Joonas Haavisto (b.1982) is a Finnish pianist and composer. He is one of the most exciting young jazz musicians coming from the Nordic jazz scene. Joonas joined the world famous Steinway Artist roster in May 2017 and has won several prizes in the international competitions including Jazz Improvizacija 2006 solo piano competition, Young Nordic Jazz Comets 2007 and Jazz Hoeilaart 2010. He was also one of the semi-finalists in Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition 2010. Joonas has performed widely around Europe, USA, Canada and Japan with his groups.
During the last years Joonas Haavisto Trio has performed in several festivals and jazz clubs in Europe and Japan. In 2011 trio toured in England and France, performing e.g. in Royal Concert Hall of Nottingham and Bonington Theatre Jazz Club, in Paris Jazzcolors Festival and in Les Boréales Festival Caen. In Japan they have played at the legendary Tokyo Jazz Festival 2014 and in concert halls like Musashino Swing Hall Tokyo, Lilís Hall Yokohama and Tochigi Prefecture Cultural Center Hall. Trio also played at the Jazzahead 2018 in Bremen. Other international venues where Joonas has played include Pori Jazz Festival, Tampere Jazz Happening, Birstonas Jazz Festival, Kiova Jazz Festival, Varangerfestivalen, Thunder Bay Blues Festival, We Jazz Festival, Konserthuset Stockholm, Gusman Hall Miami, National Philharmonic Concert Hall Vilnius, The Helsinki Music Centre Concert Hall.
As a soloist Joonas has played with some of the finest chamber orchestras in Finland, The Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra and The Chamber Orchestra of Lapland. Joonas has also played with the top Finnish big band UMO and orchestras like Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Pori Sinfonietta. Joonas Haavisto Trio has released five albums, Blue Waters (2009, Rockadillo), Micro to Macro (2012, Fredriksson Music & Blue Gleam), oku (2016, Fredriksson Music, Herbie Martin Music Germany & Blue Gleam), Gradation (2017, Blue Gleam) and Offshore (2019, Membran). Albums have received praising reviews in both Finnish and international media. Micro to Macro album was on the top 10 new jazz CD recommendations list of two major record stores in Japan, Tower Records and disk union. It was placed first on the British ukvibés new jazz releases list in 2013. 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 released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in November 2016 via Herbie Martin Music and it has gotten excellent reviews in newspapers like Spiegel. Gradation was selected as an album on the month in August 2018 by British Bowers & Wilkins and Peter Gabriel collaboration. Previous artist they have selected include for example Björk and London Symphony Orchestra.
Joonas has played with one of the finest jazz musicians in the world, such as Jerry Bergonzi, Jonathan Kreisberg, Tivon Pennicott, Michael Formanek, John Fedchock, Bill Watrous, Sinne Eeg, Peter Weniger, Bertil Strandberg, Pepe Berns, Jukka Perko and Jukkis Uotila.
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.
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 with Sid Hille at the age of sixteen. After graduating from high school and doing military service Joonas entered the Sibelius-Academy in 2002, where he studied jazz piano with Mikael Jakobsson, Jim Beard, Jukkis Uotila and Seppo Kantonen. 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 where he studied composing with Ron Miller and piano with Doug Bickel. Joonas completed his Master of Music degree in Sibelius- Academy in 2011 and has been a member of the jazz piano faculty since 2009.