Kari 'Sonny' Heinilä (b. 1966) is a finnish woodwind player and composer. In 1984 Heinilä was accepted to Sibelius-Academy. He studied there both jazz saxophone and classical flute. In 1987 he became a full-time reed player of Umo Jazz Orchestra, an internationally acclaimed big band. He played seven years with the orchestra until he started to teach at the Sibelius-Academy's jazz department. Heinilä taught there until 2002. After that he has worked as a freelance musician and composer. Heinilä still works occasionally with Umo Jazz Orchestra, as their main guest conductor. Beside his saxophones and flutes Heinilä has specialized on the Turkish ney and various kavals from Bulgaria, Macedonia and Turkey. He has devoted especially to the classical Turkish improvisation (taksim) based on the modal system called 'makam'. In addition of being an active figure in the finnish music scene, Heinilä has also performed in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Tsechoslovakia, Poland, England, Swizerland, Austria, India, USA and Venezuela.
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