Hiphop-funk-rock band N.E.R.D takes to the stage at Kirjurinluoto on 24 July.

PORI JAZZ has taken a few steps sideways from its original function on the festival scene. It no longer offers mind-blowing acts exclusively for jazz music lovers as its name suggests, but a range of music from hip-hop to pop, and funk to blues –­­ along with a bunch of the jazzy stuff as well, of course.

The festival was born in the 1960s amongst a group of young jazz musicians who spent their summers playing and listening to music in Kirjurinluoto – the park area in the centre of Pori where the main event of the festival is now held. Pori Jazz quickly established itself as the pioneer of Finnish festival tradition and celebrates its 45th birthday this year.

At the moment Pori Jazz is one of the most popular summer festivals in the country, and it’s no wonder why. Year after year the festival gathers together a stirring bunch of foreign and local acts alike. Some of this year’s definite highlights are concerts by the young husky voiced jazz singer-songwriter Melody Gardot, singer and piano wiz Tori Amos, and the much anticipated Kirjurinluoto concert of hiphop-funk-rock mix N.E.R.D and trip-hop duo Massive Attack.

Pori Jazz
17-25 July

The prices for the main events are admittedly a tad on the high side, but there’s also tons of stuff for those on a lower budget. And, if all else fails, at least the festival organisers have been kind enough to have set up tons of free concerts on the jazz street where you can soak up the best of festival atmosphere free of charge.

Petra Nyman