SANNA RUOHONIEMI

Vocal Jazz • Finland
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Sanna Ruohoniemi sings, improvises and composes unique playful songs, that can carry enormous creativity, rawness and flexibility of expression with advanced musical skills. Her music shows a strong statement of what jazz is today, combining the delicate vocal sound with a twist of long Nordic winter’s rawness translated into music.

On stage Sanna and the group builds a musical dialogue, full of energy and catchy compositions drawning the attention of the listener with the embrace of her strong presence. Sanna is living in Stockholm after finished her Nordic Master studies in Jazz at Kungliga Musikhögskolan, Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and Aarhus Royal Academy of Music.

When talking about her influences, Sanna don´t hesitate to mention:

“Michael Brecker – modern bebop jazz that is also groove based with really rich harmonies

Sidsel Endresen – wide expression and interpretation of the vocals, free improvisation

Nina Simone – tradition of vocal jazz, power of storytelling”

from https://sannaruohoniemi.com
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SANNA RUOHONIEMI albums / top albums

SANNA RUOHONIEMI Tales of a stranger album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tales of a stranger
Vocal Jazz 2016
SANNA RUOHONIEMI Start From Nothing album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Start From Nothing
Vocal Jazz 2018
SANNA RUOHONIEMI Let Everything Happen album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Let Everything Happen
Vocal Jazz 2024

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SANNA RUOHONIEMI Reviews

SANNA RUOHONIEMI Let Everything Happen

Album · 2024 · Vocal Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Matti P
This is the third and latest album of the fairly young Finnish vocalist and composer SANNA RUOHONIEMI. She grew up in the countryside of Finnish Ostrobothnia and nowadays lives in Stockholm. That's where the album was recorded as well, the accompanying musicians being Fredrik Lindborg (saxophone, bass clarinet), Daniel Tilling (piano), Lars Ekman (double bass) and Daniel Olsson (drums). Lyrics feature also Finnish and Swedish in addition to dominating English. Her compositions are modern jazz with ingredients from Nordic ethnic music, bebop and tango.

The opening title track is rather an introspective and moody song in slow tempo. The elegant arrangement favours piano and hi-hat plus some bass clarinet, but the focus is on the girlish and sensual voice of Ruohoniemi. 'Helsinki mun' (= My Helsinki) is her Finnish-language adaptation of Monica Zetterlund's Stockholm-inspired 'Sakta vi gå genom stan'. The combo plays excellently together and there's a suitable amount of emotion.

'Jag vet en dejlig rosa' is a slow piece, and if I'm not mistaken, of traditional origins. The playing flows in a melancholic, wandering manner. 'Dance of Life' has a pretty traditional vocal jazz sound, reminding me of 'Is You Or Is You Ain't My Baby'. A lengthy saxophone solo is followed by a bass solo.

'Slavic Heart' is a vividly pouring, melodic composition. 'Tango Variaté' is basically an instrumental with wordless chanting, perhaps my favourite piece, and definitely the most dynamic in its alteration between calmness and more energetic moments. Another highlight is the closing song 'No One's Coming' for its strong, introspective mood.

A recommendable album for those wishing to find stylistically eclectic Nordic vocal jazz with female vocalists, alongside artists such as Viktoria Tolstoy, Ira Kaspi, Jeanette Lindström, Lisa Ekdahl and Sidsel Endresen. However, Ruohoniemi's slightly naiive vocal expression takes a half star away from my four stars for not exactly being up to my personal taste.

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