Tapani Rinne

Finnish musician, composer and record producer, who is known for his experimental and innovative style with the clarinet and saxophone


Tapani Rinne, one of the best-known and respected contemporary jazz musicians and composers in Finland, studied music at the prestigious Sibelius Academy between 1981 and 1986. As an alumnus of the famed Edward Vesala's Sound & Fury workshops, he continued to experiment with jazz and became one of leading figures in Finland's contemporary jazz scene. Close collaboration eventually lead Edvard Vesala and Rinne to start a new group called RinneRadio and to release the eponymous debut in 1988. RinneRadio's reputation as something radically new was cemented with following albums Dance and Visions (1990), Joik (1992), Unik (1994) and Rok (1996) when Rinne took over Vesala's role as the composer and pushed the ever-evolving group into fervent exploration of new soundscapes beyond jazz, drum & bass, ambient and even techno - well before these kinds of mash-ups became trendy a few years later.

Unik brought the group the Emma award for best jazz album of the year in 1994, equivalent to the Grammy in Finland. In 1992 Rinne had also received a personal accolade in the form of Yrjö award for the best jazz musician of the year, given by the Jazz Federation of Finland. RinneRadio released their 14th album, On, in 2007. In 2008 RinneRadio released a compilation album titled "20" to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band. The album was compiled by asking radio and club DJ's to list tracks for their dream RinneRadio album. In 2009 it was time for a new material in the form of album Pole Stars.

Despite the fact that RinneRadio was and still is a major part of Rinne's artistic legacy, he has sought new collaborations outside RinneRadio. In 1991 he joined Jimi Tenor, another saxophone experimentalist and produced an album called Suburban Sax. Rinne also worked closely with the Sami yoik singer Wimme on his four albums, produced the accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen's albums Kielo and Kluster and composed music for numerous television series, documentaries, films, dance pieces, and circus shows.

In 1999 he embarked on a new journey, his first solo album, which was based on the music he composed for the Swedish television series Insider. The minimalistic, almost glacial music was a distinct departure from RinneRadio's beat driven sound. He continued solo excursions in 2002 with Nectic, and in 2005 with the Silent Night, which featured new interpretations of traditional Christmas carols.

In 2002, Rinne formed SlowHill with the well-known Finnish DJ Slow (Producer & DJ), a former member of the band Pepe Deluxe. Their band fused jazz sounds with electronic beats and got their first album Finndisc released on Blue Note Records.

In 2005 SlowHill released their second album Fennika on Plastinka Records. Rinne also composed the score with Slow for the Finnish movie Koti-ikävä, which was nominated for the Finnish equivalent of the Oscar, the Jussi Award. Summer 2010 saw the release of the third SlowHill album, called Muzak via Universal Music Finland.

Visit Tapani Rinne's official Website.

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