The IDeeJazz festival, which celebrates its 5th birthday, will present the well-known and valued jazz “polyglot” Tõnu Naissoo with his trio to the Tartu audience on November 8 at 3 pm in the Tubler Hall in Eller’s new building. The trio is Tõnu Naissoo’s favorite ensemble format. With his first trio, he performed at the legendary Tallinn Jazz Festival in 1967. Now – 48 years later – maestro on IDeeJazz will perform songs on drums with Mihkel Mälgand on bass and Ahto Abner on drums from his recent album “Trinity” released in Japan this year. Tõnu Naissoo plays Eller’s brand new piano Steinway & Sons, one of the top concert pianos in the world.
How did your musical journey begin and did you reach jazz music?
I started my music career by studying classical piano at the Tallinn Children’s Music School. A little later I also started improvising on the piano – these were so-called free improvisations. I was raised at home with jazz music. Dad had a pretty good collection of jazz at the time and also listened to the Voices of America Willis Conover. Later, it was Conover’s programs that became my main source of information (school), although it was listened to on the shortwave of the radio. Interestingly, rock music of that time passed me by. Probably because it was song-based, but I was an instrumentalist. From the autumn of 1966, however, I was able to play Ants Meristo’s big band “Rütm” (“Mickeys”).
How did you get to the big arena, start touring, etc.? Please describe this time a bit.
His debut trio at the 1967 Tallinn International Jazz Festival was his debut. However, it was preceded by a preliminary round to get to the big festival, where I also noticed the organizers of Riga’s jazz life, and my first “trip abroad” was to Latvia, where I performed with my trio in the big hall of the Riga Operetta Theater with the best Latvian jazz musicians. After the Tallinn Festival, I was invited to join the vocal ensemble “Collage” with my trio as an accompaniment ensemble, where I remained until 1972. 1967 was invited to play in Ants Müür’s ensemble.