OAF Akatemia Kalle Salonen

Kalle Salonen

Kalle Salonen is a Finnish groovejazz-musician and composer, whose main instrument is the Hammond-organ. Previously Salonen has recorded two LP´s called Cat Slide (2013) and Barracuda Man (2016). Salonen has toured solo, with Kalle Salonen & Antero Priha duo and with the bands Kalle Salonen and Organ Free. During the years Salonen has hosted a Hammond-club in Bar Loose and in Elmu´s Nosturi in Helsinki. He has also worked as a radio show organist in Radio Helsinki. In addition to his own band he has performed with Jukka Gustavson, Sam Heat, Marzi Nyman, Pepe Willberg, Marko Haavisto, Hannu Pikkarainen, Teuvo Merkkiniemi, Pekka Gröhn, Janne Salonen, Antero Priha and Panu Syrjänen, to mention a few.

In OAF Academy Salonen actualizes his dream as he composes new music for an ensemble of three Hammond organs. Hannu Pikkarainen, who is an experienced music producer and a renowned multi-instrumentalist, help’s Kalle to fulfill his dream. He acts as the composer mentor for Salonen. Salonen shatters glass ceilings as a first disabled musician who pursues an international career as a composer. “It is a magnificent thing to put three Hammond organs together and on a stage. It’s sort of like a historical thing. This is also great in the sense that  now probably nobody will come and say Kalle put the volume down or don´t play that Hammond now!”, Salonen comments.

Salonen´s new compositions are premiered in 20.8.2023 at the Helsinki Festival’s Huvila venue. In the live ensemble two veterans play the two other Hammonds alongside Salonen: Jukka Gustavson of Wigwam fame and Pekka Gröhn, who plays in the band of J. Karjalainen. Together they form the trio Salonen-Gustavson-Gröhn. The trio is accompanied by Salonen’s trusted brass masters Antero Priha and Panu Syrjänen, drummer-producer Hannu Pikkarainen as well as the bass player Teuvo Merkkiniemi. The legendary Tuomari Nurmio also takes over the stage of Huvila with his group Dumari and Spuget & Blosarit.

The trio continues playing gigs in the near future. “We´ll bring you jazz, funk and dangerous situations”, promises Salonen. 

Explore further: The concert page by Helsinki Festival, Kalle Salonen homepage, Listen to Salonen’s music on Spotify