New Orleans Helsinki Connection - Together again: At Last!

By: New Orleans Helsinki Connection
NEW ORLEANS - Feb. 26, 2015 - PRLog -- This April will be the first time in years that New Orleans Helsinki Connection's original lineup, featured on the band's debut album "At Last," is playing together. The all star band was first conceived in the summer of 2001 when Tricia Boutté, Katja Toivola, and Thomas Rönnholm were on a lengthy tour in Finland. One night, the troika got together, pondering the subject of how nice it would be to have a band consisting of friends who can play. "We started toying with the idea of who we'd have in the band if we were in charge. Then, all of a sudden, drunk with the endless Finnish summer night, and possibly a bit of wine, we said 'Let's do it!' The rough plans were laid out that night and the first tour took place the following summer," recalls Toivola of that fateful night in Otava, Eastern Finland.

The concept was first tested in New Orleans in May of 2002, when the band played two nights at the legendary Donna's Bar & Grill. In early June the posse traveled to Finland, ready for a memorable two week tour that was organized with the support of Suomen Kulttuurirahaston Uudenmaan rahasto (Finnish Cultural Foundation). After a slew of fun gigs, the cornerstone for years to come was laid.

In October 2003, drummer Rönnholm and trombonist Toivola traveled to New Orleans and the band recorded its first album "At Last." This recording featured the "original" lineup: Tricia Boutté on vocals, Leroy Jones on trumpet and vocals, Katja Toivola on trombone, Todd Duke on guitar, Paul Longstreth on piano, Nobu Ozaki on bass, and Thomas Rönnholm on drums.

Through the years, the New Orleans Helsinki Connection has played a cavalcade of gigs in New Orleans, in Brazil, in Norway, and in Finland and has featured an impressive array of great "subs" like Yolanda Winsday, Gerald French, Ernie Elly, Mitchell Player, Topsy Chapman, Wendell Brunious, Joe Ashlar, Jerry Anderson, and others. However, since those October studio days in 2003, this spring will be the first time that the original lineup is together again.

"Everyone in the band is super excited about these gigs. We've all played together at some point over the years; Thomas has been to Brazil with us, me, Tricia, and Leroy have been to Finland for gigs, we've played French Quarter Fest et cetera but this will be a very special reunion, a belated 10-year anniversary of sorts," concludes Toivola.

The New Orleans Helsinki Connection will play two gigs in April: at Cafe Istanbul NOLA and at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell.

New Orleans Helsinki Connection - Together again: At Last!
Tricia Boutté, Leroy Jones, Katja Toivola, Todd Duke, Paul Longstreth, Nobu Ozaki, Thomas Rönnholm

Tuesday April 28, 2015 @ 7:00 pm 10:00 pm
Cafe Istanbul, 2372 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

Thursday April 30, 2015 @ 1:45 to 2:40 pm
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Economy Hall Stage, 1751 Gentilly Boulevard

More information on the band:

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