Visa Oscar

(Visa-Pekka Oskari Mertanen b.1976)

Doctoral student, University of Arts Helsinki (Jazz department)

Having worked for over twenty years as a professional keyboardist, composer, arranger and producer Visa leads his own jazz-fusion band Visa Oscar Group, tours regularly with the Afro-beat/jazz influenced Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble and produces electronica with a group called Binary Boyz. During his career, Visa has played keyboards in Sibis Alumni Big Band with John Scofield and Jim McNeely at the Helsinki Music Center, written orchestral arrangements for pop bands like the Sunrise Avenue and composed two multimedia operas for Opera Skaala. He has worked regularly with Finnish bands like Waldo’s People (1997-2001), Taikapeili (1998) and Maija Vilkkumaa. (1998-2001)

In 2015 Visa Oscar’s co-write song and production “Heart of Light” won the third place in the Finnish Eurovision Song Contest called UMK2015. Year 2013 his big band composition “Balkan Express” received also the third prize in the biannual Esko Linnavalli Composing Competition.

He works regularly as an arranger in Finnish recordings, tours and TV performances. He also works as an assistant researcher in the University of Arts Helsinki and teaches regularly in Karelia University of Applied Sciences.

His first album “Fusion Treatment” was released in October 17, 2015.