Singer, composer and lyricist Aili Ikonen is one of most in-demand jazz vocalists in Finland. Her latest album Piirrä minut was released October 2017 to critical acclaim. She has perfomed in numerous esteemed venues both in and outside her home country.
Ikonen has been featured as a soloist by many of the most prestigious orchestras in Scandinavia, such as UMO Jazz Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and Norrbotten Big Band. Aili Ikonen will start as a new member of the vocal group Rajaton in October 2018.
Aili released her debut album Laulan in April 2016. 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. The same year Ikonen’s album Tribute to Ella was released, paying homage to one of the greatest vocal stylists and improvisers of all time, Ella Fitzgerald.
Besides her own band, she also works as a composer and lyricist in Kvalda, Hereä and Ikosen Siskot – a trio consisting of three singing sisters. Hereä’s newly released album Veden värit was a nominee of the Best Folk Music Album of the Year 2016 in the finnish Grammys, Emma-gaala. Kvalda received the first prize at the Scandinavian Young Nordic Jazz Comets contest in 2004.
Year 2010 Ikonen performed “Into the Woodland silence” with the UMO Jazz Orchestra, a composition by finnish composer Outi Tarkiainen tailored specially for Aili’s voice. The project was later recorded and released as an album with Norrbotten Big Band with Outi Tarkiainen as a conductor.
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. Her musical studies started with 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 moved to Helsinki to study jazz and folk music at the Sibelius Academy in 2004. She completed her Master’s degree in Music in 2014.