It´s my favourite season again, the fabulous summertime. My gig calendar includes this summer concerts with my dear trio and also some special gigs as a featuring vocalist. The July starts with an archipelago feel playing duo with Jarno Kukkonen – at a special island resort Elisaari in Inkoo – the real boating paradise by the Baltic Sea. Then I´ll head to Punkaharju to feel the lakeside touch with my trio. And then to the absolute favourite of mine on the west coast: City of Vaasa – to play with Erkko Jussila and his team at Fondis. The new tributing act “Swingin´ Ella” was created together with Optimo Orchestra. With conductor Kimmo Leppälä and my long time collaboration partner, drummer Raimo Nikulainen who is the great founder of the legendary Opera Big Band. We´ll perform the new program premiere at Otava Jazz Festival on August 1. Looking so much forward to that – as well as Reija Lang New Trio´s gospel performance at Otava Old Church. Hope to see ya and enjoy the summerly jazz feeling :)
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