Conductor Mikko Pettinen
Friends of soul and gospel music are in for a treat as UMO, British soul artist Tony Momrelle and the 30-member gospel chorus Higher Ground Vocals appear at Sellosali and in Black Box at Musiikkitalo on 14 and 15 November.
The programme will feature groovy soul numbers from Message in the Music (2007), an album by Tony Momrelle and the Lungau Big Band, including Momrelle’s own songs and legendary soul classics. Higher Ground Vocals are a group from Vantaa that will be contributing choral gospel numbers. The conductor is UMO’s very own soul expert, trumpet player Mikko Pettinen.
Tony Momrelle (UK)
Tony Momrelle is a British RnB singer best known from the acid jazz combo Incognito. He has also sung with several gospel groups besides touring as a backup singer with several distinguished soul and RnB acts (including Brand New Heavies, Elton John, Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, Sade, Andrea Bocelli and Gwen Stefani). He started singing as a child in the gospel choir at his local church and went on to become one of the leading voices of modern British RnB.
Higher Ground Vocals
Higher Ground are a revolutionary musical community that puts on only one or two performances a year. Their shows are explosive displays of gospel, soul, funk and RnB involving anything up to 140 singers, instrumentalists and dancers. The group that will be appearing with UMO is the 30-member Higher Ground Vocals, put together in spring 2006 for a concert at the Savoy Theatre in Helsinki based on the radio programme Higher Ground hosted by Vellu Salminen, a producer with Groove FM. The chorus is conducted by Hanna-Maria Helenius.
Higher Ground have previously appeared with Tony Momrelle (UK), Kora ‘Al’s daughter’ Green (USA), Freddie Moffet (USA), Jippu, Axl Smith and Janna Hurmerinta.