New Folk and Global Music from Finland

Get to know the most exciting new folk and global music from Finland!

The Finnish music scene is more diverse than ever, with traditional music styles and instruments shaking hands with modern soundscapes and other genres. The artists featured on the playlist range from Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha's balkan grooves to Joonas Widenius Trio's flamenco jazz and Maija Kauhanen's music inspired by Finnish and Karelian traditions.

This Apple Music and Spotify based playlist is updated frequently. Scroll down fro artist info!

New Folk & Global Music from Finland on Apple Music
New Folk & Global Music from Finland on Spotify

Related Artists

Käärmeenpääntallaajat

Käärmeenpääntallaajat came to life in 2023 as a side project of Suistamon Sähkö and Palomylly, combining music with dance and theatre (and featuring high school students as actors!). With Reetta-Kaisa Iles and Anne-Mari Kivimäki as main choreographers and composers, Käärmeenpääntallaajat is dubbed as "a joint effort of carefully and precisely selected indie musicians and freelance dancers, that hits the audience with familiar riffs and dance moves from the concert stages and deepens the experience through visuals and storytelling". The project's three studio tracks were released on Folk Extreme label compilation "Highlights 2023".

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BFP

BFP (fka Bergå Folk Project) is a group formed by professional folk musicians Aili Järvelä, Iida Savolainen, Esko Grundström and Topi Korhonen. They perform the folk song arrangements by the one Luciano Berio well known in the field of classical music. The group seeks out to bring the folk songs that inspired Berio back to their roots with new, innovative arrangements. The group’s international repertoire sung in 8 languages and played with 12 different instruments presents a variety of world and folk music styles. Bergå Folk Project released their debut album in 2022, which was awarded with "Etno-Emma" – the award for the year's best Finnish world/folk music album in 2023.

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Nooli

Nooli consists of harmonica player Aino Kinnunen and violinist Oona Sinkko. They founded the group in Kaustinen in 2017 out of the joy of playing and passion for folk music, with virtuoso melodies and rich harmonies as the raw materials in their music. From the very beginning, the young musicians composed their own music, ultimatel forming the base to the duo's debut album, "Kesä ei lopu koskaan" (2019). Nooli is already a household name at many Finnish folk music festivals, and the duo has also been selected as a showcase band both in Folkelarm, Norway and at the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival in Finland. In 2022, the duo's original violinist Oona Sinkko was replaced by Aino Kinnunen.

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Afrojazz Quintet

On their debut album “Welcome Our Future”, Afrojazz Quintet, founded and led by artist-musician Alvar Gullichsen, seamlessly combines genres and pushes boundaries. The band's roots in lie jazz, afrofunk, afrobeat and psychedelic rock, creating a sophisticated and multifaceted sound. Afrojazz Quintet – a sextet in real life – is comprised of Antero Priha, Julius Heikkilä, Akim Color, Alvar Gullichsen, Daniel Iiskola and Oscar Karlsson. The album features also Charlotta Kerbs on vocals and Jimi Tenor on tenor saxophone and flute.

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Slack Bird

Slack Bird is a punk folk band as well as the solo vehicle for singer-songwriter Dave Klas. During their existence, Slack Bird has toured abroad with various lineups, the most active of which has been the duo version with accordionist Susanna Leppänen and Klas. Thus far, Slack Bird has released three albums: "Let's Start Wearing Capes" (2016), "Aleta Au" (2018) and "Hämärään" (2021).

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Johanna Juhola

There's no one quite like Johanna Juhola; nimble-fingered accordion virtuoso and multi-faceted composer, she blazes her own colourful trail, breezing blithely across style borders and genre barriers with a captivating mix of musical excellence and engaging charm. Her compositions blend the parallel worlds of Argentinian and Finnish tango, following the latter's path into the melancholic soul of Finnish folk, emerging into the sunlight with uplifting flirtations with pop music and innovative excursions into electronica.

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Maco Oey

Maco Oey is a Finnish pop/rock musician with Indonesian and Ingrian heritage. He has worked actively in the Finnish music scene a projects such as Semmarit and with his own groups Maco ja Tuksa and Maco Band. His solo career began in 2011 with the release of the album "Pari suhdetta". Maco received a nomination at the 2021 Emma Awards for his album "Siistii!". On his 2023 single "Kuka olen", he collaborates with Finnish folk music greats Maija Kauhanen, Pekko Käppi and Johanna Juhola.

