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Finnish jazz pianist Aki Rissanen began his musical journey in the classical milieu before segueing into studying jazz. Born in 1980, Rissanen spent a dozen years studying classical music, then ventured outward by studying jazz and improvised music at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique in Paris. During his studies in France, he released his debut, a solo piano album called La Lumiere Noire, in 2007. Beautiful Anxiety followed in 2009, the same year he completed his master’s degree at Finland’s Sibelius Academy and began his professional career in earnest.
Rissanen continued to collaborate and appear as a featured artist on recordings in the early 2010s. In 2016, he debuted the Aki Rissanen Trio, alongside bassist Antti Lötjönen and drummer Teppo Mäkynen, both already known in jazz circles as founding members of the Five Corners Quintet. The trio’s first album, Amorandom, was hailed by the Finnish press and won an Emma Award, Finland’s equivalent of a Grammy, for Best Jazz Album. Another North and Art In Motion followed in 2017 and 2019.
Rissanen remains active as a solo artist and with other ensembles, including the quartet Sininen Syksy, which performs the music of Finnish composer Leevi Madetoja, and the trio Aleatoric.
© ©Copyright Music Story Chris Steffen 2021
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