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In 2002 Verneri, Tuomo, Olavi and Antti became the Young Nordic Jazz Comets by winning the Nordic jazz ensemble competition six months after founding the ensemble. Ilmiliekki’s debut album March Of The Alpha Males (TUM Records) was a nominee for a Jazz Emma (the Finnish Grammy) for the best jazz album of the year 2003. In 2004 the band was nominated Young Artist of the Year by the Finland Festivals organisation, while Verneri Pohjola was chosen as the Pori Jazz Festival Young Artist of the same year. Finally, at the end of 2004, Ilmiliekki got the highly respected Teosto Prize (the Finnish Composers Copyright Society’s prize). Considering all this Ilmiliekki Quartet represents the best young talent in Finnish jazz at the moment.
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