"It seems very hard to describe Sanni's path, which tracks somewhere between Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone, Karin Krog, Abbey Lincoln and Cassandra Wilson. It's not a copy of any above, due to be influenced by Lappish (Sami) joikh for example."
Dziennik Polski, Krakow, Poland
Winner of the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Grant, the internationally established jazz singer Sanni Orasmaa's voice has been heard in several recordings and productions throughout the global jazz scene. She has worked with the prestigious German director Dieter Dorn for three years on two pieces at the Residenz Theater in Munich, of which "Alkestis" was composed, improvised, and performed by Orasmaa alone. 
"..the dark timbre of her voice provided immediate authority with a breathtaking interpretation of an Ivan Lins tune. Oliver Nelson's Stolen Moments and John Coltrane's Naima followed and let the listeners forget all the evilness of this world..."
Die Presse, Vienna, Austria
Sanni Orasmaa is a native of Helsinki, Finland, currently commuting between Munich, Germany, and Finland. She is an active singer with a strong Scandinavian influence, a composer, and an educator. During her New York years, you could catch her unique northern sound in various downtown clubs and restaurants; Sanni has appeared at venues such as the Knitting Factory and the Rainbow Room, Sweet Basil, Blue Note, and the Cornelia Street Cafe. She has been featured monthly at the Smoke Jazz Club and often shared Monday nights at the Bar Next Door with guitarist Ben Monder. Sanni Orasmaa has worked in independent film, radio, and live with various collaborators; her past projects include performances with Charlie Hunter - Bobby Previte Duo, Kirk Nurock's "Cross-Species" Ensemble, and the Swiss composer George Gruntz's jazz opera "Magic of a Flute".
"Mesmerizing sweetness"
Downbeat Magazine
Sanni Orasmaa first appeared as a singer at age five in a national TV broadcast in Finland. Sanni joined her first vocal group at five and started piano lessons at six. Her great uncle, who collected and composed traditional Finnish folk music, inspired her and gave her material to work with. 
"…she loves to swing and sing her heart out ; the very best taste in all her notes and rhythms…"
Mark Murphy, Jazz Singer
Sanni began her professional career performing at local venues as a soloist of dance bands and choirs. She made her first international solo appearance at seventeen in Lithuania. Orasmaa attended the Pop/Jazz Conservatory of Helsinki as a voice major and moved to Austria in 1996 to continue her studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz. Her professors there were legendary New York-based vocalists Mark Murphy, Jay Clayton, and Sheila Jordan, who became her mentor. Sanni graduated from the Jazz Department with a Master's in June 2000. 
"She really has a great feeling for jazz music and a beautiful instrument to convey those feelings..."
Sheila Jordan, Jazz Singer
During her studies, Sanni Orasmaa performed in clubs and festivals worldwide. She traveled solo and with her trio Saaga who mainly performed her original material. While still in Austria, Sanni won Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead, an international grant for young artists who are dual musicians and composers, and joined a workshop and three performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in April 2000. She was also featured in NPR's Jazz Set program, then hosted by Branford Marsalis. 
Sanni Orasmaa has been profiled by PRI's Jazz Smithsonian in the documentary series "The Jazz Singers", hosted by Al Jarreau. She is a recipient of the American Scandinavian Society's Artist Grant 2005 and the Arts Council of Finland Artist Grant 2006.
