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Antti Martin Rissanen

Conductor Antti Rissanen, photo by Jukka Repo in 2020.

Trombonist-Conductor, Composer-Arranger, Lecturer

Short biography

Antti Rissanen is a trombonist, conductor and educator. As a trombonist he has won numerous different prizes and held the position number 1 Finnish jazz trombone player by the critics poll at the Finnish Jazz Rytmit Maganize for several years since 2002. He has studied in Berlin with Prof. Jiggs Whigham and at the New School University in USA with Conrad Herwig. He graduated from the jazz department of Sibelius-Academy in 2001 and finnished his doctorate in 2015. As a conductor-arranger he annually freelances a great number of concerts of different kinds with  big bands and Symphony Orchestras. In 2010-2019 he acted as a chief quest conductor for the Moscow based "George Garanian" big band. From 2009 he has been an artistic director of The Great Helsinki Swing big Band. As an educator he works primary as the head for wind instruments at Pop/jazz of Metropolia, University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki.

Long biography

Antti Rissanen is one of the few jazz trombonists in Europe, who works internationally with multiple orchestras as a soloist and conductor. He is a long time student of Mr. Conrad Herwig and Mr. Jiggs Whigham via The New School University and "Hanns Eisler" Hochschule für Musik Berlin, from where he graduated with top honours in 1997. He made his master's degree to Sibelius-Academy in 2001 and doctorate of music in 2015.

Antti started playing the piano at age of six by Japanize Suzuki-method, which led to improvising and composing at age of seven. At 9 he started  playing euphonium, which he changed to trombone at age of 14. Antti started conducting the local boy choir at the school in his home town of Kotka when he was only 9 years old, Kotka big band juniors at age of 15. 

His international career took off after winning the second prize in Frankfurt radio's Big Band composing contest in 1995 in Germany. In 1998 he won the Frank Rosolino Jazz trombone competition, arranged by International Trombone Association. In 2001 he won the first price at the "Rich Matteson" Jazz Competition at the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference in Lahti, Finland. In 2002 he was chosen the brass player of the year 2002 by the Lieksa Brass Week. In 2006 he led the Stadia big band to win the Finnish big band competition  and the same with Sibelius-Academy big band in 2008. In 2008 he got a special award at the 1st K.H.Pentti composing contest by the Guard's Wind Orchestra in Helsinki. Summer of 2008 he was awarded the 1st IBBF Award by the Imatra Big Band Festival.

Antti is well-known for his activity with big band music and all sorts of crossover concerts with Symphony orchestras. As a conductor he conducts in average 50-80 concerts a year and performs regularly with the Finnish Umo Jazz Orchestra for national and international audiences. In 2010-2019 he worked as a chief quest conductor for a Moscow-based "George Garanian" big band. Currently he is the vice-president of the Finnish big band association and an artistic leader of the Imatra big band festival, where he is also works as the leader of big band summer camp and conductor of Imatra big band. As a conductor of the Finnish all star junior big band he has a great touch on the national new generation of jazz lions. Regular engagements as a conductor also include Helsinki-based professional The Great Helsinki Swing big band and Metropolia big band. By this date he has worked with quite a large scale of European big bands, see the listed band details.

All together he has been involved with more than 50 recordings. As a leader he has recorded three CDs with his group Mr Fonebone, which consists of award winning players of Finnish jazz scene. Debut is CD is called "Mr Fonebone" (ARFCD 1997) and the second CD is entitled "Mr Fonebone Live" 2001 (TEXCD 3000). This features trumpet player Ingrid Jensen. The Third CD of the group, "Hit & Run" was released in 2008. Another international small group of his called Nordic Project, co-leader with Ted Trimble, released the Nordic Project CD with Gene Calderazzo and Jarmo Savolainen in 2004.

As an arranger he has some 400 arrangements made for big band and symphony orchestra.

He has worked widely around Europe. In recent years he has worked with Club For Five, Jamie Davis, Patty Austin, Cynthia Scott, Deborah Davis, Niki Haris, The New York Voices, Claudio Roditi, Benny Golson, Dave Weckle, Bill Evans, John Fedchock, Mike Abene, Magnus Broo, Lenny Picket, Dick Oatts, Bill Watrous, Jimmy Smith, Charles Tolliver, Randy Brecker, Jack Walrath, Ingrid Jensen, Jiggs Whigham to name a few international musicians.

