Fredagar på Sibbe: Astro Can Caravan
Astro Can Caravan is a “universum music band” formed in Kuopio in 2001, originally inspired by the US band Sun Ra And His Arkestra. The line-up started to grow rapidly by attracting all the wind and percussion players we knew, and at its peak the band was seen at a few gigs with up to 18 members. Over the years, the caravan has brought together more than 50 musicians, many of them among the top names in jazz and alternative music in the country. Astro Can Caravan has released four albums and performed at festivals such as Tampere Jazz Happening, Flow and Sideways.
Otto Eskelinen – alto saxophone, flute
Primus motor of the band, main composer and arranger. In addition to his many smaller and larger ensembles, this master of keyboards and wind instruments has also composed much music for theatre, dance, circus, film, etc…
Faarao Pirttikangas – guitar, synthesizer
Alongside the Astros, Pirttikangas has conquered the world with his original guitar playing and singing in the delta blues funk band Cosmo Jones Beat Machine and, in a more folk style, as Faarao, both solo and with his band Kuhmalahden Nubialaiset. In Astro, however, he can even be heard playing a synthesizer solo.
Tomi Kosonen – tenor saxophone
Kosonen is best known for his work in the synthesizer disco band Aavikko, but you might have also seen him playing saxophone in a rock band, operating a sampler at a rap gig or performing a contemporary dance composition he composed on guitar.
Pauli Lyytinen – soprano and tenor saxophone
The award-winning saxophonist is known as the leader of many of his own bands, but also as a soloist in ensembles such as Raoul Bjorkenheim eCsTaSy. Although Lyytinen has also been a member of Astro Can Caravan for over 20 years, it is only now that his compositions can be heard with Astro.
Ville Huovinen – baritone saxophone
Kuopio-born Ville Huovinen’s baritone saxophone brings poise, fire and swagger to the band’s sound. Ville spends his days playing saxophone in the ranks of the Air Force Band.
Erno Haukkala – trombone, flute
Haukkala, a trusted trombonist, has probably played in so many bands that he can’t even remember himself. The most notable are probably at least Alamaailman Vasarat, Soul Captain Band, Asa & Jätkäjätkät and Nicole Willis & Soul Investigators.
Eero Savela – trumpet
Savela and his trumpet have usually been where Haukkala and his trombone, together forming the legendary Eero & Erno brass section. He has also played and composed everything from children’s music to jazz and from circus to radio theatre. In 2009 Savela took over the bass duties of Astro Can Caravan on tuba.
Janne Mathlin – drums
Janne Mathlin has worked as a musician in various bands, theatre projects and TV productions. He has also worked as a pedagogue at various music schools. In recent years Mathlin has worked with long-time musicians Tuomari Nurmio and Eero Raittinen in the band Knucklebone Oscar, playing mainly gospel and blues. Mathlin joined Astro Can Caravan in 2019.
Arttu Hasu – bass
Arttu Hasu is a renowned bass artist who has toured the world’s clubs with indie band Rubik and the biggest stages in Finland with Lauri Tähkä’s band. He was the original bassist of Astros back in 2001 and wrote many of our early songs. It’s a pleasure to have him back on our crew after many years.