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Vilma Jää

The singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Vilma Jää mixes hundreds of years old stories with today’s electronic music. She combines the ancient instruments such as kantele and harmonium with synthetic beats. She is also known from her breakthrough role in Innocence, an international success opera by Kaija Saariaho.

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Lapua-Uusi-Guinea

In Lapua-Uusi-Guinea’s music the traditions of folk music are essential, yet being blended with aesthetics of pop, jazz and world music. They have released their debut album Virittää in 2021. The band is formed by Anna Kinnunen (violin and vocals), Oona Yliperttula (violin), Jenna Hiipakka (accordion), Santeri Kaipiainen (piano and vocals), Aapo Nieminen (guitar and mandolin) and Veli-Matti Silanterä (double bass).

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Vilma Talvitie

Vilma Talvitie is a singer, composer-lyricist and multi-instrumentalist who creates bridges between pop, global and folk music. In her music, Finnish folk aesthetics and acoustic instruments (piano, accordion, strings) exist in harmony with electronic beats and catchy pop melodies. Having lived in several different countries and continents – Europe, South America and Asia – the nomadic lifestyle has left a distinctive mark on Talvitie's music.

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Vimma

VIMMA is a young art-pop ensemble from Helsinki combining Nordic folk with progressive rock. As a 9 piece mini-orchestra VIMMA is able to create a massive sound with specific arrangements while also leaving space for artistic interpretation and improvisation.

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M

Minja Koski is an artist and actress performing under the mysterious pseudonym M. Since 2017, Koski has released a total of four albums: Tehtaantyttö (2017), Näytän missä asun (2019), Punainen ovi (2020) ja Lauluja 1960-luvulta (2022). M's music draws influences from folk music, as well as art pop, electronic music and has been often described by critics as hypnotic, mysterious, dark and minimalistic.

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Niina Annika

The roots of singer-songwriter Niina Annika's music rest in primal and emotional tones, rhythms that hypnotize and strike with a gentle force. Traces of folk, global music and blues can be found in the music, inspired by nature and its symbolism. Niina Annika’s debut album "Kalliota vasten" was released in September 2023.

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Cienna

Folk duo Cienna was founded in 2020 by Kaisa Leskinen and Senni Eskelinen. A dense interweaving of human vocal and electro acoustic kantele, Cienna can sound like an entire orchestra. You may hear echoes from folk and country of the 1960s and 1970s in their music. Singer Kaisa Leskinen became widely known after her success in Voice of Finland competition in 2021, while Senni Eskelinen is one of Finland’s leading kantele players.

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Emilia Lajunen

Emilia Lajunen is known for her personal, strong and modern fiddle playing. Her playing style she claims has its origins in archaic heritage and fiddler music. She has won many awards as a soloist, including becoming "Nordic champion" during the Nordic competition in Sälen 2008. Emilia plays in groups such as Juuri & Juuri, Suo, Spontaani Vire, Ritva Nero and her duo with Suvi Oskala. On the latest album "Vainaan perua: Satavuotinen sakka", Lajunen’s unique style is electrified by Eero Grundström, her musical partner of two decades.

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Emmi Kuittinen

On her latest album "Surun synty" (The birth of sorrow), singer/songwriter Emmi Kuittinen deals with the theme of sorrow: ”I wanted to explore the nature of sorrow in music and what different kinds of sounds melancholy has”, she explains. Her music contains layers all the way from old runosongs and laments to more modern songs and schlagers. Beside Kuittinen’s own compositions and lyrics, the album includes material from Karelia, Ingria, Finland and Sweden. The album's music was performed by Kuittinen (mandolin, accordion, kantele, vocals), along with Antti Rask, Mimmi Laaksonen and Kirsi Vinkki.

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Samigo & Amigos

Founded by Sami “Samigo” Kontola, a musician/producer/writer living both in Rio de Janeiro and Finland, musical collective Samigo & Amigos continue the "universal music" movement spearheaded by brazilian jazz legend Hermeto Pascoal since the 1970's.

