Friday, January 30, 2009

Bob's Take Away in Pub Henrik, Helsinki

The jazz jam gig was a success. All tables were taken and there were even dancers on the floor. Here are some pictures I've received. I am sure there are more to come.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Coming jazz gigs

The next seven days will be busy.

This week-end (January 24-25) I will be attending Classic Jazz training camp in Järvenpää. This is organized by same bodies as the summer camp in Otava. There will be performances and jamming at both nights in Bar Cafe My Way at Hotel Rivoli in Järvenpää. Three players from Bob's Take Away -band, Roba, Sami and myself, will be attending the camp.

On Wednesday Jan. 28 Bob's Take Away will be a featured band in Pub Henrik's Jazz jam night in Helsinki.

I am looking forward for a lot of fun and good jamming with good friends.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Building a web site over time

An American tourist was visiting an English castle and admiring the superbly well cared for lawn.
Approaching the tour guide: "How can I get such a lawn to my mansion?"
Answers the tour guide: "First of all, you'll start four hundred years ago."

That's the answer I give to people asking an advice after Sax on the Web (SOTW) reached the first page (now #6 when using key word "saxophone") in Google search. You'll be advised to start twelve years ago. Ten years ago my good friend, guitarist and now my band-mate Robert Rasmus directed me to a book about building loyalty in WWW. The key was not providing only static web pages, one-directional information, but adding interactivity, getting visitors involved. Then Sax on the Web Forum was born to form a community for saxophonists to discuss topics of interest. The membership varies from beginners and "late bloomers" to more advanced players and even to top-notch professionals.

The SOTW Forum had several incarnations and the current platform has been in use since 2003. There are now over one million posts, 25,000 members from all over the world out of which 30% are considered active. (Some of the older posts have been archived and available separately.)

The forum gets 8000 visits per day whereas the "static" pages get more than 3000 daily visitors.

The Sax on the Web site looks like its membership which will set the tone and also provide the vast contents available for everyone on the WWW. Running the forum would not have been possible without volunteer administrators. Now I only want to single out Kim C. Pelletier who participated from the very beginning as a moderator and admin, and also designed logos and cartoons for SOTW. The above 10 year celebration logo is also from her pen.

I will be giving credit for all significant contributors later on.

The Sax on the Web site has many followers who benefit from the contents, but do not want to necessarily register as forum members. Now I added a Google friend connect application to the Front page. Now visitors can inform their friends about SOTW and possibly connect with other members.

Thanks for your support during all these years,
-Harri Rautiainen

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Blues/Roots Jam at Bar Mendocino

Yesterday was Monday jam night at Bar Mendocino in Helsinki. I invited Lidia from International friends meeting with me, and she seemed to enjoy herself totally. Looks like this place is a well-kept secret, I only discovered it last fall.

The bands played sturdy blues, rock and roots type music. Even Elvis Presley showed up!!
Other singers colored the atmosphere in 60s, 70s style.

I joined few pieces with my tenor sax where I could manage with blues scale and chords. Because of guitar players some songs had 4-5 sharps for me, but who cares - in blues they are flattened, anyway. :-)

From my musician friends Anders Jansson was there playing keyboard and baritone sax, excellent solos. Hannu Rantanen came later to play bass and Pekka played his trumpet.

Good time was had by everyone, thanks for the accompaniment.

BASICS of ROCK & ROLL for a saxophonist