"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley

Having grown up in Finnish Lapland, Jordan, Tanzania, Oman and Lebanon, and spending much of his adulthood in the United States, fretted/fretless guitarist and oud player Jussi Reijonen has lived a life soaking up the sounds, sights, scents and shades of Nordic, Middle Eastern, African and American cultures, all of which are reflected in his handwriting as composer and performer.

Reijonen draws from this wide pool of influences and experiences in his work: in his original music, the open spaces and silences of the Finnish Arctic converse with the maqamat of the Arab world, the rhythmic richness of Africa and India and the improvisatory spirit of American jazz, seeking a new musical syntax that challenges cultural binaries by exploring the commonalities between cultures while also acknowledging the differences at play. As an educator, Jussi continues to promote and provoke transcultural dialogue and conversation across boundaries and disciplines beyond mere identity politics.

He has worked as leader, collaborator, composer or arranger with numerous front row artists, collaborating with Jack DeJohnette, Pepe de Lucía, Javier Limón, David Fiuczynski, Simon Shaheen, Bassam Saba, Marcel Khalifé, Arto Tunçboyacıyan, Dave Weckl, Yazhi Guo, Louis de Mieulle / Matt Garstka (of Animals as Leaders), Hüsnu Şenlendirici and the New York Gypsy All-Stars and many others.

During his 13 years living in the Boston and New York, he performed extensively at prestigious festivals and venues like Lincoln Center and the Library of Congress, as well as in Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Switzerland, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Lebanon and Canada.

Described as “extraordinary music” by Guitar Player magazine, Jussi’s Independent Music Award-nominated debut album un | أن was released to great critical acclaim in 2013 on his unmusic label. His long-awaited follow-up album, Three Seconds | Kolme Toista – a long-form suite for a new transcultural 9-piece ensemble which he leads, featuring musicians from Jordan/Iraq, Palestine, Turkey, Japan and the United States whose credits include performances/recordings with Herbie Hancock, Roy Haynes, Terence Blanchard, Danilo Pérez, Simon Shaheen, Snarky Puppy and Yo-Yo Ma – will be released October 2022 on Challenge Records.

Alongside his work as leader, he co-leads Sawaari, a quintet exploring the nexus of Indian rhythms, Arabic maqamat, and trance music from North Africa and Southern Italy, collaborates with Swiss vocalist Gabriela Martina, is a member of the New York Arabic Orchestra, and continues his work as an educator in the US and Europe.

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Three Seconds | Kolme Toista (vinyl)
Jussi Reijonen
Three Seconds | Kolme Toista
Jussi Reijonen