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December 5 , 2011

Finnish jazz award for Iro Haarla

Finnish pianist/harpist/composer Iro Haarla has won the Jazz Emma Award 2011 for Album of the Year, with her ECM recording “Vespers”, featuring her group with Mathias Eick, Trygve Seim, Ulf Krokfors, and Jon Christensen.

The Emma Awards were established by the Finnish music industry in 1983.

The award for Haarla reflected the unanimous decision of the jury. From their statement:

“Behind the music of this recording is a pioneering pianist and a composer who has created her career in a modest, and at the same time, stylish and self-confident way among the top Finnish and international jazz musicians. The music of the winning recording is both artistically and compositionally of the highest quality. Its musical language is at the same time both original and bearing a Scandinavian character– it is strongly meditative, even therapeutic.”

It’s the second consecutive year in which an ECM album has won the Finnish prize. Markku Ounaskari collected the award last year for “Kuára”, his album with pianist Samuli Mikkonen.