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Mauri Antero Numminen

Born March 12, 1940, Somero

Student at the University of Helsinki 1960–67 (philosophy, linguistics and sociology, as well as Inuit and Bantu languages, folk poetry, economics, ethnography, Finno-Ugrian languages, astronomy and politics)

Musician, author, cultural all-rounder
Record producer 1970–79, Love Records
Chairman 1997–2000, Finland’s Beer Society

The works of M. A. Numminen

Finland Prize 1993
Swedish-Finnish Cultural Foundation Cultural Prize 1997
The Alexis Kivi Society’s Esko award 2005
Honorary PhD 2001, Åbo Akademi University
Honorary PhD 2014, University of Helsinki


Photo: Dex Viihde Agency
Written by Mauri Antero Numminen, Juha Merimaa and Olli Siitonen
Translated by Matthew Billington

Story of Jazz

Photo: M.A. Numminen's facebook profile

Mauri Antero Numminen has dealt with the different aspects and genres of his musical career in his writing. He has written on the Tango enthusiast Virtanen in the 1998 novel Tango on intohimoni (‘Tango is my passion’), which also contains a brief history of Finnish tango. At the moment he is working on a jazz-themed book.

“My book on Jazz is in fact a story of my personal relationship with jazz, starting at age of 13 when I heard from the big boys that jazz was wonderful music. The book contains several photographs I took of world famous jazz musicians at the Helsinki Hall of Culture between 1960 and 1964. Of course I also write about my own neo-plebeian jazz band as well as analyse what is at the heart of jazz.”

Photo from Love Records / Universal

Numminen formed his jazz orchestra together with Jani Uhlenius in 1969. The group’s approach differs from traditional jazz genres through, among others, their incorporation of the accordion and humour into their performances. This direction came to dominate Numminen’s output in the 1970s. Soon after its formation, the group was invited to perform at Pori Jazz Festival.

  • M. A. Numminen: Olen nähnyt Helga neiti kylvyssä (’I have seen Miss Helga bathing’), Pori Jazz 1972 (Ylen Elävä arkisto)


  • See also ‘M. A. Nummisen uusrahvaanomainen yhtye’ (‘M. A. Numminen’s neo-plebeian band’ (in Finnish)) YLE Living Archives.
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