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Pekko Käppi

Pekko Käppi is a visionary Finnish folk music composer, ethnomusicologist, runo-song researcher, member of the groundbreaking revivalists Jouhiorkesteri and album-award-winning solo artist. His oeuvre revolutionized the standards of playing the ancient Finnish instrument jouhikko, a bowed lyre, by plugging it into an amplifier.

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Ilkka Heinonen

Ilkka Heinonen is one of the contemporary masters of the ancient Finnish instrument jouhikko, the bowed lyre. In his trio line-up, Ilkka Heinonen spices the jouhikko sound up with a diverse range of contemporary influences, pushing the instrument into exciting new musical territories. On his strictly solo, one-man setting, Heinonen's music gets a more traditional, folksy, meditative and even minimalistic character, with nothing getting in the way of the listener and the instrument.

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The Shubie Brothers

The members of The Shubie Brothers have played in dozens of important ensembles in their native Finland and each of them operates with their instrument at a master level. But when putting on their music, instead of solos, you hear swinging rhythms and magical sounds. Shubie Brothers was quietly formed as drummer-producer Janne Haavisto's solo project. When Haavisto needed to get a musicians for his gigs, the band was formed by guitarists Miikka Paatelainen and Jussi Jaakonaho as well as percussionist Abdissa "Mamba" Assefa. The Shubie Brothers' sound is influenced by music from all over the world, with Caribbean and African rhythms playing a big part.

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Jenni Venäläinen

Jenni Venäläinen is a versatile kantele player and singer specialised in the Karelian kantele tradition and improvisation. In her project Melkutus Party, the old dancing tunes played by kantele are transformed into modern dancing party tunes with EDM influences. Venäläinen has graduated from Arts University Sibelius Academy in 2019 and has performed in i.e. Nordic and Baltic countries. Her most active ensembles are Aoide and Tikkursby. Numerous possibilities, tones of sounds and playing techniques in kantele inspire her to create her own musical sound.

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Hostikka

Hostikka is a fresh and new folk music six-piece from Finland. The band is fronted by Saija Penttilä, and the songs are mainly her compositions, but there are also works by musician-producer Jaakko Penttilä in their repertoire. The band's compositions have strong influences from bluegrass and Americana, but lean heavily on Nordic folk music.

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Sähköpaimen

Folktronica band Sähköpaimen ("electric shepherd") was founded in 2011 by Amanda Kauranne (vocals, looper), Eero Grundström (keyboards, electronics) and Kirsi Ojala (wind instruments). Their music unites extremes and welds opposites together: the oldest tradition meets modern technology, the organic merges with electricity, the natural merges with the modified, improvisation collides with the beat. The music works like a reversed archival tape: the vocals and wind instruments play acoustically, and the machines do their best to add the rumbling aesthetics of reel-to-reel tapes and flicker electric shocks to the natural sound.

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Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha

Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha's music is an interesting combination of Balkan Roma grooves, Russian romances and old Finnish tango and humppa. The group, established in 2009, has won recognition and released three critically acclaimed albums, and also become very on-demand live act due to their wild live performances.

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Jussi Syren And The Groundbreakers

Jussi Syren And The Groundbreakers is an internationally acclaimed bluegrass band that has toured nine US states and various European countries. Their achievements include recording with Grammy winning fiddler Michael Cleveland in 2019 and getting chosen as the main showcase act for the world's largest bluegrass industry event, IBMA World of Bluegrass in 2020. A fun fact worth mentioning is also their tribute album "Heartagrass - An Acoustic Tribute To HIM". Jussi Syren And The Groundbreakers promises to take the audience on a complete experience trip, where traditional bluegrass songs are sprinkled with e.g. The Beatles and Louie Armstrong.

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Frigg

Frigg has been conquering the world with their fusion of western folk music styles leaning strongly towards Nordic folk music. To describe Frigg's music, the world music media has coined the term nordgrass – referring to the bluegrass influences of the group. So far, Frigg's over 20-year career has taken the band touring around the world, and their discography is already 11 albums deep (including one live album), with 2023's "Perintö" being the latest addition.

