Joonas Haavisto (b.1982) is an international award-winning pianist and composer. He is one of the most exciting young jazz musicians coming from the Nordic jazz scene. Joonas joined the worldfamous Steinway Artist roster in May 2017. He has performed widely around Europe, USA, Canada and Japan with his groups.
Joonas Haavisto began his musical studies at the age of seven at the conservatory of his home town Kokkola. He played the classical double bass and sang in a boy choir before his first jazz piano lessons at the age of sixteen. After graduating from high school and doing military service Joonas entered the Sibelius-Academy in 2002. In addition, Joonas has taken part in many great Masterclasses given by Randy Brecker, Dave Kikoski, Joey Calderazzo and Chris Potter. In 2005 Joonas got a scholarship from the Sibelius-Academy for his studies in the University of Miami, Frost School of Music. Joonas completed his Master of Music degree in Sibelius-Academy in 2011 and has been a member of the jazz piano faculty since 2009. During the last ten years the main project for Joonas has been his trio Joonas Haavisto Trio, which unites three stellar musicians from the Finnish scene. Joonas Haavisto on piano is joined by Antti Lötjönen on bass and Joonas Riippa on drums. They have released three albums, Blue Waters (2009, Rockadillo), Micro to Macro (2012, Fredriksson Music & Blue Gleam) and oku (2016, Fredriksson Music, Herbie Martin Music Germany & Blue Gleam). A song titled Frozen from the latest album oku was among the best 10 songs on The A-List 2015-2016: Jazz by Apple Music. Oku album was also released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in November 2016 and it has gotten excellent reviews in newspapers like Der Spiegel. Trio has been very successful in Japan and has had packed audiences in their concert hall tours. In 2014 they played at the legendary Tokyo Jazz Festival.
Known as a versatile pianist and keyboardist, Joonas Haavisto plays in many other groups as well. Combining electroninics to their experimental approach a band called Zander is one of his favourites. Other bands include Inga Söder Stream Carries and Martti Vesala Soundpost Quintet, which released their debut album through Germany based Ozella Music in 2016.
As a composer Joonas has been very productive since he began to play the piano. He has composed for his small groups from trio to quintet. During the last years he has also composed for chamber orchestras, big bands, solo piano, pop artists and movies. Joonas composed and performed the piano music for the movie The Happiest Day in the life of Olli Mäki, which won the top Un Certain Regard prize in Cannes Film Festival 2016 and it has been put forth by Finland as its official submission for the Foreign Language Oscar 2016 race.
Haavisto has played as a soloist with two of the greatest chamber orchestras in Finland, The Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra and The Chamber Orchestra of Lapland. He has also played with the top Finnish big band UMO and orchestras like Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Pori Sinfonietta. Joonas has played with one of the finest jazz musicians in the world, such as Jerry Bergonzi, Jonathan Kreisberg, Tivon Pennicott, Troy Roberts, Michael Formanek, John Fedchock, Bill Watrous, Sinne Eeg, Peter Weniger, Bertil Strandberg, Pepe Berns, Jukka Perko, Jukka Tolonen, Verneri Pohjola and Jukkis Uotila.
Joonas has taken part in international jazz competitions and he won the first prize in the Jazz Improvizacija 2006 Solo Piano Competition in Lithuania. With Zander he received the fourth prize in the famous Jazz Hoielaart competition in Belgium in 2010. Haavisto also won the first prize in the Young Nordic Jazz Comets competition in 2007 and was the only semi-finalists from the Nordic countries in the Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition in 2010 in UK.