Selected highlights of tours and performances internationally
All together some 30 countries 

2020 Russia, Estonia
2019 Russia, Estonia, Germany, France
2018 Russia, Germany, Estonia, Sweden
2017 Russia, USA, Estonia, The Netherlands, Germany
2016 Russia, USA, Germany, Sweden
2015 Russia, USA, Germany, Italy
2014 Russia, USA, Estonia, Germany
2013 Russia, USA, Germany, Estonia, Sweden

2012 Russia, Estonia, Italy, Denmark
2011 Russia, Estonia, Sweden, Germany
2010 Russia, tour with George Garanian big band around Caucasus
2009 Germany, Tour WDR big band and Bill Evans, Dave Weckle and Mark Egan
2008 France, UMO Jazz Orchestra
2008 Estonia, Mr Fonebone
2007 Tour with Nordic Tuba and beats in Sweden
2007 IAEJ in New York, NYC
2007 Midem Music Market Happening, France
2006 Tour in South-Africa, Imatra Big Band
2006 Tour with Finnish Jazz Messangers and Charles Tolliver in Finland
2006 Tour in England and Ireland, Umo Jazz Orchestra
2005 Tour with Imatra Big Band in Hungary
2005 The ITAE Conference in Budabest, Hungary
2005 Tour with UMO Jazz Orchestra in the Netherlands
2005 Tour with UMO Jazz Orchestra in Finland
2004 Tour with Nordic Project in Finland
2004 Tour in Finland with the Tribute to Jaco Pastorius
2004 Tour In Germany with Imatra Big Band
2003 Tour in Brazil as a soloist of Imatra Big Band
2002 Tourin Austria with Lungau Big Band and Randy Brecker
2002 Tour in Finland as a soloist for  Kvarken Big Band
2001 Tour in Cuba as a soloist and composer for jyväskylä Big band
2001 Tour in Finland with Austrian Heavy tuba, Jon Sass and Dorretta Carter
2001 Tour in Finland with Mr Fonebone and Ingrid Jensen
2000 Tour in Austria with Heavy Tuba, Jon Sass and Dorretta Carter
2000 Recording tour w/Jack Walrath and Upper Austrian Jazz Orchestra
1999 Recording tour w/Ingrid Jensen in Finland, Mr Fonebone
1999 Tour in Finland and Iceland with Mr Fonebone
1999 Tour in Finland with The Nordic Jazz trombone Quartet
1998 Tour around Europe (Baltic Sea) with EYJO Orchestra
1998 The International Trombone Association Festival Colorado, USA
1998 Tour in Finland Mr Fonebone, Finnish jazz federation
1997 Tour in South-Africa with BUJAZZO Jazz Orchestra
1997 Tour with jazz quintet Mr Fonebone
1996 Tour in Germany with BUJAZZO Jazz Orchestra
1995 Tour in France with Northern Lights big band

 Active engagements as a trombonist:

Valtteri Pöyhösen Nonetti (2019-)
Juha Tapio (2017-)
Ako Kiisken "SuomiLove" -orkesteri (2015-)
Sami Pitkämön "Tanssi tähtien kanssa" -orkesteri (2010-)
Dallape (2009-) 

Previous engagements as a trombonist:

Popeda (2016-2023)
Paula Koivuniemi (2010-2019)
Sunrise Avenue Wonderland Orchestra (2016-2017)
Lenni-Kalle Taipale/Vesa-Matti Loiri (2013-2015)
Jussi Lampela Nonet (2011-2015)
Umo Jazz Orchestra (2002-2008)
Koko Jazz Orchestra (2012)
Finnish Jazz Messangers (2007-2008)
Tribute to Jaco Pastorius (2006-2007)
Teemu Salminen Septet (2004-2005)
Riku Niemi Orchestra (2005-2019)
Mr Fonebone (1995-)
Kerkko Koskinen Kollektiivi
Nat Newborn Big Time
Antti Rissanen Jukebox Band


Working with

Antti plays King 2b "Jiggs Whigham" Silver Sonic (Anniversary model 1889-1999), a Miraphone Euphonium and a King Flugabone.

