Biography

Kvalda, a jazz ensemble formed in 2002, combines lucid Scandinavian jazz and free expression into a fresh and modern blend of music.

Kvalda combines the strength and abilities of four creative musicians all experts in their own field. It is characteristic of the quartet to diffuse the boundaries of improvisation and composition.

Kvalda has released three albums: Blindfold (2011), Leia (2007) and Kvalda (2004). All music is written by the members of the quartet.

Kvalda won the inter-Nordic competition “Young Nordic Jazz Comets” in 2004 and has been touring widely both in Europe and in Finland ever since. The quartet has been part of the program of such prestigious festivals as Stockholm Jazz Festival, JazzFest Berlin, Pori Jazz and Trondheim Jazz Festival. Kvalda has also been working with the highly appreciated Umo Jazz Orchestra and Jyväskylä Big Band.

In September 2016 Kvalda and Umo Jazz Orchestra performed together in a series of concerts consisting of Kvalda’s music arranged into new, grander big band versions. The music for these concerts was arranged by Kvalda members Antti Kujanpää and Jori Huhtala. The same program was later performed by Kvalda and Jyväskylä Big Band in Jyväskylä, the town where Kvalda was originally formed.

Aili Ikonen, laulu » www
Antti Kujanpää, piano » www
Jori Huhtala, basso » www
Hanne Pulli, rummut » www

… “Basically the best vocalist we’ve had by a fair amount”, is how my notes read, no small thing given the much-promoted appearances of Boine and Hukkelberg.

… The final element elevating the performance to exceptional was all this occurred in conversations throughout the body of the songs as well as extended solos. Combined with the wide variety of moods in the compositions, virtually every offering seemed to expose a new element of the band’s abilities.

Mark Sabbatini /
AllAboutJazz.com @ Varangerfestivalen 2007