Joona Toivanen Jazz & Fly Fishing

In June 2023, the world’s only fly-fishing and film-making jazz quartet is embarking on their next big project, fulfilling a lifelong dream: A tour of the  United States, playing concerts and fly fishing, and making some sort of outlandish documentary about themselves as they go along. The band will perform at clubs, festivals, fly shops, and river banks, and of course, go fly fishing between gigs.  

What Is Jazz & Fly Fishing? Jazz & Fly Fishing is a jazz quartet, a quirky film project,  and a dream come true. It all started in Helsinki in 2008. Two young men met in a pub and came up with the ingenious idea of putting together a jazz band of fly fishermen. Those  two men were Joona Toivanen, an award-winning Finnish piano  player who is also a passionate  fly fisherman, and Petri  

Luukkainen is a professional documentarist from Finland with a profound interest in jazz music and fly fishing. A couple of pints later, they had decided to make a TV documentary about the project, too, and now all they needed was a band.  

The actual process of putting the band together turned out to be very similar to that of creating a boy band, only with slightly different criteria. The band members would have to be: 1. Established, professional jazz musicians. 2. Deeply passionate fly fishermen.  3. Decent human beings.  Finding three other guys who  met these standards wasn't  easy, but Joona’s kid brother,  bass player Tapani Toivanen,  and Swedish drummer  

Fredrik Hamrå fit the bill.

To complete the quartet, they needed some guy playing a lead instrument, preferably someone from Norway since Norway has a  good jazz scene and lots of awesome fishing,  and that’s where guitarist Håvard Stubø came in. Jazz & Fly Fishing was born. Since then, the group has toured extensively in Scandinavia and Europe, released three albums and a DVD,  and produced a vast array of short films,  gathering a substantial international audience along the way. 

Films and music:  

In 2010, the band started publishing short films on social media. Through these films, most of them a mix of short documentaries and music videos, Jazz & Fly Fishing has reached an international audience with its music,  particularly in the Nordics and the US. Their films have well over a million views on  YouTube/Vimeo and other social media, and they have established Jazz & Fly Fishing as one of the leading players at the intersection between nature/outdoor life and art on the internet. In 2018 and 2019, the group did the project "Second Nature" together with the  Guldbagge-award-winning animator Isak  Gjertsen and played over 100 performances in  Norway and Finland. 

About the US tour: 

Starting June 9, 2023, the group will tour the Eastern/Northeastern U.S. for a week, and then travel west to Colorado/Wyoming/Idaho/ Montana, staying there for ten days. On their way back to Scandinavia, they’ll do a final performance at Rochester International Jazz  Festival. 


Tue, Jun 27 - 7:30 PM
Christ Church - Global Jazz Now
Club Pass or $30/door

Tue, Jun 27 - 9:30 PM
Christ Church - Global Jazz Now
Club Pass or $30/door

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