Aili Ikonen is a versatile vocalist living in Helsinki, Finland. She has been touring over Europe and Finland, performing in various venues from significant jazz festivals to TV-shows and has been featured as a soloist for i.a. UMO Jazz Orchestra and Norrbotten Big Band.
She received with jazz quartet Kvalda the first prize at the inter-Scandinavian Young Nordic Jazz Comets contest in 2004. In 2009 Ikonen performed one of the main roles in a contemporary virtual opera “Lovers of mankind” which brought together jazz elements and modern classical music. In december 2010 she toured with vocal group Rajaton, substituting soprano Essi Wuorela. In 2010 Aili and UMO Jazz Orchestra performed “Into the Woodland silence”, a composition by Outi Tarkiainen tailored specially for Aili´s voice. In 2011 she toured with Norrbotten Big Band in Sweden and performed in the opening concert of the Helsinki Music Center together with the jazz trio HERD.
Aili leads her own group Aili Ikonen Ensemble which gave it´s first performance in november 2011 in the Helsinki Music Centre. In addition to Aili Ikonen Ensemble, she works as a singer and writes music to Kvalda, Hereä and Korpi Ensemble. She is also performing with Aili Ikonen & Tribute to Ella, HERD-trio and Panu Savolainen Proprius. “Aili Ikonen & Tribute to Ella” -debut album released in april 2013 has received great reviews all over Finland. Ikonen’s cooperation with HERD has continued recently with the concert series and an album titled “Jazzbasilli” where the group explores jazzy Finnish popular songs.
From the early years Aili´s life was surrounded by music. In her childhood home in a small town Korpilahti in Central Finland musical instruments were lying in every corner and never was there a silent moment. Her musical travel started with violin at the age of five.
In high school years Aili found herself being increasingly drawn into singing and that is the road she’s still on. Year 2001 she started jazz and pop music studies in Finnish Music Conservatory in Jyväskylä where she also met the members of the jazz quartet Kvalda. Kvalda released it´s third album ”Blindfold” in december 2011. After graduating in 2004 Aili moved to Helsinki to study jazz and folk music at the Sibelius Academy. She finished her Bachelor of Music Degree in 2007.
Aili worked in Svenska Teatern in Helsinki from january 2012 to may 2013 in the musical Kristina från Duvemåla, written by the former ABBA members Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, where she also performed the main role of Kristina few times.