 Worked and performed with international artists:

Dorretta Carter, Nicholle Rossette, Johanna Johnson, Club For Five, Lagaylia Frazier, Jamie Davis, Cynthia Scott, Niki Harris, Deborah Davis, The New York Voices, Joan Falkner, Patty Austin, Puppini Sisters, Claudio Roditi, Benny Golson, Bill Evans, Dave Weckle, Mark Egan, Mike Abene, John Fedchock, Lenny Picket, Charles Tolliver, Magnus Broo, Bill Watrous, Dick Oatts, Ingrid Jensen, Jimmy Smith, Jim McNeely, Tim Hagans, John Taylor, Kenny Garret, Jim Beard, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Conrad Herwig, Jack Walrath, Jiggs Whigham, Peter Herbolzheimer, Bill Holman, Maria Schneider, Palle Mikkelborg, Thooths Thielemans, Ted Trimble, Gene Calderazzo, Eero Koivistoinen, Jukkis Uotila, Jukka Perko, Severi Pyysalo and Jukka Linkola.

Productions with Finnish artists  (as a conductor-arranger)

Aki Tykki, Erja Lyytinen, Marko Hietala, Ilja Teppo, Diandra, Eino Grön, Heta Halonen, Mikael Saari, Hanna Pakarinen, Mira Luoti, Mikko Leppilampi, Anna-Maija Tuokko, Egotrippi, Maria Ylipää, Tero Harjunniemi, Nina Mya, Tuomo, Marianna Jakobsson, Markus Allan, Aili Ikonen, Osmo Ikonen, Anssi Kela, Erin, Mari Palo, Saara Aalto, Teemu Roivainen, Pentti Hietanen, Matti ja Teppo, Paula Koivuniemi, Sami Saari, Koop Arponen, Tapani Kansa, Kari Tapio, Fredi, Jorma Kääriäinen, Arja Koriseva, Emma Salokoski, Paleface, Pepe Willberg, Sonja Lumme, Mikael Konttinen, Laura Voutilainen, Axl Smith, Mariska, Sami Pitkämö, Juha Hostikka, Matti Salminen, Annimaria Rinne, Gary Revel Junior, Juki Väkipakka, Pepe Ahlqvist, Kari Fall.

Associated with teaching (as a senior lecturer)

Metropolia, University of Applied Sciences (2001-2007, 2011-)
Sibelius-Academy (2008-2012)

The Pop&Jazz Concervatory of Helsinki (2000-2007)
Music Institute of Imatra (2003-2009)

Teaching priorities:
-trombone lessons
-jazz improvisation
-big band arranging
-orchestral conducting
-jazz ensembles
-big band

Some Festivals

Hilden Jazz Festival (GER), Leverkusen Jazztage (GER), IAEJ Conference (NEW YORK), Paranoia Music Festival (NL), Benoni Jazz festival (SA), Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (GER), Salzburg Brass Festival, New York Brass Conference, Copenhagen Jazz festival, Kaliningrad Jazz Day, ITA trombone Festival USA, Köln Triannale, Minden Jazz Festival, Sienna Jazz, Maastricht Jazz Festival, Bergmann Str. Jazzfest Berlin, Jugend Jazz It, Jazz By the Sea, Chamos Jazz, Alandia Jazz, Art Goes Kapakka Festival, Pori Jazz Festival, Imatra Big Band Festival, Lieksa Brass Week, Tampere Jazz Happening, Chamos Jazz Happening, ITEC Conference in Lahti, Turku Jazz, ITEC in Budapest, Linna Jazz

Some Compositions
Mainly big band arrangements, some pieces for wind orchestra and material for jazz combos 

2020 "Kukouri" Kymi Sinfonietta
2015 "Spanish Delights" big band/ symphony orchestra
2015 "Banana Riot" for the Finnish big band association, educational materials
2013 "Happy People", "Ronald Reagan" for the Finnish big band association, educational materials

2012 "Close to You", "The Blues Cafe" for the Finnish big band association, educational materials

2011 "Happy Hour", "Hotel Funky" for the Finnish big band association, educational materials

