, Sweden
Pop & Jazz Conservatorium
Sibelius Academy Open University
Private vocal technique studies:
International jazz workshops:
Sibelius Academy Jazz Workshops, led by Jukkis Uotila & Jenny Robson (Kuopio, Finland 2001 & 2002)
Amsterdam Conservatorium Jazz Workshop, led by Nancy Marano (Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2002)
Stanford Jazz Workshop led by Madeline Eastman, Dena De Rose (San Francisco, USA, 2003)
Vocal Free Improvisation Workshop/School for Improvised Music, led by Jay Clayton (New York, USA 2006)
Corfu Jazz Workshop/Ionian University, led by Sheila Jordan (Corfu, Greece 2007)
Berklee Jazz Workshop, led by Donna McElroy (Perugia, Italy 2012)
Anita O´Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Betty Carter, DeeDee Bridgewater, Sarah Vaughan, Mark Murphy, Flora Purim, Joni Mitchell, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Anne Ducros, Eddie Jefferson, Sheila Jordan
Eric Dolphy, Wayne Shorter, Jack De Johnette, Paul McCandless, McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Cannonball Adderley, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane Chick Corea, Charlie Parker, Ellen Christi, Lee Morgan, Stanley Clarke, Carla Bley, John Zorn, Ralph Towner