Benjamin Faconnier is a trumpet player and music composer, born and raised in Perpignan, France. He started to play trumpet at the age of seventeen years old and has been in many bands of various styles such as ska-punk, horror movie sound tracks inspired band, and a lot of traditional ska before exploring New-Orleans music. Benjamin experienced during all those years many studio sessions, and tours in France, Belgium, Switzerland and UK.
It is once he moved to the city of Montpellier, France, that he found a real interest for deeper meaning in improvisation, and studied more in depth his instrument. During those years in Montpellier, Benjamin played with different New-Orleans and Swing bands meant for swing dancers community all around Europe (France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Netherland, Poland, Bulgaria). It is relatively in the same time that Benjamin graduated from the conservatory that he started writing his own music. Benjamin Faconnier is really inspired by the powerful music of masters such as Miles Davis, Charles Mingus or Thelonious Monk, by more recent legends such as Kenny Wheeler, Roy Hargrove and of course by contemporary musicians like Ambrose Akinmusire, Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah and Ari Hoenig. These inspirations led Benjamin to found his first composition project: Papillon.
Jimi Ahlroos is a young saxophone player from Oulu, Finland. As a nine year old in 2010 he took up the saxophone as his main instrument and later proceeded to apply to a local music school and the Oulu Conservatory. He has studied and played various styles of rhythm music and has performed in ensembles ranging from big bands to smaller groups. His big band work includes playing in The Finnish Junior All-Star Big Band, Oulu Youth Jazz Orchestra, Oulu All Star Big Band, and Arctic Pulse Jazz Orchestra.
Severi Seppänen is a young musician from Oulu, Finland. He studied and graduated as a guitar player at the conservatory, and during this time practiced producing as well. It is in Helsinki, at the Metropolia UAS that Severi is now going to study more in depth producing, writing and the guitar.
Roni Helminen supplies the low frequencies for many bands and projects in Oulu. He is a versatile bass player and multi-instrumentalist, currently playing 7 different instruments. He also works as an audio engineer, arranger, transcriber and teacher. Roni is influenced equally as much by Steve Harris, Jaco Pastorius and Ray Brown, and he is just as comfortable with metal music as with jazz and latin music. His wide range of influences gives him the ability to approach familiar genres in more unconventional ways, which is exactly what he likes to do, especially in his own music.
In addition to his music studies in Finland, he has also studied abroad in Amsterdam (Conservatorium van Amsterdam) and Rome (Saint Louis College of Music), and worked for Norwegian Cruise Line in America as a musical director and showband musician.
Ilari Kinnunen is a young jazz-oriented drummer, born, raised, and living in the beautiful Finnish seaside city of Oulu. He has gratuated from Oulu Conservatory, and has since continued his studies in Oulu university of applied sciences, studying music pedagogy. Through his childhood and teenage years, Ilari was more of a rock & metal drummer, but he felt a pull towards soul, pop, funk and jazz during his high school years, when taking drum lessons from different teachers, who all impacted his playing from different perspectives. Ilari has always appreciated a wide variety of musical styles, and he aims to gain a wide understanding of drumming from many different perspectives, instead of focusing on one genre solely. This means he enjoys listening and learning from the playing of Elvin Jones and Mike Mangini equally. Ilari enjoys practicing other instruments as well, because he feels it gives him a better understanding of the role of a drummer in a band, and a wider understanding of expression.
On this album, we had the pleasure to invite a great musician as a guest:
Paco Ndiaye is a percussionist and drummer born in Dakar, Senegal. He grew up in a griot family, and has been raised with music as a part of himself since his birth. Before moving to Finland, Paco worked also in senegalese theater projects. He composed, directed and played in a percussions ensemble to tour with the theater company. It is in Oulu, Finland that he now evolves with different musical projects.
Copyright © 2021 Benjamin Faconnier. All rights reserved.
Credits : Artwork – Olivier Bonhomme / Music – Papillon.