Selected Performances
Panevezys Jazz Festival; Panevezys, Lithuania; 1989
Various performances; Beijing and Chengde, China; 1995
July Jazz Festival; Amherst, MA, USA; 1996 and 1998
Porgy and Bess; Vienna, Austria; 1996
May Festival; Krakow, Poland; 1998 and 1999
July Jazz Festival; Krakow, Poland; 1998, 1999 and 2000
Vawel Jazz Festival; Krakow, Poland; 1999
Various performances; Venice, Italy; 2000 Tour with Nicola Fazzini Group
Stephanien Saal; Graz, Austria; 2000
Kennedy Center; Washington, DC, USA; 2000
Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Award Concerts
Pori Jazz Festival; Pori, Finland; 2000 & 2001
Various performances; Sweden; 2001; Tour with Mika Pohjola
Various performances; Kiev, Ukraine; 2002; Tour with Mika Pohjola
Various performances; Greece; 2003; Tour with Lakis Tzimkas Orchestra
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, NYC, USA 2004; Sketches for Dunbar and Johnson; A concert celebrating the works of writers Paul Laurence Dunbar & James Weldon Johnson; Sanni Orasmaa, Renee Manning, Brad Leali, Benny Russell, Duane Eubanks, Cecil Bridgewater, Earl McIntyre, Terence Conle, Donald Smith, Eric Lemon, Mark Johnson
Knitting Factory, NYC, USA 2004; Charlie Hunter, Bobby Previte, Sanni Orasmaa, DJ Olive
Kirk Nurock's "Cross-Species" Works at Tenri Cultural Center, NYC USA 2004; Kirk Nurock, Jay Clayton, Sanni Orasmaa, Art Baron, Dewey (Chinese Crested Dog), Assorted Doves & other creatures
Pori Jazz Festival, 2005, Finland; Sanni Orasmaa & Heikki Sarmanto, Orasmaa’s arrangements on Sarmanto works
American Scandinavian Society Cultural Grant Awards 2005, NYC; ASS awards Sanni Orasmaa a grant based on her outstanding achievement and exceptional talent.
UMO Jazz House, Helsinki, FIN, plus various performances 2005; Tour with Michael Kahr, Ape Anttila & Marko Timonen
Various performances with George Gruntz Orchestra; USA, Germany, Austria; 2006-2007; Magic of a Flute, Jazz Opera; Solo & ensemble parts
Savoy Theatre, Helsinki, Finland, 2006; Concert honoring the life and work of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaja
Stadt Theater Fürth, Nürnberg, Germany, 2007; Mayim Mayim! International Dance & Music collaboration; 5 performances, soloist
Various performances with RinneRadio & Pekka Kuusisto, Finland; 2007-2008
Future Music Festival, Muhu Island, Estonia; 2008
RinneRadio, Kesselhaus, Berlin, Germany; 2008
RinneRadio, Tavastia Klubi, Helsinki, Finland; 2008; RinneRadio, Ulla Pirttijärvi
Leichtes Spiel by Botho Strauß, Residenz Theater, Munich, Germany, 2009-2011; Soloist of the orchestra, 26 performances
Munich Philharmonie Hall; Germany; 2009
Württemberg Saal, Stuttgart, Germany; 2009
Pori Jazz Festival, Finland; 2009
Saulkrasti Jazz Festival, Riga, Latvia; 2009
Einhalden Festival; Germany; 2008 & 2012; Gregor & Veit Huebner w/ Sanni Orasmaa, Richie Beirach, Pedro & Joao Moreira and Göran Klinghagen
Alkestis by Raoul Schrott, Residenz Theater, Munich, Germany, 2009-2011; Dieter Dorn, director; Jörgen Rose, staging; Sanni Orasmaa, music; Solo voice, 30 performances
Grand Theatre Luxembourg, Luxemburg; 2010; Drums and Dance, Rituals, Directed by Jean Guillaume Weis; 2 performances, soloist in the orchestra
Théâtre d'Esch, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg 2010; Drums and Dance, Rituals, Directed by Jean Guillaume Weis; 3 performances, soloist in the orchestra
Culture Hall Fuerth, Nuremberg, Germany; 2010; Lemminkäinen meets Modern Times; Sirius String Quartet (NYC) feat. Sanni Orasmaa, cond. Gregor Huebner; Live recording for the German PBS
Pori Jazz Festival, Finland; 2010; Let's play Voice! Three day workshop in vocal styles and improvisation at Pori Jazz Kids plus concerts
Central Park Boat House, NYC, NY; 2010
Various performances, Finland; 2010; Poetry of Eino Leino, Sanni Orasmaa w/ Gregor Huebner
Royal Academy of Music, Århus, Denmark; 2010; Leino compositions with orchestra
Viapori Jazz, Helsinki, Finland; 2010; Innanen ja Ellington feat. Sanni Orasmaa. Live recording for the Finnish PBS YLE
Savonlinna Hall, Finland 2011; Big band arrangements on Sanni's Leino compositions, arranged by Paroni Paakkunainen & Petri Krzywacki among others
Pyhän Laurin Kappeli / St. Lars Chapel, Vantaa, Finland 2011-2012; Valo-Concert series with Innanen, Hohti, Ikonen, Krzywacki, Assefa
Kaukametsän Sali, Kajaani, Finland, 2011; Kajaani Poetry Weeks. Evening of Eino Leino. Solo performance.
