The 1st formation

Benjamin Faconnier Benjamin Faconnier is a trumpet player, singer and music composer born in Perpignan, France. He started playing the trumpet at the age of 17, and it was at the Montpellier conservatory, where he graduated in jazz, that he developed a real interest for improvisation, and for the in-depth study of his instrument. During these years, Benjamin has participated in numerous studio sessions, recording on 16 albums (the last one being his own composition project), and has also performed extensively with various projects he has been a part of, either in his own name or in formations such as The Unknown project (Original Cinematic Concept), The Skamanians (Original Ska), The Carolina Reapers Swing (Swing), L’Orchestre Syncopatique (New Orleans), and more recently the GROô (under the direction of Fred Pallem), to name a few. He has also acquired experience during tours and one-off concerts in France and abroad: Reunion Island, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Bulgaria, Tunisia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Benjamin draws his inspiration from the music of African- American masters such as Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, from more contemporary musicians such as Roy Hargrove, Ambrose Akinmusire, Xian (Christian Scott) Atunde Adjuah, but also from Maloya, the traditional music of Reunion Island and its African roots, where he is originally from. All this, leads Benjamin today to lead 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. Jimi is now studying at the great Sibelius Academy, in Helsinki.

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.

Mamadou “Paco” Ndiaye is a percussionist from Dakar, Senegal, and his main instrument is the sabar. Coming from a griot family, music is an integral part of his identity since his birth. Before moving to Finland, Paco has worked extensively in Senegalese theater projects, where he composed, directed, and performed with his percussion ensemble on tours with companies. It is today in Finland that he evolves in different musical projects.

Copyright © 2021 Benjamin Faconnier. All rights reserved.
Credits : Artwork – Olivier Bonhomme / Music – Papillon.