In the Spotlight

  • 28.9.2016

    Okra Playground gets the folk party started

    Okra Playground bring their tantalising electronic update of Finnish folk to the WOMEX 16 World Music Expo in Spain this autumn.

  • 22.9.2015

    When Lapland met Balkan

    Creators of their own self-defined musical genre, “Lapland-Balkan”, Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha have played a merciless amount of gigs during their six years of existence, released three critically acclaimed albums and gathered a fiercely loyal cult following in Finland.

  • 8.5.2015

    Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble on the trail of voodoo rhythms

    Villa Karo, the Finnish-African culture centre in Benin, is a gateway and a nexus for many kinds of arts collaborations. One of the advanced music projects it has fostered is Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble, whose original blend of African and Finnish rhythm music has been extremely well received. The eight-member group released its second album Fire, Sweat & Pastis in autumn 2014. It entered the World Music Chart and was named Folk Music Album of the Year in Finland.

  • 21.10.2014

    Archaic goes urban

    “What a weird instrument!” was Ilkka Heinonen’s reaction when he first encountered the jouhikko in the early 2000s. Having played all kinds of music from folk to rock, he had decided to focus on classical double bass and to qualify as an orchestral musician. But that is not what happened.

  • 30.9.2014

    Samuli Kosminen: Flying to the US via Reykjavik

    Samuli Kosminen is one of Finland’s most internationally successful percussion players. He started out as a drummer, but has created his own rhythmic cosmos of toys, percussion, junk, samples and processor power.

  • 21.3.2014

    WoW – what a sound!

    The groundbreaking folk wind ensemble Wind on Wind will surprise even wind music sceptics with their versatile music.

  • 11.12.2013

    100 years of tango in Finland!

    2013 has seen centenary celebrations of tango in Finland all over the country, including at the traditional Tangomarkkinat festival in Seinäjoki and the World of Tango festival in Tampere. And in September in Hamburg-Altona was organized the FINtango Festival, the first-ever Finnish tango festival outside Finland.

  • 11.12.2013

    From symbiosis to encounter

    Dancing and music used to be joined at the hip. In folk music, this symbiotic relationship was preserved for a long time due to the fact that the bulk of traditional music is actually dance music. Today the connections between these two art forms are being examined at the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department and through the many and varied projects of the Tsuumi Dance Theatre.

  • 5.12.2013

    Finding a unique voice through tradition

    Violinist Pekka Kuusisto has received two awards this fall. In both cases the reasons included a nod to Kuusisto’s versatility and the ability to work in different contexts to produce surprising results.

  • 25.10.2013

    Going underground with Alamaailman Vasarat

    Alamaailman Vasarat have been creating experimental genre-defying music for a decade and a half, mixing elements of tango, klezmer, jazz, psychobilly and cabaret into a completely unique sound. We asked band leader Jarno “Stakula” Sarkula to talk about the group’s “fictional world music” and recent musical ventures ahead of their first ever UK show at Lifem – The Finnish Line 2 November.

  • 16.10.2013

    Playing with wolves

    Jouhikko master Pekko Käppi tours in UK and Japan and plans to release various projects in the near future.

  • 14.10.2013

    Värttinä 30 years – and still going strong

    It all started in the village of Rääkkylä 30 years ago. A group of young people started to sing and play folk music together. Their energetic shows were guaranteed crowd-pleasers – and before long they were off and towards international fame.

  • 30.5.2013

    Folk rap is here to stay

    Contemporary folk music and Finnish rap celebrate their 30th anniversary this year. Punk poet Asa, black music expert Paleface and folk music’s gift to rap, Pitkäsen Matti, use folk music as a tool in their politically inspired ranting.

  • 5.10.2012

    From Wigwam to Kimmo Pohjonen

    Being boss of the bellows will only get you so far. As any successful artist, Kimmo has a solid team of people working to advance his career and help his unique take on music travel the world, from Finland to Australia and all points in between. Two of the people in Kimmo’s corner are a Texan who caught the Finnish music bug way back in the 1970s and a Finnish agent with a long history of working with artists who follow their own muse. Meet Phillip Page and Tiina Vihtkari...