IIRO Rantala is one of the most internationally visible and travelled Finnish musicians.  He crosses music genres and styles, playing at his exhilarating and adventurous best he is zany, unconventional and occasionally wicked, yet entertaining and uncompromising. IIRO returns to Australia for a national tour.

JK: What can audiences look forward to on your tour?

IR: A funny and groovy night with Lennon songs and my own compositions too from my previous ACT released albums.

JK: What was your inspiration for your album ‘My working class hero’

IR: It was John Lennon. For me he was not only the shiniest star in the pop world but a guy with a beautiful yet simple message in his songs, which strived for and aimed to generate peace in a troubled world

JK: Do you find different musical approaches between Australian and Finnish jazz musicians?

IR: I haven’t worked with a lot with the Australian players. But musicians seems to be same everywhere: they talk about food and other musicians .. but maybe Finnish musicians on the whole have a tendency to take their music and the attitude to their craft continously (some times too) seriously.

I have over the years come across some fine Australian players like drummer Andrew Gander, pianist Mike Nock, beautiful alto-saxophoist Graeme Lyall, whom we played with at the Kiama Jazz Festival in 1996, as well as bassist Ben Robertson and drummer Dave Beck, whom I played with in Melbourne at Bennetts Lane some years ago, and I also played and recorded a piano duet with Joe Chindamo for the ABC 15 years ago.

I’m also looking forward to playing with world class Australian jazz vocalist Michelle Nicolle in Helsinki on 15 Oct at our Koko jazz club at a special gig for our Finnish parliamentarians

IIRO returns to Australia for 4 solo concerts in the last week of October, having toured here on a number of occasions during the past 20 years in all states and to many festivals

Performance information:

October Concert Dates and links:

 Wednesday 28 Oct, Melbourne: Melbourne Recital Centre – www.melbournerecital.com.au/events/2015/an-evening-with-iiro-rantala/

Thursday 29 Oct, Sydney: Venue505, 280 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills – book: www.trybooking.com/IIMP

Friday 30 Oct, Cairns: Tanks Art Centre – book: www.tanksartscentre.com

Saturday  31 Oct, Canberra: Embassy of Finland – book: ewa.walczuk@formin.fi – 02 6273 3800