Iiro Rantala, born in 1970, is a major public figure and musical advocate in Finland. As a teenager, he was playing in several jazz and pop groups around Finland. When his Trio Töykeät was formed in 1988, Rantala concentrated on this group for 18 years. The trio were known for a unique combination of deep musicality and madcap humour, and played over 2,000 shows in forty-five countries. At age of 26, Rantala also started a career in classical music, playing Mozart concertos and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with Finlands leading orchestras.
He has published his autobiography “Nyt sen voi jo kertoa” (Now It Can Be Told, 2011) and has written music for dozens of plays and musicals, as well as a few feature length films. He has also hosted a piano festival and a concert series at the Allotria club in Helsinki. He has been running the Jazz Piano Festival at Kapsäkki since 2011. In 2013 he was given Finland’s highest award for artists the Pro Finlandia medal, and in 2015 a substantial five-year grant for artistic work by Finnish state. He was awarded the 2012 ECHO Jazz award for Best International Pianist, the annual prize of the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik and the German Jazz GOLD Award, to name but a few.