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Faso Kan

Faso Kan plays melodic and fast-paced music inspired by the rich musical tradition of West Africa, which has been described "a musical meeting of diverse cultures, the past, and the future.". The 8-member band has performed since 2006, but their debut album was released in 2023. The band is led by Issa Dembele, a balafon master from Burkina Faso, while kora soloist Adama Koné is a griot musician from Mali. Percussionist Ossi Raippalinna has studied traditional griot music and instrument building, e.g. in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Mali and griot musician and composer Issiaka Dembele is an internationally known multi-talent in West African music.

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Teea Aarnio

Singer-songwriter Teea Aarnio has graduated from the Pop & Jazz Conservatory, but before becoming a musician, she worked for e.g. in theatre, dance and contemporary art. Her musicianship combines features of contemporary performance art and versatile artistry, and she is inspired by the diversity of nature and culture. Her song "Pihani", on which she worked with songwriter Timo Kiiskinen, whose track record includes for example Värttinä, is a fascinating combination of calm and soothing folk music, jazz and chanson.

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Hanna Ryynänen

Musician and kantele player Hanna Ryynänen masters of a wide range of kanteles, from the small 5-string kantele to the 39-string concert kantele. Of all these, the Saarijärvi kantele’s rich tones and inspiring techniques are especially close to her heart. Improvisation also has an important role in Hanna Ryynänen’s artistic work where she loves to seek new sounds and ways of playing. Ryynänen works as a freelance musician, performing both solo and with her different ensembles, holding a Master’s degree in folk music from University of the Arts, Helsinki. Her debut solo album “Taite” was released in 2023.

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Uni uni

Uni uni is a duo specialized in "energetic ambient and dreamy electronic pop" with archaic instruments such as the jouhikko (bowed lyre). Emerging in the Finnish folk scene in early 2023 with their debut single "Pyöriäinen", the Helsinki-based twosome consists of Ella Isotalo (violin, bowed lyre, viola, ilimba, live looping) and Mikko H. Haapoja (synths, programming, bowed lyre, vocals).

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Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble

In 2012, three Finnish musicians travelled to Cotonou, Benin, discovered a shared musical language with local players and voilá: the critically acclaimed and dancefloor grooving ensemble was born. ”Weather Report meets Fela”, a reviewer from fRoots described Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble’s debut album Beaucoup de Piment (2013), hitting the nail on the head: jazz, funk, and afrobeat are the main ingredients in the band’s ferocious groove. So far, the infectiously groovy ensemble has released four studio albums and one live offering.

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Mikko H. Haapoja

During 2010s and early 20s, Helsinki-based media artist and music producer Mikko H. Haapoja has field-recorded soundscapes around the globe, from the Nordic and South-Peruvian nature to the several cities like Istanbul, New York, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Helsinki, Lima, Bangkok and Hongkong. By mixing multiple sonic environments together, Haapoja now creates unheard worlds for our ears. In Unheard Landscapes, Finnish traditional bowed lyres, kantele and electronic beats contact this mixture of sounds in to the living tradition of ours. Mikko H. Haapoja's solo debut album 'Unheard Landscapes' will be released in summer 2023, following a tour in Finland and abroad.

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Oskari Lehtonen

In his solo material, percussionist Oskari Lehtonen (Okra Playground etc) demonstrates how rich and versatile music can be, even if it's played only with percussion instruments. The music is based on Nordic folk tradition but you can also hear influences from progressive rock, trance, movie soundtracks etc. On his first solo album "ROIHU" Lehtonen plays a large selection of percussion instruments including a drumset, tambourines, taiko drums, samplers and body percussion. There are also 3 guest musicians on the album: Suvi Oskala on fiddle, Arja Kastinen on kantele and Kepa Kettunen on drums. In his live performances, Lehtonen uses sample pads and acoustic cymbals to create a large variety of sounds.

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Teho.

Fiddle duo Esko Järvelä and Tero Hyväluoma combine Finnish spelman music, Swedish polska, bebop and swing in their music. Both members of the duo are top names in the folk music field, who ignore genre boundaries. They have years of experience playing together, e.g. in the band Frigg, and both also teach part-time at the Sibelius Academy and also has their own band to lead.

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Désirée Saarela

Désirée Saarela is a Finland-Swedish singer-songwriter and folk singer whose vocal expression is strongly rooted in the folk tradition. The lyrics, the stories and the mood they convey are at the core of her music. Désirée is inspired by her surroundings, by people, relations, the forest, sea, open landscapes, nature itself – and all of this becomes songs. The experience of having moved several times between city and countryside has left its mark on Désirée’s life and also influenced her songs and lyrics.

