New address from January 1st 2017!
Vapaat äänet – Charles Gil
Veturitie 3 H063 , 00240 Helsinki – Finland
Mobile phone: +358 50 5716 516
Jazz and improvised music since 1996 / In 2016 Vapaat celebrates twenty years of musical adventures!
Program of tours in the Baltic-Nordic area and Germany:
Vapaat äänet (Finnish for Free Voices/Free Sounds) promotes and develops the exchange of jazz and improvised music between France, Finland, the Baltic countries and the whole Nordic region. The agency works with passion and respect for adventurous music and its creators, helping them to meet new audiences. Over the years Vapaat äänet has steadfastly built up a substantial network of promoters in Northern Europe.
Its export activities consists of a yearly program of 5 or 6 tours in the Nordic and the Baltic Countries. Among them you will find each year a package tour of French and Finnish artists in Finland, a coproduction with the Finnish Jazz Federation. Charles Gil, the manager of the agency, is in charge of putting together and coordinating the tours. Most of the time these tours are produced by the managements of the French artists. He is also involved as a tour manager on most of the gigs, and coordinates the press arrangements for the Finnish dates.
Vapaat äänet is also active on the Nordic and Baltic ground as the coordinator of the French Nordic Jazz Transit. This exchange program was started in 2003 by the AFIJMA, an umbrella organization which gathers 30 French contemporary jazz and improvised music festivals. During 2003 and 2004 this project has received a substantial support from the Nordic Cultural Fond, which has allowed many of the AFIJMA’s festivals to invite bands from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. After this, each country’s own organizations have supported their bands’ concerts in France, and the FNJT has essentially turned to become a platform which develops the presence of French jazz in Northern Europe. Outstanding festivals are regularly part of the FNJT: Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Molde Jazz, Nattjazz, Vossa Jazz, Umeå Jazz Festival, Tampere Jazz Happening, Pori Jazz, April Jazz, Jazzkaar. From 2003 to 2013, Charles Gil has been hired by Pori Jazz to produce the Ultra Music event, a serial of concerts dedicated to the avant-garde and most contemporary program at the biggest jazz event in Finland.
As a natural continuation of the exchange, Vapaat äänet promotes Nordic musicians, mostly Finnish ones, in France and the rest of Europe. The agency dedicates special attention to the projects of the Finns Mikko Innanen, Veli Kujala and Kalle Kalima, as well as the bands of Stefan Pasborg from Denmark and Terje Isungset from Norway. Vapaat äänet also plays a part in the synergy between the French and the Nordic scene by getting involved in bands such as Kimmo Pohjonen & Eric Echampard’s “Uumen” (since 2000) and the Marc Ducret Quintet Real Thing #1, comprising Danish and French musicians (created in May 2010) part of the Tower project of Marc Ducret.
In March 2009, The AFIJMA has invited Vapaat äänet to become one of its first foreign associated members. Membership of such a valued network in Europe emphasizes the recognition of Vapaat äänet as a major actor at the interface between the French and the Nordic scene. From 2013 this continues in the frame of the AJC (Association Jazzé Croisé), the new network platform for Jazz promoters in France, and for them also in Europe (some 60 members in 2014).
Vapaat äänet has been responsible for the Jazz program of “100 % Finlande”, the Finnish Cultural Season which has been held in France from April to June 2008.
Vapaat äänet collaborates with government and cultural promotion organizations from both Finland and France. Most of the tours by French musicians in the Nordic and Baltic countries are supported by the French Ministry of Culture and the French Institute. Most of them also receive the support of foundations such as the Adami, the Spedidam and the Sacem. The network of French Institutes also participates in spreading French jazz throughout Northern Europe, especially in Finland and the Baltic Countries. MES, the Finnish Music Foundation give its support to a large part of the Finnish concerts produced by Vapaat äänet in France. The Ministry of Education has been the main supporter of “100% Finlande” and has supported most of the French & Finnish tours in Finland.