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  • Writer's pictureMarkus Brandstetter

"Tae Kwon Don’t": A Conversation with Pianist and Composer Iiro Rantala

Updated: Jun 11

2024 marks the return of Iiro Rantala to the jazz trio format. Sixteen years after the end of his legendary Trio Töykeät (followed by an astonishing and stylistically rich solo career), the Finnish pianist and composer joins forces with Anton Eger (drums) and Conor Chaplin (bass) as the Iiro Rantala HEL Trio. Their first album, "Tough Stuff," was recently released via ACT Music. This album signifies yet another chapter in Rantala's career – and while Rantala, in his own words, seeks to never repeat himself, he consciously allows for a bridge from the past to the present, in a sense continuing where Trio Töykeät left off.

In March 2021, I was fortunate enough to have an in-depth conversation with Iiro for, in which he talks about his beginnings, his education, his view on the differences between the classical and jazz worlds, his opera work, and much more. You can read the full interview, which is very insightful and funny, HERE.

This time, about three years later, I asked Iiro if he'd be up for a video chat, and he generously agreed. Enjoy the interview, enjoy Iiro's new album and of course all his other albums too (I highly recommend "Anyone With A Heart", "My Finnish Calendar" and "Lost Heroes", if you haven't got them yet, but there are so many gems in his discography). Plus, check out his podcast!


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