The Finnish Jazz Federation awarded trumpeter Verneri Pohjola with the Yrjö Jazz Prize on Friday 3 November at Tullikamarin Pakkahuone. Pohjola came to large-scale attention as the trumpeter for the Finnish jazz group Ilmiliekki Quartet in early 2000s. Today, Pohjola leads and is known for his own bands Verneri Pohjola Quartet and Verneri Pohjola Group, the latter of which issued an acclaimed album, Pekka, a few months ago. Released by the British Edition Records, the album paid homage to the trumpeter’s late father, legendary bassist Pekka Pohjola, and his musical heritage.
The Finnish Jazz Federation board was unanimous in their decision.
The Yrjö Prize itself is a work of art made by a different artist each year. This year’s Yrjö is a ceramic sculpture named Big Girl by Porvoo-based artist Jenni Tuominen. The piece was commissioned by the Finnish Jazz Federation specifically for Pohjola.
The Varjo-Yrjö Prize, granted by the Finnish Broadcasting Company, was given to Koko Jazz Club for its successful effort of expanding its activities.
The Yrjö Prize is an annual jazz award given to a Finnish jazz artist in acknowledgement of his or her outstanding contribution to Finnish jazz music. The award was launched in 1967.