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Jimi Tenor

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Biography

Musician and composer Jimi Tenor has never settled for the traditional role of a pop artist. He is known as a productive musician whose work lies beyond current trends, and also as a performer who combines the finest elements of afro-american music, spontaneous silliness and shameless glamour in an original way.

Besides being a professional musician for almost 20 years, Jimi Tenor (born Lassi Lehto, 1965, Lahti, Finland) has also practised photography, directed short films and designed clothes and musical instruments. The electro-mechanic instruments built by Jimi Tenor and designer Matti Knaapi are not intended to be pieces of art on display at exhibitions, though have sometimes ended up as such. They emerge from musical needs, and are mainly made of scrap material. The instruments have been used at full blast during recording and on stage, so some of them have been wrecked.

Tenor’s music, along with his design and technical innovations, springs from experimental rock. His first recording band Jimi Tenor & His Shamans (1986-1992) was influenced by the early 80’s industrial rock, where instruments were made out of scrap metal and plastic. Later during the 90’s Tenor moved first towards electronic music, but soon got closer to his roots: 60’s and 70’s jazz, psychedelic soul and African funk.

Although Tenor spent all of the 90’s in Berlin, New York, London and Barcelona, his artistic approach was typically Finnish: technically practical, but saturated with black humour and a national romantic tone.

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