The band plays mainly traditional New Orleans jazz. Much is in Bunk Johnson and George Lewis spirit, but because we were young during the dixie wave in the early 1960s, we have also taken the impression of Papa Bue's Viking Jazz Band, Mr. Acker Bilk, Chris Barber, Kenny Ball, Dutch Swing College Band and others. Of course, we have also carefully studied the great innovators King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet and Jelly Roll Morton to name a few. We would, therefore, fit well into the festival's music profile.
About the band
After many years of involvement in different bands, the members founded "Birger's Ragtime Band" in spring 2011. Despite its short existence, the band has done a whole lot. There have been weddings, company parties, fairs, conferences, concerts, performances at jazz clubs, teaching and a couple of times at the Baltic Jazz Festival and other Jazz Festivals. The most spectacular events were when the band took a busload of our fans with them and went to the New Orleans Festival in Mannaminne on the High Coast a little north of Härnösand in Sweden in the summer of 2012 and 2014. Last year (2016) the band did the same thing but this time to the Tradjazz Festival in Hällevik, probably the biggest traditional jazz festival in Sweden. We got very good criticism, so we will probably go there again in a few years. Our fans have wanted a similar trip next summer. The band was also on a tour in northern Sweden and played among other things at church concerts in Pajala and Kiruna. Another tour went to Torrevieja, Spain from where the picture above was taken.
All members of the "Birger's Ragtime Band" have performed at the biggest festivals in Finland such as Pori Jazz, Baltic Jazz, and Kaamos Jazz, but also in Sweden at Hällevik and Askersund Jazz Festivals. They have also played at several jazz clubs, including at Happy Jazz Club Storyville in Helsinki.
Band leader Birger Lindstrom plays the clarinet. He has previously lived in Sweden and played in different bands, for example in Groveyard Groover's Jazz Band, that became Swedish champion in "Swedish Open in Gladjazz" in Ljungby in 1987. In the year 1986, he received the soloist prize in the same competition. This band played at many jazz clubs such as Stampen in Stockholm, Jazzhuset in Gothenburg, Hot House in Malmö and at festivals such as Askersund, Kristianstad, Årjäng, Ronneby and others around Sweden. He has also represented Sweden in the band "Crazy Cats" who participated in the Euro Jazz Rueil Festival in Paris. In 2000, he returned to his native country, Finland, and plays there in many bands at festivals and jazz clubs. He is a member of "Gregg Stafford's Helsinki Jazz Hounds", "Wendell Brunious New Orleans Ensemble" and "Reine Rimóns Hot Papas".
Vocalist Charlotta Kerbs joined the band in spring 2014. She has won several competitions including Festival and International Singers' Competition Pärnu Ballad 2013, Pärnu, Estonia http://parnuballad.weebly.com/. She not only sings jazz but also folk songs, soul, rock and rhythm and blues.
Robert de Godzinsky plays both piano and bass. He is a member in "Reine Rimóns Hot Papas", who has played a few times in New Orleans and played with local musicians there. In addition, "Hot Papas" has played at various festivals such as Pori Jazz, Kaamos Jazz, Baltic Jazz in Finland. He is also a member of "Gregg Stafford's Helsinki Jazz Hounds" and "Wendell Brunious New Orleans Ensemble".
Jukka Javela plays the banjo. He has also performed three times at the International Dixieland Festival Dresden and various festivals in Russia and other countries. He is also a member of "Gregg Stafford's Helsinki Jazz Hounds", "Wendell Brunious' New Orleans Ensemble" and "Reine Rimóns Hot Papas".
Pekka Sarmanto is playing bass in our band. He is a real star and has, among other things, been chosen for Finland's best jazz bassist for 28 consecutive years, played with Dexter Gordon, Dizzy Gillespie, and others and is therefore included in many bands that show up in Finland and abroad. In addition, he plays several styles within the jazz music swing, Latin American, etc.
Sven-Erik Krogius plays drums and washboard. Due to his great interest in traditional jazz, he has attended the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Camp a few times http://www.neworleanstradjazzcamp.com/. He also has performed at the Preservation Hall. His appearances with solos on the washboard always bring great attention.
On Birger's Ragtime Band's repertoire are traditional tunes such as "Indiana", "After You've Gone", "China Boy", "Whispering", "All By Myself", "The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise", "Limehouse Blues" to name a few. But the band also plays music from other genres that it turned into jazz, maybe a little in the same spirit, such as Papa Bue's Viking Jazz Band has performed with songs like "Wiegenlied" and "Schlafe Mein Prinzchen". There are also spiritual music, gospels, and spirituals such as "The Old Rugged Cross", "Lily Of The Valley", "Just A Closer Walk", "Just A Little While" and others. Therefore, we have also held church concerts.
We would like to send you more material about us, posters, pictures, etc. if you wish. There is a lot on our website www.birgersragtimeband.com. For example, all the band's gigs are HERE! See also the summary of the band's activities below. Keep in touch!
+358 45 2324584
Summary of Birger's Ragtime Bands activities
Baltic Jazz, 2012, 2013, Finland
Mannaminne New Orleans Festival 2012, 2014, Sweden
Tyyki Jazz, Forssa 2014, 2017, Finland
Otava Happy Jazz Festival, 2016, Finland
Hällevik Tradjazz Festival, 2016, Sweden
Ylläs Jazz, 2017, Finland
CD's (See Shop)
In the Spirit of Traditional New Orleans Jazz 2014
Blue Tones 2015
Grankulla Church, 2015, Finland
Ekenäs Church, 2015, 2016, 2017, Finland
Munsala Church, 2015, Finland
Pajala Church 2016, Sweden
Kiruna Church 2016, Sweden
Mission Church, Ekenäs, 2016, 2017, Finland
Mikael Church, Turku 2016, Finland
Villa Lande, Kimito, 2013, Finland
Karelia Cultural Center, Ekenäs, 2015, 2016, Finland
Brummerska Hemmet, Helsinki, 2015, 2016, 2017
Nordhuset, Helsinki 2016, Finland
Saga Care, Helsinki, 2016, 2017, Finland
Wallhalla, Barosund, 2016, 2017, Finland
Residual. Rattotalli, Torrevieja 2017, Spain
Cultural Casino de Torrevieja 2017, Spain
Real Club Náutico Torrevieja 2017, Spain
Pensioners' Union, 2012, 2015, Finland
Steamboat Sunnan II, Ekenäs Archipelago, 2015, 2016, 2017, Finland