Monday, April 12, 2004
The world’s smallest big band with four members was formed in 1997. It is energetic mix of jazz and various related styles from etno to electronic music. Its ingredients such as hip-hop, jazz and metal make the music sound eclectic. We may also find the music containing native ska elements of “humppa” that appear together with the urban tales about what living in Helsinki feels like. One could take a pick of any genre, and listen to the incredible sound and scratching techniques of the so-called multi-instrumentalism.
Don Johnson Big Band was started with the aim to have fun of the musical mixtures. According to the members of the rhythm orchestra they gratify their appetite for pleasure through the powerful live shows. The performances are kept high in its quality through excellent co-ordination in the instrumentarium and sound system. Kari Saarilahti who plays guitars, bass guitar and drums, stays behind the music of the group. Pekka Mikkonen plays flute and saxophone. MC Tommy Lindgren is responsible for the lyrics, which are often presented in rap pieces. Johannes Laiho controls the sampler and the synthesizer as well as the mixer and the sequencer. The artists of the group consider themselves to be "semi-professionals", because they are students who earn their living on the other jobs. However they have found their music recognizable for the various interpretations, and have wondered whether there should be a new category “special music” set up for them in the record stores. In two years the self-produced debut album of DJBB “Support de Microphones” seld about 10,000 copies. Two years later Don Johnson Big Band was nominated for the Emma Awards in five categories. It was announced to be the Best Band with the Best Act. It had released greatest Dance Album, and the Best Album of the year with the Best Song “One MC, One Delay”.
The first concert of Don Johnson Big Band abroad took place in Tallinn in 2001. This year they return to Estonia with new songs but the same attitude to the world of music. “It is a clear indication that commercial success doesn’t require compromise or forcing the music into some easily digested form”, Tommy Lindgren has said about the fans of DJBB.