MARKKU JOHANSSON (b. 22.3.1949)
Johansson is one of the most versatile music
professionals in Finland. Since 1970 he has
utilized his talents as a composer, arranger,
conductor as well as an accomplished trumpet
and flugelhorn player.
became a natural part of Markku Johansson’s
life at an early age since both his parents
had careers in music. Young Markku’s first
intrument was the piano and during his teenage
years he switched to the trumpet. His first
love was classical music which he studied at
the Lahti Conservatory followed by studies at
the Sibelius Academy.
1970's became a significant decade in Mr. Johansson’s
professional development. He moved from rural
Heinola to Helsinki and joined one of the leading
pop groups of the era, Pepe and The Paradise.
He was also very much in demand as an arranger,
studio musician and conductor working with major
record labels and broadcasting companies. Markku
developed an interest in jazz and took up the
flugelhorn alongside his beloved trumpet. In
1976-77 he studied in New York under Thad Jones,
Carmine Caruso and Lew Soloff.
addition to his career with Big Bands and studio
orchestras, Markku Johansson has performed with
most Finnish front-line jazz musicians in smaller
ensembles. He has also represented the Finnish
National Broadcasting Union performing in Germany,
Belgium, England, Hungary, Russia, Estonia,
Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands.
Johansson has received several distinguished
recognitions of his career. In 1993 he received
the annual Yrjö Award from the Finnish
Jazz Federation and a new flugelhorn directly
presented to him by the Parisian manufacturer
Antoine Courtois. In 1996 he received the Kullervo
Linna Foundation Award for his work in music
entertainment. In 2000 Markku Johansson won
the waltz composition contest given by the ELVIS
Foundation. In 2002 he received the coveted
acknowledgment award given by the Finnish Musicians
Johansson is among the founders of jazz orchestra
UMO and played the trumpet with the orchestra
until 1983. From 1992 to 1993 he held position
as the orchestra’s Principal Conductor.
Since 1998 Markku Johansson has been the Music
Director and Principal Conductor of Vantaa Pops.
Mr. Johansson has also had the privilege of
guest conducting most Finnish symphony orchestras.
Translation: Pasi Tonteri