Mingo Rajandi is a composer, double bass player, leader of various ensembles and initiator of interdisciplinary projects. She boldly seeks common ground between refined compositions and improvisation, crossing genre boundaries and experimenting with different art forms. In her works Mingo blends jazz with contemporary music and draws inspiration from socially critical texts and poetry, from both the classics as well as contemporary authors.
Mingo has been commissioned to create several new works by jazz and classical music festivals and she often collaborates with performing arts producers and performers. Her interdisciplinary works “Creating Gods” (2018, commissioned by Arvo Pärt Day’s) and collaborations “Lingua franca” (2017) and “The strange mirror” (2021) are remarkable examples of this. Among her notable works is the bassoon concerto “Trees Talk” for the Grammy-nominated bassoon player Martin Kuuskmann (2019), a new version of Händel’s oratorio “Messiah” for Veronika Portsmouth’s Choir (2019), and “Erkki-Sven Tüür & Lepo Sumera Rewrite” with Kirke Karja (2019) that was commissioned for the opening of the Jazzkaar festival’s 30th anniversary. In 2019, Mingo participated in the Estonian Drama Theater’s production “Double bass”, for which she received the award for best original music and musical design at the Estonian Theater Awards. In 2020, Mingo was awarded the title of Jazz Composer of the Year.
Mingo’s latest work, the theatre production “Elajannad“, premiered in Tallinn this winter, is a stunning example of her composition in a live performance. The album of the same name was also released in February. Mingo’s ensembles, including Ajavares, Heliotroop, Verbarium, Avarus Ensemble, Trio Maag, and Mingo Rajandi Quintet, have performed her works extensively, with numerous albums and singles released. Mingo regularly collaborates with musicians from different genres, actors, visual artists, poets, and choreographers. She has also written for several classical ensembles and soloists and has done a number of special projects both in the theater and on concert stages.
Mingo Rajandi was born in 1980 and graduated from the Estonian Institute of Humanities (now Tallinn University) majoring in acting. She started her career as a musician at the Georg Ots Music School and got her bachelor’s degree in jazz double bass and a master’s degree in composition from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.