Kangas Retires, Sort Of

After booking Finland’s Pori Jazz Festival for nearly 40 years, Jyrki Kangas has reached 65 and is going to retire – although he’ll be staying on as a consultant.

“I’ve reached that age when the government will give me money,” he told Pollstar at this year’s ILMC, shortly after Kangas announced that the 2009 Pori will be his last and introduced its new booking team.

“I will be staying on to talk about what we should book, but I’ll no longer be the one that negotiates with the agents and does the deals,” he explained.

“It’s not possible to retire from life,” he said, having co-founded the event in 1966 and become its first full-time employee in 1970. “All of the founders were volunteers until I started to work daily as the director. I’ve done the bookings since then and over nearly 40 years my title has been changing between chairman and managing director. It’s been artistic director since 1990.”

When he’s retired, his title will change to “senior adviser,” which will mean working as part of a new booking team with Tuomas Kallio, Markus Partanen and Teppo Mäkynen.

Kallio, 33, is a musician and producer, Partanen, 45, is a journalist and produces radio jaxx shows, while Mäkynen, 34, is a drummer, DJ, band leader and music producer.

Kangas will also fill up some of his new-found leisure time by helping with the festival’s marketing and sponsoring, while continuing to network on Pori’s behalf.