Primary Instrument: Guitar
Olli Hirvonen is a Finnish jazz guitarist based in New York City. He is the most accomplished Finnish guitarist of his generation, having been named Artist of the Year of the Pori International Jazz Festival 2011. Born in the city of Lappeenranta in southeast Finland, he began studying classical guitar and piano at the age of 9 at the local music institute. After finishing high school in 2008, Hirvonen studied at the prestigious jazz department of Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and in August 2011 he relocated to New York City to pursue his Master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music, where he has studied under such jazz luminaries as Rodney Jones, Dave Liebman, Jim McNeely and Phil Markowitz.
Hirvonen has been performing worldwide with his own ensembles since 2008. These performances include numerous clubs in New York, such as Cornelia St. Cafe and Somethin’ Jazz Club, and festivals in Finland and abroad, including the main stage of Pori Jazz, the most famous jazz festival of Finland, The Kennedy Center’s Nordic Cool Festival, Sounds NEW Contemporary Music festival in UK and Tudengijazz in Estonia. He was nominated for Artist of the Year of the Pori Jazz 2011 festival, which is one of the highest recognitions in the Finnish jazz scene. Included in the award, his trio was the house band for the 2011 festival. He has also performed with Trio Ohne, winner of the 2010 Finnish Young Nordic Jazz Comets competition, the international sextet Life Size and the big bands Umo Jazz Orchestra and The Great Helsinki Swing Big Band.