Mikko “Gunu” Karjalainen is one of Finland’s busiest trumpet players, who has collaborated with both the top names in jazz music and popular Finnish pop artists (including Mariska). He has played with international jazz legends (e.g. Kenny Garrett, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Jerry Bergonzi and Dave Kikoski) as well as in several top domestic jazz ensembles (including Jukkis Uotila and Ricky Tick Big Band).

The Fellowship Quintet, led by Karjalainen, is an all star jazz line-up that, on the new album Fellowship, joins forces with Finnish hip-hop artist Paleface. In addition to Gunu, the album also features double bassist Antti Lötjönen, saxophonist Petri “Pope” Puolitaival, drummer Jussi Lehtonen and Estonian virtuoso Holger Marjamaa, pianist for Chris Botti.

Gunu’s compositions are strongly based on the jazz tradition but are, at the same time, intertwined with modern jazz influences. Paleface’s lyrics, on the other hand, deal with extremely topical issues such as the growing threat of climate change. The single “A Second Notice.” being the perfect example of his lyrical skills.

Most compositions are hard bop or soul jazz

To be featured on World of Jazz 421

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