History of Pori Jazz. International Festival Every Year in July


The history of Pori Jazz is now available for everybody to explore! On these pages you will find information about each festival ever since the very first Pori Jazz back in 1966.

Pori has been known in Finland as a jazz center since the 1960's. At the time it was mainly the young and culturally aware people who took an interest in jazz. There were also several small orchestras in town whose repertoires included jazz music. Among the jazz enthusiasts and musicians an idea was born - at the time it seemed a daring one - the idea of organizing a jazz festival. When they set out to make the festival became reality, they discovered that the arrangement of such a large-scale project required an organization of its own.

In the spring 1966 a non-profit association, Pori Jazz, was founded. The first Pori Jazz Festival was held in July 1966. The concerts and other events, held during one weekend, were attended by altogether about 1500 people. This was more than the organizers had dared to expect and success gave them the enthusiasm to continue.

Audiences grew from year to year. The duration of the festival was also increased. Between 1975 and 1984 it became established as a four-day event. Since 1985 the festival has lasted nine days with audiences numbering from 50 000 – 60 000 and for the last few years over 100 000. For the majority of the festival visitors, the festival has been an experience they have wanted to repeat every summer.

At the moment the Pori Jazz Festival is one of the biggest jazz festivals in Europe and is known throughout the world through radio and TV-programs. Year 2010 brought over 155 000 visitors to Pori Jazz Festival.

Source: Risto Ennekari, "Kolme vuosikymmentä improvisointia"

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