HOW-radio | Global Club Nights

Nathan Riki Thomson & Värivarjo, Joni Vierre & Tommie Black-Roff

Nathan Riki Thomson & Värivarjo, Joni Vierre & Tommie Black-Roff

Nathan Riki Thomson is a double bass player, multi-instrumentalist, composer, researcher and educator. Nathan has collaborated and performed with musicians from many parts of the world, with a special interest in Africa where he lived and worked for five-years with musicians and dancers in Tanzania and Zambia. During his time in Tanzania, Nathan established a series of community arts projects in collaboration with local musicians and was a student of renowned musician Dr. Hukwe Zawose.

Nathan was born to parents from New Zealand and raised in Australia, where he completed undergraduate studies at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane, followed by further studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. Nathan holds a master’s and Doctor of Music degree in Global Music from Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts, Helsinki.

As a performer, Nathan has toured internationally during the past 26 years with groups including the Antonio Forcione Quartet, Adriano Adewale Group, Ilkka Heinonen Trio, Subsonic Trio, Electronic Chamber Music, and Mari Kalkun and Runorun. Nathan is featured on numerous albums as a collaborator and has released three albums under his own name, including Under Ubi’s Tree (NAIM records UK), Shaped by the Sea and Resonance (Sibarecords / NAXOS). He was a lecturer at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London for 10 years, where he worked as a core member of the teaching team for the master’s degree in leadership.

Intertwined with performing, teaching, and researching, Nathan has actively worked on intercultural community engagement projects in contexts such as schools, prisons, youth groups, centers for children with a disability, and with homeless youth in Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, and North and South America. Finland is his new home, where he is currently professor and head of the Global Music Department at Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts, Helsinki.

Värivarjo are guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Joni Vierre and accordionist/pianist Tommie Black-Roff. Their name, which translates as “Colour-Shadow” is named after the large and colourful rainbow sheets commonly used in group kid games. That feeling of wonder and sensory saturation is the goal. They bridge the divide between jazz and folk backgrounds through collaborative composition and improvisation. Värivarjo is a musical laboratory in which they test ideas, games and creative tool – the outcome isn’t always known from the outset, but the journey is what counts.

Duration: 60 minutes