From Jazz & Fly Fishing: “In June 2023, the world’s only fly fishing and film making jazz quartet is embarking on their next big project, fulfilling a life- long dream: A tour of the United States, playing concerts and fly fishing, and making some sort of outlandish documentary about themselves as they go along.The band will perform at clubs, festivals, fly shops and river banks, and of course go fly fishing between gigs.
Jazz & Fly Fishing is a jazz quartet, a quirky film project, and a dream come true. It all started in Helsinki in 2008. Two young men met in a pub and came up with the ingenious idea of putting together a jazz band of fly fishermen. Those two men were Joona Toivanen, an award winning Finnish piano player who is also a passionate fly fisherman, and Petri Luukkainen, a professional documentarist from Finland with a profound interest in jazz music and fly fishing. A couple of pints later, they had decided to make a TV documentary about the project, too, and now all they needed was a band.
The actual process of putting the band together turned out to be very similar to that of creating a boy band, only with slightly different criteria. The band members would have to be: 1. Established, professional jazz musicians. 2. Deeply passionate fly fishermen. 3. Decent human beings. Finding three other guys who met these standards wasn’t easy, but Joona’s kid brother, bass player Tapani Toivanen, and Swedish drummer Fredrik Hamrå fit the bill.
To complete the quartet, they needed some guy playing a lead instrument, preferably someone from Norway, since Norway has a good jazz scene and lots of awesome fishing, and that’s where guitarist Håvard Stubø came in. Jazz & Fly Fishing was born. Since then, the group has toured extensively in Scandinavia and Europe, released three albums and a DVD, and produced a vast array of short films, gathering a substantial international audience along the way.
Starting June 9 2023, the group will tour the Eastern/Northeastern U.S. for a week, and then travel to west to the Rockies. On their way back to Scandinavia, they’ll do a final performance at Rochester International Jazz Festival.
June 10: Battenkill Fly Fishing Festival, VT
June 14: Nordic Jazz Festival, Washington DC
June 15: Nordic Jazz Festival, Washington DC
June 16: City of Asylum, Pittsburgh, PA
June 18: Snake River Angler, Jackson, WY
June 21 Headhunters, Craig, MT
June 24 Trouthunter, Henry’s Fork, ID
June 27: Rochester International Jazz Festival, NY
The band will leave a number of days open for fly fishing and filming, but a few more concert dates will be added. They are still open to suggestions for both performances and fishing destinations.”