Ars Nova, Turku, Finland, 2011; Collaboration with Dance Project "Wounds of Love" (R.I.P.) Maria Nurmela; Music, movement, art, spoken word; an installation by the fireplace.
Prinzregententheater, Munich, Germany, 2011; Munich Radio Orchestra with Ensemble JUNO, Lothar Hensel (bandoneon) and Sanni Orasmaa (voice), conducted by Norbert Nagel, Live Broadcast by BR
Verkatehdas, Hämeenlinna, Finland, 2011; 21st Century Baroque Trio, Live Broadcast by YLE
Kulttuurisali, Mäntyharju, Finland, 2011; Sanni Orasmaa w/ Peter Lerche
JazzAhead! Bremen, Germany; 2012; Slo Motive, Live Broadcast by BR
Finlands Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; 2012
Tampere Jazz Happening, Finland; 2012
Mäntyharjun kirkko, Mäntyharju, Finland; 2012; Sanni Orasmaa, Gregor Huebner, Tino Derado
Theater No99, Tallinn plus various performances, Estonia, Finland; 2012; Tour with Slo Motive
Kerava Jazz Festival, Finland; 2013; Orasmaa-Innanen-Ikonen

M.A.R.S.: M.A.R.S. (1996) IKACD-006
Boston Promenade: Walking The Big Duck (1997) BPCD4
Himbeerorchester: Tief In der Haut und Hoch In der Luft (1999) 150 761-2
KUG: The Dukebox - A Celebration Of The Music Of E.K. Ellington (1999) KUG 17
Clay Giberson: The Upper Road (2002) Origin 82397
Mika Pohjola: The Music Of Mika Pohjola (2002) Change Records
Lakis Tzimkas: Many Faces (2004)
Mika Pohjola: Scandinavian Yuletide Voices (2004) Change Records
Mika Pohjola, Henrik Lambert, Sanni Orasmaa, Eeppi Ursin: A Lark in a Snowstorm: Celebrating the Music of Toivo Kärki (2005) Change Records
Dave Hopkins: Live from Smith’s (2006) Sea Change Records
RinneRadio: On (2007) Rockadillo
Sanni Orasmaa: Laulun Lapsi (2010) Ursula
Claus Reichstaller: Leichtes Spiel SOUNDTRACK (2011) Conception Records
Gerd Baumann: Sommer In Orange SOUNDTRACK (2011) Roxy Film & Odeon Pictures
SLOMotive: Arrival (2012) Eclipse Music
Sanni Orasmaa: Seasons (2018) SoundByNature


George Gruntz by Werner Zeindler (2007) Artfilm
Mayim Mayim Film by Jakov Sedlar (2009) Stadttheater Fürth / CroFilm; Documentary of the Mayim Mayim Dance Production
Sommer in Orange (2011) Roxy Film & Odeon Pictures
Luonnon aika - Rentouttavia hetkiä luonnossa (2018) Metsäkustannus
Luontolaulu - Minunkin sisälläni soi (2019) Metsäkustannus / Karttakeskus

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