2010 "Blues Wagon", "Cha-cha Master" for the Finnish big band association, educational materials

2009 "Roll'n rock", "New Love", "Trane Station" for the Finnish big band Association, education materials

2008 "Shuffle Me" for the Finnish big band Accociation

2008 "Paradise Island" for the Umo Jazz Orchestra

2007 "Humoresque Festivo" for wind orchestra and euphonium 

2005 "Carnival", "Bolero a la Bonero", "Rasta Farm", "Bushmen of Savannah" for Big Band of Joensuu Conservatory

2004 "Aller", "Der Ympnus" for Lungau Big Band, Salzburg

2004 "Junior's Blues" for Vuoksi Brass, Imatra

2003 "Woodoo" for UMO Jazz Orchestra

2002 "Saamelainen", "Miracle", "She-Devil" for UMO Jazz Orchestra

2002 "Relaxed Attitude", "Lonely Morning", "At The Station", "Going Home" for UMO Jazz Orchestra

2001 "Behind The Border" for SBB Jazz Orchestra

2000 "Zinc Bar", "Farewell", "Angst" for UMO Jazz Orchestra

2000 "The Secret" for SBB Jazz Orchestra

1999 "Suite Nostalgie" for wind orchestra and jazz trombone for The Guards Wind Orchestra

1998 "Wooden Fantasy" for European Youth Jazz Orchestra

1998 "Wondering" for SBB Jazz Orchestra

1998 "Bonehead" for BUJAZZO Jazz Orchestra

1997 "Autumn Feelings" for UMO Jazz Orchestra

1996 "Red Letter Day" for BUJAZZO Jazz Orchestra

1995 "Seascape" for Frankfurt radio hr Big Band

Some Recordings

Radio, TV and CDs 

MTV3: Tanssii tähtien kanssa, kausi 17.
TV2: Elämäni biisi
TV2: Popeda, Ratinasta poikki
CD: Aarne Pelkonen, Rakas Joulu, Turun Filharmoninen orkesteri, cond. Antti Rissanen

MTV3: Tanssii tähtien kanssa, kausi 16.
TV2: Elämäni biisi
TV4: Juha Tapio Live

MTV3: Tanssii tähtien kanssa, kausi 15.
TV2: Suomilove, kausi 8.
TV2: Elämäni biisi


CD: Egotrippi ja Turun Filharmoninen orkesteri "Aina matkalla jonnekin", kapellimestari
MTV3: Tanssii tähtien kanssa, kausi 14.
TV2: Suomilove, kausi 7.


CD: Juha Tapio: Kuka näkee sut
TV2: Suomilove, kausi 6.
MTV3: Tanssii tähtien kanssa, kausi 13.
YLE1: Umo, Esko Linnavalli -kilpailu, kapellimestari


TV2: Suomilove, kausi 5.
MTV3: Tanssii tähtien kanssa, kausi 12.


TV2: Suomilove, kausi 4.
YLE1: Umo, Esko Linnavalli -kilpailu, kapellimestari


Tv2: Suomilove, kausi 3.
MTV3: Tanssii tähtien kanssa, kausi 10.


TV2: Suomilove, kausi 2.
MTV3: Tanssii tähtien kanssa, kausi 9.
YLE1: Umo, Esko Linnavalli -kilpailu, kapellimestari


MTV3: Tanssii tähtien kanssa, kausi 8.
TV1: Suomilove (kausi 1) Loppukonsertti Sibelius-talosta


MTV3: Tanssii tähtien kanssa, kausi 7.


MTV3: Tanssii tähtien kanssa, kausi 6.
TV2: Vantaan Viihdeorkesterin joulukonsertti, kapellimestari
CD: The Great Helsinki Swing Big Band "Ranskalaiset korot", kapellimestari
CD: Kerkko Koskinen "Kollektiivi"


MTV3: Tanssii tähtien kanssa, kausi 5.
CD: Dallape "soittajan sussu" (EMI)


CD: Umo Jazz Orchestra Plays Pekka Pohjola, CD:Gebardi XXL,
YLE1: Umo Plays Stravinsky "Ebony Concerto", CD: Big Bang,
YLE1: Umo and women in jazz, CD: Mariska ja pahat sudet, TV2/CD: The Great Helsinki Swing big band "Santa Claus Christmas Concert", MTV3: Tanssi tähtien kanssa, YLE1: Umo ja
Big Band elokuvissa

