Folk Alliance International welcomes a record-breaking number of Finnish showcase acts

Folk Alliance International’s 32nd conference heads to the vibrant port city of New Orleans inviting 4 Finnish ensembles to perform at the showcase festival.

A record-breaking number of Finnish ensembles were invited to perform at the annual Folk Alliance International event proving that the Nordic countries – and especially Finnish acts – draw a great deal of interest among the folk community. In January 2020, showcase stages at Folk Alliance International's New Orleans edition will be taken over by Anne-Mari Kivimäki & Palomylly, Antti Paalanen (pictured above), Suistamon Sähkö and Zäpämmät.

The Folk Alliance International Conference, presented by Folk Alliance International, is the world’s largest gathering of the folk music industry and community (crossing a diverse array of genres). The annual February conference draws 2,900 artists and industry (agents, managers, publishers, labels, festival/venue presenters, promoters, media) dedicated to folk music. Folk Alliance International’s mission is to serve, strengthen, and engage the global folk music community.

Finnish acts at Folk Alliance International 2020

Anne-Mari Kivimäki & Palomylly

Anne-Mari Kivimäki is a musician, composer and lyricist, with the accordion at the core of her creativity. She is the founder of several bands including the boundary pushing duo Puhti, experimental electronic group Suistamon Sähkö, and Anne-Mari Kivimäki & Palomylly. At Folk Alliance International, Kivimäki and her Soviet-made Notka accordion is accompanied by the Palomylly band composed of two other members, Pekko Käppi and Ville Rauhala. Their music is based on the notes from Kivimäki’s own homeland and its old stories. 

Antti Paalanen

Crazy accordion experimentalist Antti Paalanen has created his own sound with his diatonic instrument and he uses it to weave hypnotic and minimalistic tunes that tell stories about the world of today. On his songs Paalanen screams at his accordion, kicks the floor and hits the bellows. Alongside his solo career, Antti Paalanen is a member of several folk music line-ups such as Hehkumo, Hyperborea, Laitakaupungin- orkesteri, Kiharakolmio, Trepaanit and Turkka ja Paalanen.

Suistamon Sähkö

Suistamon Sähkö performs new Karelian dance music with electronics, Russian toy accordion, power of song, rap and manic moves. Crazy music scientists Anne-Mari Kivimäki and Eero Grundström create new Suistamo dance music with a Notka accordion and electronics. Add two dancing vocalists Reetta-Kaisa Iles and Tuomas Juntunen and this visual folktronica act will make you dance yourself into a trance.


The female duo Zäpämmät was born out of Marjo Smolander’s and Pauliina Kauppila’s desire to approach their instruments and use their voices in new and exciting ways. Zäpämmät is like a demure summer girl who nevertheless possesses the uncompromising voice of a strong woman. The gritty and beautiful music features Marjo’s Finnish string instrument kantele and Pauliina’s exotic repertoire of percussion instruments in addition to their voices.