Darn That Dream
Tenor and soprano saxophonist Manuel Dunkel (b. 2.11.1971) was born in Vantaa, Finland. His world-class musicianship and passionate playing has received international recognition. Rich and strong saxophone sound, well-developed melodic lines and intense swing characterize Dunkel's playing. Today he is recognized as one of the strongest voices in the Finnish jazz scene. Dunkel discovered jazz in his early teens and began absorbing the language of jazz. He was fascinated by saxophonist John Coltrane, who became one of Dunkel's main influences. Dunkel began his formal studies at the Oulunkylä Pop & Jazz Conservatory. In 2004 he earned his Master's degree from the prestigious Sibelius Academy Jazz Department. In the early 1990's Dunkel build his reputation as an adaptable and expressive musician in various musical settings from funk to straight-ahead jazz. Since 1994 he has been a member of the UMO Jazz Orchestra, which remains as one of the world's leading big bands. Dunkel's talents were recognized in 1996 when he received the Pekka Pöyry Saxophone Award. In 1999 - 2001 Jazz Rytmit Reader's and Critic's Poll voted him as "The Best Tenor Saxophonist". In 1996 Dunkel formed his first quartet. The group released two highly praised CDs. The quartet toured Finland and performed at various jazz festivals such as April Jazz Festival. Dunkel toured also with his Scandinavian group called Tonic featuring keyboardist Christian Wallumrød and trumpeter Anders Bergcrantz. In addition to his own groups Dunkel has toured worldwide with Jukka Perko & Hurmio Orchestra and Platypus Ensemble. In 2005 Dunkel formed a new quartet featuring pianist Giorgos Kontrafouris, bassist Ville Huolman, and drummer Jussi Lehtonen. Their new CD "Darn That Dream" will be released in January 2007.