TV2: Santa Christmas Concert, Turku Philharmonic and Antti Rissanen play "White Christmas", Riku Niemi Orchestra (Valkea Ruusu), TV2: Paulu Koivuniemi Juhlakonsertti Tampere-talossa 21.11., TV1: Kerkko Koskinen "Slaavilaiset laulut", YLE1: Umo and Vellu Halkosalmi, CD: Isän kädestä - Veljekset Chydenius, CD: Slaavilaiset laulut-Kerkko Koskinen, YLE1: Umo ja Kalle Kalima


TV1: The Golden Trombone -documentary of Antti Rissanen, TV2: Rauno Lehtinen Gaala-UMO Jazz Orchestra, YLE1: UMO ja Ville Rusanen, DVD/MTV3: Riku Niemi Orchestra - Vihdoinkin!, YLE1: UMO Plays Woody Herman, CD: UMO-Mikko Hassinen, YLE1: UMO plays Jaco Pastorius, CD: Kerkko Koskinen -Othello, YLE1: Black Spirituals, UMO, CD: UMO on UMO, YLE1: UMO Meets Sibis, YLE1: Soul Night-Alx Smith, Tuomo, Osmo Ikonen, YLE1: Mr Fonebone with Magnus Broo, YLE1: Umo and Nelson Faria, CD: Dingo kokoelma -Riku Niemi Orchestra

2012 Teacher of the year, Sibelius Academy, University of Arts, Helsinki
2010 1st Prize in Finnish big band contest as a conductor of the The Great Helsinki Swing Big Band

2008 1st Prize in Finnish big band contest as a conductor for the Sibis big band

2008 3rd Prize in Finnish big band contest as a conductor for the Junior All Star Big Band

2007 1. IBBF Big Band Award by the Imatra Big Band Festival
2007 Special award at the 1st H.K.Pentti Composing contest of the Guards Wind Orchestra in Finland

2006 3rd Prize in Finnish big band contest as a conductor for the Junior All Star Big Band

2006 1st Prize in Finnish big band contest as a conductor for the Stadia big band
2004 3rd Prize in Finnish big band contest as a conductor for the Junior All Star Big Band
2002 The Brass Player of the Year by the Finnish Brass Society
2001 1st prize in ITEC Rich Matteson Tuba/Euphonium Jazz Competition in Lahti, Finland

1998 1st prize in ITA’s Frank Rosolino Memorial Scholarship Competition, USA
1996 2nd prize in hr big band composers’ contest in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
1996 1stprize in big band contest of Finland with Petteri Hasa Big Band
1994 2ndprize as a condutor for the Kotka junior big band in junior big band contest of Finland

1993 1stprize in young people’s cultural forum in jazz series with his quintet

CD: UMO "Agatha", CD: Mr Fonebone " Hit & Run", CD: Mp4, EBU Radio: Music of Ira Haarla, YLE1: Music Mikko Hassinen, CD: The Great Helsinki Swing big band: In the Glenn Miller Mood, CD: Nat New Born Big Time, YLE1: UMO and the Radio Symphony Orchestra

YLE teema: Helsinki Brass Band, CD: Stadia big band, YLE1: Umo ja Tim Hagans ja Scott Kinley,  CD: Universal artist Illi ”Hukkaa päivä”, TV2: Riku Niemi Orchestra, Ikaalinen ”Valkoinen ruusu”, MTV3: Riku Niemi Orchestra, Krisse Show,  YLE1: UMO Silent Music, Iro Haarla, CD: Finnish Junior All Star Big Band, YLE1: Mr Fonebone, MTV3: Riku Niemi Orchestra

YLE: UMO 30 years Jubileum concert; YLE: UMO and Jukka Perko, YLE: UMO and Joe Lovano; YLE: UMO and Mike Gibbs; YLE: UMO Silent Music; CD: UMO Sauna palaa; YLE: UMO and Ingrid Jensen; YLE: UMO and Jere Laukkanen; TV2: Umo and Satu Sopanen; YLE: UMO and Pentti Lahti; YLE: UMO ja Jukka Gustavsson

