Since 2009 the Comics in Concert trio has been taking its magical combination of music and drawing to festivals, concert halls, art fairs and other public and private events across Finland and Sweden, to Germany, England, Switzerland and United States. It has performed for example in the Finnish Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, the comics festival MOCCA in New York and the jazz festival Viapori Jazz in Helsinki.
Inviting other musicians on stage with them, Comics in Concert has played with the famous american saxophonist Tim Ries, rapper Tommy Lindgren, beat boxer Felix Zenger, guitarist Raoul Björkenheim and others!
Niko Kumpuvaara (accordion), Aleksi Ranta (guitar) and Ville Ranta (drawing) are all masters of their own craft, but this trio is more than the sum of its parts. The musicians’ improvised jazz sound is complemented by live drawing that takes its inspiration from the music. And here, drawing becomes music and music becomes storytelling!
Ville Ranta (b. 1978) is a comics artist and political cartoonist whose characteristic, emotional and rough style is very recognizable. His political drawings come out in several newspapers in Finland and graphic novels are published all over Europe, especially in France.
As a live-drawing artist he has worked for years for Finnish television (A-studio) and performed in the International Comics Festival of Angoulême in France. In addition to his own trio, he has also performed with Avanti! Chambre Orchestra and with jazz pianist Iiro Rantala.
Aleksi Ranta (b. 1980) is a Finnish guitarist, composer and educator living in Helsinki. Ranta is known for his versatile compositions for bands, films and theater. He combines jazz and classical music with electronic elements creating memorable melodies and musical storytelling.
Ranta is also the founder and CEO of the film music production company Nordic Audio & Music Productions. He makes music for audiovisual projects as well as architectural sound design for art installations and business environments. Ranta works actively in Europe and the US and has received several grants for his international collaborations and performances.
Niko Kumpuvaara (b.1981) is a genre-free accordionist who’s musical roots are in contemporary classical music. Besides working with composers to create new music for accordion, he has also worked with top finnish jazz- and rock-musicians.
Kumpuvaara has worked as a guest professor of accordion in the Arts University of Graz Austria. He has worked for 10 years now as an artistic director in two different musicfestivals. His most important achievements are 1st prize in the Klingenthal accordion competition and 3rd price in the Gaudeamus competition for all instruments.