Jere Haakana, a self-described "17 year old guitar-playing dude from Finland", submitted a collection of demos entitled Invalid Cat. A super shredder who plays a kind of 'jazz metal' (Shawn Baxter, Greg Howe, Bumblefoot, Shawn Lane, etc.) and who loves guitaristic eccentricities (ala Steve Vai), Haakana's ten instrumentals demonstrate a highly advanced technical ability, with many passages played at dizzying tempos. He doesn't fuse metal and jazz as much as he intersperses and intertwines the two -- a listen to the title track would be a good aural example. When he sticks to the creative stuff (there are a couple of 'just watch me blaze' tracks, and the slower stuff doesn't really work), Haakana can keep the guitar-crazy listener immensely entertained. With five more years of compositional experience, it would be amazing what this kid could do with his skills.
Jere started playing piano at the age of 11, but quit because the music he wanted to play couldn't be duplicated on the piano. Later he moved on the guitar, and since that time he has lost his social life, his dreams of university and his mental health. Jere has written and recorded loads of material and is currently sending demos to different record companies. All he really wants to do is play the guitar.
After he finishes high school, Haakana will either continue with his musical education or end up working at McDonald's.
Web site: personal.inet.fi/surf/jerehaakana