Jazz ensemble New Orleans Helsinki Connection is one of Threadhead Records Foundation's 2010 grants recipients. The grant was awarded for the completion of group's new recording project, "Love Song For New Orleans".
The Threadhead Records Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 that operates out of Santa Monica, CA. It's predecessor and affiliate, volunteer-run and fan-funded Threadhead Records (THR) was founded in 2007 to help musicians struggling with the aftermath of the 2005 levee failures. Threadhead Records and Threadhead Records Foundation have helped over 24 individual New Orleans artists and groups to complete over 33 recording projects. Some of the artists involved are John Boutté, Ingrid Lucia, New Orleans Nightcrawlers, Honey Island Swamp Band, and the Congo Square Project.
In addition to the New Orleans Helsinki Connection, the other recipients of THR Foundation's 2010 grant funding include independent producer Bill Bowman, the Panorama Brass Band, and New Orleans group COOT.
The New Orleans Helsinki Connection (NOHC) is a group of New Orleans and Helsinki based musicians that play traditional New Orleans jazz with a youthful 21st century touch. Its members represent the very best of this style in their homelands and have been playing together in various bands for years.
In the summer of 2002, a long time dream of a joint band finally became reality. The band had a successful three-week tour in Finland. In the fall of 2003, New Orleans Helsinki Connection headed into the studio, and the new, aptly titled CD "At Last" came out in April 2004. In August 2004, the NOHC performed very successfully at Sildajazz Festival in Haugesund, Norway, at Lahden Jazztori Festival in Lahti, Finland and at Storyville Jazz Club in Helsinki, Finland.
Fall 2008 saw the NOHC performing extensively in Brazil (São Paulo, Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Aracaju, and Recife). In New Orleans, the band has been seen for example at the French Quarter Festival (2005-2007), Satchmo Fest (2008), Gentilly Fest (2008), New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (2009), Columns Hotel, National Historical Park, Donna's Bar & Grill, and at Snug Harbor.
NOHC's musicians include trumpeter Leroy Jones (Leroy Jones Quintet, Harry Connick Jr, Preservation Hall), vocalist Tricia "Teedy" Boutté (Allen Toussaint, Bob French, Umami), trombonist Katja Toivola (Spirit Of New Orleans, Preservation Hall), pianist Paul Longstreth (Umami, Bob French), guitarist Todd Duke (John Boutté, Germaine Bazzle, George French), bassist Nobu Ozaki (Jeremy Davenport, New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars) and drummer Thomas Rönnholm (Spirit Of New Orleans, Leroy Jones Sextet).
NOHC's first recording "At Last" was completed and released by Spirit Of New Orleans Productions in 2004. After many positive reviews and critical acclaim, the CD is now into its second printing and remains a radio favorite. The long overdue second album, "Love Song For New Orleans" will be recorded towards the end of 2010 and released with THR Foundation's gracious help for Mardi Gras 2011.
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