Festival year 2011
Pori Jazz festival turned 46 this year, making it the same age as it’s typical visitor. The festival reached it’s target in terms of ticket sales, by selling 57 000 tickets. When you add the 95 000 listeners that attended the free of charge concerts, you get a total of 150 000 visitors.
The number of concerts was altogether 117. Almost 70 % (78 concerts) were free of charge, with only 39 chargeable concerts. There were 11 concert venues, one less than in previous years as Otava Factory was unavailable during the festival. Kulttuuritehdas Kehräämö (Spinning Mill) in the old cotton factory was transformed into a blues club when Ultra Music Nights was moved under the wing of Pori Theatre’s small side, making the theatre the “jazz centre” for the entire festival. In the small clubs along the Jazz Street all different forms of jazz was played; from swing and bossa nova to student bands performing at the free of charge concerts.
Musical offering included such stars as Charles Lloyd New Quartet, Randy Weston African Rhythms Trio, Randy Brecker/Bill Evans Soulbop featuring Medeski & Martin & Wood, Jeff “Tain” Watts as well as Sing the Truth featuring Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves & Lizz Wright. Names more familiar to the public at large included Sir Elton John, Tom Jones and Ricky Martin. Most memorable soul/R&B/hip hop names were Aloe Blacc, Mos Def and Lupe Fiasco. In addition Seasick Steve and Daniel Lanois Black Dub deserve special mentions for their amazing gigs.
Out of all the music, 2/3 was jazz with the remainder being other rhythm music, played by 132 performing groups in which performed 533 individual musicians. There was a lot of domestic music, as out of all the groups almost 70 % were from Finland.
Pori Jazz Kids Festival made a new visitor record by attracting 25 000 listeners. Almost 70 events included 24 actual concerts as well as a number of music and instrument building workshops, story telling and other interesting activities for children of all ages.
There were 450 volunteers recruited by the Pori Jazz organization as well as 600 people who worked voluntarily through various sport clubs and other societies. An estimated 350 members of the media visited the festival of which every tenth was from abroad.
This year’s festival poster was designed by graphic designer and illustrator Sanna Mander. Guitarist Olli Hirvonen was chosen as the artist of the year.
Pori Jazz was also involved in Turku2011 – European Capital of Culture by managing Loisto series of concerts, which included 16 concerts together with nine other festivals organized in Western Finland this year. In addition, Pori Jazz organized it’s own concert in Turku when it brought jazz to the banks of the river Aurajoki in the middle of June.