Aili Ikonen is a versatile Helsinki-based vocalist. She has been touring all over Europe and in Finland, performing at various venues from significant jazz festivals to TV-shows. She has been featured as a soloist by the UMO Jazz Orchestra and the prestigious Norrbotten Big Band.
Aili leads her own group, the Aili Ikonen Ensemble. She works as a composer and lyricist in Kvalda, Korpi Ensemble, and Hereä, and as a vocalist in Aili Ikonen & Tribute to Ella, Panu Savolainen Proprius and Ikosen Siskot – a trio consisting of three singing sisters. In 2013, Aili Ikonen teamed up with the hotly tipped Finnish jazz trio HERD in order for “Jazzbasilli”, a celebration of the 1960’s golden era Finnish jazz-schlager. Aili Ikonen & Tribute to Ella released their debut album in April 2013 to great critical acclaim, as did “Jazzbasilli” in October 2013. Aili Ikonen & HERD also performed at the opening ceremony of the new Music Hall in Helsinki.
In 2004, Ikonen and Kvalda received the first prize at the Scandinavian Young Nordic Jazz Comets contest. In 2009, she performed one of the main roles in the contemporary virtual opera “Lovers of Mankind” which mixed jazz and modern classical music. In December 2010, she toured with vocal group Rajaton, and also performed “Into the Woodland silence” with the UMO Jazz Orchestra, a composition by Outi Tarkiainen tailored specially for Aili’s voice. The project was later released as an album by Fredriksson Music. The multifaceted vocalist has also performed at the Swedish Theater in Helsinki in the musical “Kristina från Duvemåla”, composed by the ABBA frontmen Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson.
Aili grew up in Korpilahti, Central Finland. Aili has been surrounded by music since her early childhood and she had a natural environment to try out all sorts of musical instruments. Her musical travels started by playing the violin at the age of five. During her high school years Aili found herself being increasingly drawn towards singing and she is still on that very path to this day. Aili enrolled at the Finnish Music Conservatory in Jyväskylä in 2001. After graduating in 2004, Aili moved to Helsinki to study jazz and folk music at the Sibelius Academy. She completed her Master’s degree in Music in 2014.