Festival year 2009
Pori Jazz 2009 was historically significant in a number of ways. Jyrki Kangas who has been part of the organisation since 1966, was responsible for the festival programme for the last time. Tuomas Kallio was named as the new artistic director. Together with Tuomas, the following people will compile the festival programme in coming years; Markus Partanen, who will be responsible for international jazz artists as well as Teppo Mäkynen who will decide on Finnish jazz artists performing at the festival. The trio will work utilising Pori Jazz festival’s long traditions as well as creating fresh ones for the new decade.
As usually, the festival programme was published at the end of March and ticket sale began traditionally on the 1st of April. This year, April Fool’s Day wasn’t far from turning into a nightmare. The night before the tickets came on sale, the festival’s main attraction – Tom Jones, pulled out. It took several weeks to find a replacement for the Welsh Tiger. The agony finally ended on the first week of May, when the Brian Setzer Orchestra was fixed to perform at the Kirjurinluoto Arena on Saturday 18th of July. Other crowd-pullers for festival 2009 were Duffy, Erykah Badu, SMV aka Stanley Clarke & Marcus Miller & Victor Wooten, Raphael Saadiq, De La Soul, Roy Hargrove Big Band, Booker T. Jones as well as 136 other big names, rising stars and unknown greats of rhythm music.
A few new elements were introduced to the festival in 2009. The Jazz Street in the south bank of the river went through a facelift with new Central-European style wooden market stalls. Also an effort was made to improve the location of many of the services available. The mbar stage was launched as a new venue as well as a trendy restaurant at the end of the Jazz Street, that worked as an Internet café by day and as a hive of Finnish jazz and indie music by night.
Music lovers at the Kirjurinluoto Arena got to experience a historical weather phenomenon; not a drop of rain on any of the four concert days! In addition, the highest tent in Finland was set up at the Kirjurinluoto Arena – a 13 metres, three floors high VIP-tent.
During the festival, music played at 12 locations almost around the clock. There were plenty of choices for the festival folk from massive open-air concerts at the Kirjurinluoto Arena to small idyllic club gigs. Just to let all the “Jazz polices” know, two thirds of music at the festival was jazz and the rest other rhythm music. 144 groups, altogether 638 musicians performed at the festival. Out of the 160 concerts only 40 were chargeable events and the rest you could enjoy free of charge. Pori Jazz exceeded their ticket sale target in tough competition by selling 56 000 tickets. In addition, the free concerts pulled a crowd of altogether 98 000 listeners. All in all then, 154 000 people visited the festival in 2009. The attendance figure includes visitors to the Pori Jazz Kids festival, which celebrated its fifth anniversary with a record breaking crowd of 20 000. Again a big thank you for the success of the festival goes to all the volunteers. There were 450 people who volunteered for the Pori Jazz organisation itself and 650 others who helped, for example through their sports clubs. There were 400 members of the press present, of which a tenth came from outside of Finland. Pori region’s economy benefited from the festival approximately 15 million euros.
Drummer Jaska Lukkarinen (26) was chosen as artist of the year. Pori Jazz 2009 poster was designed by an American 3D-pop artist Charles Fazzino whose roots are in Finland.