The unique sound of composer and musician Roni Martin (born 1976) shows influence of different cultures naturally blended together. Martin is responsible for the music and lyrics, conducting the orchestra of international top musicians, and productions from A to Z for Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin. He also performs with the company as a vocalist, electric guitarist and pianist.
In addition, Martin collaborates with other productions, such as the Finlandia short films by Rosa Liksom, for which he wrote the music. He has also composed for other flamenco companies and choreographers, like the Spanish Ángel Rojas. Martin produces and records all his work in his own analogue studio, which is his own design and build. Martin has recorded three albums, in addition to which he released his first solo album in 2010.
For Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin, Martin has composed ten productions. The latest work, KILL Carmen, was introduced in the Helsinki Festival in August 2015 and was loved by both the critics and audience. Martin has received the award for the best original score for dance (The Raven, Certamen de Danza Española y Flamenco 2012) and the Thalia award for the theatre music act of the year in 2010 (Pippi Longstocking), where the jury especially appreciated the creativity, boundary-breaking vision, thrilling nature, and significance of the music for the composition of the work.
Composer, violinist and sound designer Sanna Salmenkallio has worked widely for film industry and theatre, working as a composer, instrumentalist and sound designer for various productions. In addition to her studies at Sibelius Academy she has also studied at the Theatre Academy and the Academy of Fine Arts. She has composed music for over 20 films and worked as a musician in dozens of film and theatre productions. In 2004, Salmenkallio won the best music Jussi statue and Prix Italian from the film 3 Rooms of Melancholia.
Henrik Perelló is one of Finland’s most renowned violinists. He has worked as concertmaster at the Finnish National Opera, the Savonlinna Opera Festival and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, and performed all over the world. He has also specialized in argentine tango and tango nuevo and his band Perelló InTime Quintet won the Astor Piazzolla prize in Italy in 1994. Currently Perelló works as an concertmaster for Vaasa city orchestra.
Juan Antonio Suárez “Cano”
Composer and guitarist Juan Antonio Suárez “Cano” has been working with renowned dancers such as Sara Barasin and Belén Maya and composed several works for dance. His best-known compositions are music for the play Orestes en Lisboa, premiered at Seville Bienal, and music for Federico García Lorca’s play Blood Wedding. Since 2000, “Cano” has had his own group, for whom he has written, among other things, the work El Almaire de los Gitanos. “Cano” is master of modern flamenco guitar. His debut album Son de Ayer appeared in 2008.
Composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Samppa Leino’s instruments include tuba, trumpet, saxophone and bass clarinet among others. He has played with a number of Finland’s top orchestras such as the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta and the Guards Band, set up his own Kuullos Orchestra and worked as a conductor for number of big bands and wind orchestras. Leino is a very prolific jazz and art music arranger and records actively both styles. He is also a respected wind instrument teacher.
Trombonist Erno Haukkala is a broad-based musician who has played with a number of Finland’s most interesting bands such as The Soul Investigators, Bad Ass Brass Band, Ayekooto Afrobeat International, Mojakka, Alamaailman vasarat, Astro Can Caravan, Jätkäjätkät, Soul Captain Band and Paukkumaissi. He also plays other wind instruments like flute, tuba and sousaphone. Haukkala is well-known as a charismatic performer, who has been involved in children's theatre and dance along with the music scene.
Drummer and percussionist Karo Sampela has worked with multiple and diverse bands both in Finland and abroad. After moving to Spain in 2007, he has worked as a musician for many of the most prestigious flamenco artists dance groups and bands, such as the Compañía Rafaela Carrasco, Carmen Linares, Nuevo Ballet Español, Camerata Flamenco Project and José Torres Trio. Sampela started cooperation with Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin in 2003.
Víctor Carrasco began his career as a professional singer at andalucian flamenco peñas at the age of 16 after studying several years of flamenco guitar. He has then appeared at numerous festivals and theaters around the world, collaborating with famous flamenco artists such as Juan José Suárez and Alejandro Grandos. Carrasco is a versatile virtuoso, who has also worked with modern flamenco groups and sung on the recordings of renowned flamenco artists such as Marina Heredia, Nina Pastor, Arcángel and El Pele. He has also performed in Spains biggest flamenco festival, Flamenco Biennial Festival of Seville as well as at the first International Gypsy Festival, and served as music director for the show Lorca Gitano that toured widely in Spain.
Composer and musician Antero Priha is one of Finland’s most legendary trumpet players. He has not only composed and arranged an enormous amount of material for different genres but also played and recorded with a number of domestic and foreign top names such as Ray Charles, Kevin Mahogany, Maria Schneider, Kenny Wheeler, Ismo Alanko, J. Karjalainen, Tuomari Nurmio, Juice, Sielun Veljet, Hector, Pave Maijanen and Kirka. His collaborators have included, among others, UPI Sorvali, Edward Wesala, Hasse Walli and Otto Donner. Priha has also worked as a conductor, established a career as a studio musician and worked for theatre and film.
Pianist Pablo Suárez, who was born to a gypsy family in Barcelona, moved to Madrid at the age of 21 to focus on writing flamenco music. Suárez has a versatile scale ranging all the way from flamenco to classical music and jazz. As a pianist Suárez has brought new, multi-level dimensions into the interpretation of contemporary flamenco. Suárez composes for his own sextet, as well as for performance art pieces and famous dance companies, particularly Compañía Rafaela Carrasco. At the moment Suárez is busy with Camerata Flamenco Project performing all around Europe.