In 2002 Verneri, Tuomo, Olavi and Antti became the Young Nordic Jazz Comets by winning the Nordic jazz ensemble competition six months after founding the ensemble. Ilmiliekki’s debut album March Of The Alpha Males (TUM Records) was a nominee for a Jazz Emma (the Finnish Grammy) for the best jazz album of the year 2003. In 2004 the band was nominated Young Artist of the Year by the Finland Festivals organisation, while Verneri Pohjola was chosen as the Pori Jazz Festival Young Artist of the same year. Finally, at the end of 2004, Ilmiliekki got the highly respected Teosto Prize (the Finnish Composers Copyright Society’s prize). Considering all this Ilmiliekki Quartet represents the best young talent in Finnish jazz at the moment.
Sound and Soul
The senior member of the band, trumpeter Verneri Pohjola (born 1977), is usually the most featured soloist in the acclaiming criticism of Ilmiliekki concerts. The real power of the band, however, lies in their ensemble playing and interaction. All four musicians are major players on their respective instruments and they all share the vision, attitude, courage and self-confidence necessary in order to make creative, ambitious and impressive music.
The repertoire consists mostly of the band members’ original compositions. Occasionally, however, they go for covers by artists such as Björk, Ornette Coleman, Tom Waits, Radiohead or Suzanne Vega. And wherever Ilmiliekki performs, the audience is captivated by the quartet’s magic.