CD: ITF2003 jazz concert recording, CD: MP4 Central Playa, CD: Adult Nut House - Sam Huber, CD: Nordic Project, YLE1: UMO & Paroni Paakkunainen, YLE1: UMO & Gustavo Bergalli, YLE1: UMO & Drummers Association Finland

YLE1: UMO and music of Louis Pasquet; MTV3: UMO, Leningrad Cowboys Global Balalaikka Show; YLE1: UMO and ITF2003 soloists; YLE1: UMO, Silent Music with Jouko Harjanne

YLE1: Teemu Salminen septet; YLE1: UMO and Kornel Fekete-Kovac (live); YLE1: UMO, Silent Music feat. jouko Harjanne (live); YLE1: UMO, Calderazzo, Trimble and Rissanen (live); YLE1: Gene Calderazzo, Ted Trimble, Jarmo Savolainen and Antti Rissanen; YLE1: UMO, Musica Nova (live); YLE1: UMO and Maria Schneider (live); YLE1: UMO and young soloists (live); YLE1: UMO Plays Salsa (live)

TV1: Jazz Act Mr Fonebone; CD: MI22 Big band feat. Antti Rissanen, Denmark; CD: Mr Fonebone Live featuring Ingrid Jensen; CD: Eero Koivistoinen and Galaxy

YLE1: UMO Plays Antti Rissanen & Peppe Jalava (live); YLE1: YLE Workshop, Finland-Hungary jazz project; EBU radio: Jim Beard workshop (live); CD: Upper Austrian Jazz Orchestra feat. Jack Walrath (forthcoming); CD: Joey Morant septet, New York (forthcoming); CD: Sibelius-Academy Jazz: Play modes (Mr Fonebone); YLE1: UMO Celebration of 25 years e.g. Rich Shemaria (live); YLE1: UMO and Larry Cornell (live); YLE1: UMO and Thoots Thielemans (live); YLE1: The Nordic Jazz Trombone quartet

YLE1: Mr Fonebone jazz quintet; CD: Umo Jazz Orchestra plays Antti Sarpila

CD: European Youth Jazz orchestra (live); TV2: Finnish Jazz Series presents Mr Fonebone (60min.); TV1 Saturday morning presents Mr Fonebone (10min.); CD: Warner records pop artist Aki Viitasalo; YLE1: UMO plays Finnish big band music (live); CD: Kai Pahlman And Friends; YLE1: UMO and Bill Holman (live)

CD: German All State Jazz Orchestra "Focus On Vocals"; CD: Mr Fonebone: "Mr Fonebone" (leader); YLE1: Mr Fonebone jazz quintet; CD: RIAS Big Band Berlin plays Helmut Brandt; YLE1: Live concert Mr Fonebone from Chamos Jazz Festival; YLE1: UMO plays Music of Steely Dan (live)

Deutschland radio: Antti Rissanen quartet (live); YLE1: Jim McNeely Tentet in Helsinki (live); YLE: Antti's Four Trombone Band; YLE1: UMO and Young Talents

YLE1:jazz quintet Analemma Orchestra; CD: Sibelius-Academy: "Sounds In The Snow"( Mr Fonebone)

TV1: Antti Rissanen quintet (live); TV1: Jazz Concert "Blue Harbour"


International Antti Rissanen jazz trombone competition 2005 and 2008
Antti Rissanen big band conductiong camps since 2008

Antti Rissanen big band arranging camps since 2009
As a leader of Imatra big band summer camp 2003-
Judge at the ITA competitions
Judge at the Esko Linnavalli Competitions 2005-
Judge/conductor at the International UMO Helsinki big band composing contest 2021


International Trombone Association ITA, Finland

The Finnish big band accociation, vice president, president (2010-2020)

Finnish Musician Association

Finnish Trombone and Tuba Society SUPATUS (2002-2012)

Antti Rissanen, 2019. Photo by Jukka Repo.

Antti Rissanen, 2019. Photo by Jukka Repo.

Check great low brass instruments at www.miraphone.de/

Check great low brass instruments at www.miraphone.de/