Johanna Iivanainen


The singer Johanna Iivanainen was the first recipient of Sony Jazz Prize. According to the jury she is a singer of originality and versatile musical view. Her expression is intensive, creative and energetic.
Johanna Iivainainen sings in several line-ups, a.o. with Unit 6, JimJamMurMur, Otto Donner Free for All un Free Control. 
The Sony Jazz price was awarded on March 13th 2003 at Jumo Jazz Club in Helsinki.

Jonas Jučas


Jonas is well known in Lithuania as the head of different art clubs, Lithuaninan and foreign concert manager, composer. He is the musical director of performances at Kaunas Puppet Theatre, co-founder and Manager of Lithuanian Youth Symphony Orchestra (currently Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra) and Senior Administrator at Kaunas Philharmony. In 1991, Jonas Jučas founded the Kaunas Jazz Festival, which takes place every April.

Mare Väljataga 


Mare Väljataga is an Estonian singer and music teacher. She has been on stage with different groups more than 30 years already. Her latest project is a concert programme with outstanding Estonian musicians Lembit Saarsalu (saxophone) and Olav Ehala (piano). She also performing with her own vocal group MV5 consisting of her former students. Since 1982 she has been working in Tallinn Music High school at the pop-and jazz department with singers and vocal groups.

Māris Briežkalns


Maris Briezkalns is a president of Contemporary music centre and director of jazz festival “Rigas Ritmi”. Maris is one of the most famous jazz percussionists as well as music producer in Latvia, who has proven himself as enthusiastic and irreplaceable contributor of youth musical education during last few years. He is working especially hard on furtherance of jazz and young talent not only in Latvia, but also in Baltic states, because the opened summer masterclasses organized by Maris are attended by prospective musicians also from Lithuania and Estonia. Maris devotes all his energy and resources on inviting famous foreign educators and musicians who usually take part in music festivals.

Oskars Kaminskis


Oskars Kaminskis has worked with Sony as of 1995 and has been one of the key contributors in building up Sony business in Baltic – first with SOSA and as of 1997 with Sony Nordic. On the 1st of June 2001 Oskars Kaminskis is appointed as Branch Manager and CPG Divisional Manager at Sony Baltic. Oskars will have responsibility of Consumer Business in the Baltic countries and will maintain his position as Sales Manager in Latvia. “Sony has sponsored different jazz music event but Sony Jazz Stage is the first jazz competition in Latvia. Good music be supported because we know – there are many jazz lovers in Latvia.”

Toivo Unt


Toivo Unt is the foremost mainstream double-bassist on the Estonian jazz scene for several decades, also holds the bass-post with a symphonic orchestra. His career as a bass player began at the end of 1960`s and today ranks among the most famous Estonian jazz soloists. Toivo Unt has participated in many constellations at different well-known jazz festivals all over Europe (Pori, Belga, Stockholm Debrecen. etc.) In 1999 Toivo Unt formed a group for performing in jazz-ballet in Estonian National Opera. He is the artistic director of International Festival NŌMME JAZZ.