Trombonist Katja Toivola has been acquainted with the music styles of New Orleans for over fifteen years. She made her first visit to the Crescent City in 1995, and now divides her time between her two hometowns: Helsinki and New Orleans. Toivola has played with the Riverside Rascals, a popular Finnish jazz band since 1996, and has been leading her own bands; the New Orleans Helsinki Connection and the Spirit Of New Orleans since 2001.
In July 2002, Toivola performed in Switzerland with the German Wim's Paradise Jazz Band and in February 2006 and December 2007 in France with Patrick Bensoussan's Big Beat Band. 2006 also saw her playing at the legendary Preservation Hall where she now regularly performs on Friday nights. In the spring of 2008 she did a 2-week tour in Australia and in the fall of 2008 it was Brazil's turn (São Paulo, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Aracaju and Recife).
She has performed in New Zealand, Switzerland, Fiji, France, Germany, Estonia, Australia, Brazil and Norway and on most of the Finnish jazz festivals (Pori Jazz, April Jazz, Ruskaswing, Linna-Jazz, Korpo Sea Jazz, Ylläs Jazz Blues, Jyväskylä Summer Jazz, Helsinki Classic Jazz Festival, Imatra Big Band Festival...). She works as a freelance musician around Helsinki and New Orleans.
From the review of Some Of These Days (Geraldine Wyckoff, OffBeat 1/2007)
-- Toivola’s Montego Bounce rocks steady with a Jamaican flair that is reminiscent of material favored by the legendary Skatalites. It’s the perfect vehicle to show off her growing prowess on the trombone.--