Bio 🇺🇸

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 contemporary music.

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. 

I want to create a touching performance. Writing poems, lyrics and stories give me the opportunity to communicate deeper with the audience and touch their souls.

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, narratives, wild attitude – anything that catches my attention with unique touch of creativity.  During my musical journey I have been lucky to have had a chance to collaborate with soulful top notch musicians who master their instruments.

Reija Lang in a snapshot:

  • Jazz vocalist, lyricist
  • Winner of ”Lady Summertime” Vocal Jazz Contest in 2002
  • First prize at Imatra Big Band Festival, as a featuring vocalist of Arricone Big Band in 2014
  • Albums: Transit 2005, Out of Office 2009, Soundoscope 2010, Blood of Joy 2013, Arricone Big Band 2013, Uuden Oodi 2016, Blessium 2016
  • Lyrics written for the following jazz composers: Eric Dolphy, Wayne Shorter, Mal Waldron, Mikko-Ville Luolajan-Mikkola, Mika Mylläri, Jarno Kukkonen, Alexi Tuomarila, Ron McClure, Ed Jones, Geoff Gascoyne, Orphy Robinson, Seppo Kantonen, Mikko Innanen, André Sumelius
  • Featuring vocalist with the following big bands: Finnish Opera Big Band, Arricone Big Band, Ilmavoimien Big Band, Kokkola Big Band, Kotka Big Band, Lappeenranta Big Band, Grani Big Band, Mosabacka Big Band, Finnair Pilots Big Band, Oulu Big Band, Jaso Big Band
  • Big Band projects with the following conductors/arrangers: Mika Mylläri, Erno Tiittanen, Jukka Linkola, Tomi Väisänen, Martti Peippo, Markku Renko, Ismo Varis, Raimo Henriksson, Ari Jokelainen, Antti Sarpila, Olli Pitkänen
  • Performances in festivals, concert halls & clubs in Finland, Japan, Russia, Estonia, Sweden, China, Spain

Studies:

  • Pop & Jazz Conservatorium
  • Sibelius Academy Open University

Private vocal technique studies: 

  • Maija Hapuoja
  • Mark Murphy
  • Tanja Linnavalli
  • Jenny Robson

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) 

Influences:

Vocalists
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

Instrumentalists
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