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Polenta

The young musicians of Polenta, Aino Kinnunen, Mikko Malmivaara, Veera Kuisma, Olli Sippola come armed with one acoustic guitar and three fiddles. Their instrumental nordic folk evokes visions of endless summer days, midnight sun and glistening lakes. Polenta's debut full-length "Kaustinen Turbo" was released in 2021 and it was followed by new music in 2023.

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Tjango!

The story of Tjango! began in 2010, when three classical music professionals started to play the swing of Django Reinhardt and the tango of Astor Piazzolla. Later on, they moved on to create their own musical style, a mixture of gypsy jazz and Latin American rhythms combined with songful folk music-like melodies. The current lineup of Tjango! consists of founding members accordionist Antti Leinonen and guitarist Otto Tolonen, together with fiddler Tero Hyväluoma and double-bassist Tarmo Anttila.

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Anna Murtola

Anna Murtola, born in 1983 in Oulu, North of Finland is the world’s northernmost flamenco singer. Considered as one of the pioneers of Finnish flamenco singing, the singer has found her own strong voice as an interpreter of this passionate Spanish tradition. She is also known as a versatile and charismatic performer who is constantly reaching out across genre and culture borders. In 2018 Murtola’s debut album "Fuego Por Dentro" was released by Alba Records as the first album by a Finnish flamenco singer. Her 2nd album "La Tierra Blanca" is released by the award-winning German record label Nordic Notes in 2023.

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Kasvu

Folk quintet Kasvu (which translates to "growth") present themselves as "a love letter to biodiversity". While the band plays contemporary folk music, their lyrics draw from ancient Finnish folk poetry, as well as the contemporary poetry of Henriikka Tavi. Kasvu consists of Lotta Hagfors (vocals), Vesa Norilo (cello), Olli Kari (accordion, mandolin), Oskari Lehtonen (percussion) and Kirsi Vinkki (violin, bowed lyre).

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Matti Kallio

Matti Kallio is a multi-instrumentalist, accordionist, composer and a producer based in Iceland. He has worked with number of folk and world music acts like Värttinä and among popular music with acts like Hector and Vesa-Matti Loiri. “Murder Street” (2022) consists of duets for piano and accordion and is written, played, recorded as well as produced by Kallio himself. Kallio's 3rd solo outing, "Waterfjord" (2023) is a collaborative deep dive into traditional Irish music with local musicians Tony Byrne, Liam Flanagan and Colm Murphy.

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Aléa

Aléa is a Finnish folk music duo formed by Aurora Visa and Annika Lyytikäinen in 2014. Aléa’s music makes the Finnish national instrument kantele and the clarinet groove in an unheard way. With musical roots reaching deep into the Nordic tradition, Aléa wants to take their listeners for a dance. Since their start, the duo has performed actively in the Finnish folk music scene as well as for audiences new to folk music both domestically and internationally. In Finnish the duo is also known for their podcast Huliviliflikat.

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Tsuumi Sound System

Tsuumi Sound System is a dynamic modern folk music group consisting of eight musicians with very different backgrounds. Filed under "Nordic Urban Ethno", the eight-piece combines their various world music nuances and influences with the Finnish tradition. Add Tsuumi Sound System's original compositions, outrageous energy and virtuosity and their somewhat unusual instrumentation to the mix and you have a unique musical blend.

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Ensemble Gamut!

Ensemble Gamut! is a fresh, experimental collective of early music and folk music specialists, constantly searching for new ways to perform early music. They combine historical instruments and electronics in an innovative way, and have created their own unique world of sounds using medieval and renaissance music, Finnish folk tunes, improvisation and modern soundscapes. Ensemble Gamut! has performed extensively from club gigs to museums, medieval churches and concert halls. Their debut album, UT was released in 2020.

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Timo Alakotila & Johanna Juhola

"Amicum" (latin for “friend”), the new album by pianist Timo Alakotila and accordionist Johanna Juhola features compositions by both instrumentalists, as well as traditional folk tunes, and improvisations based around them. On this album, the duo relies on the power of only two musicians and the freedom that duet playing brings. The result is a record showing the combined virtuosic skills of the duo, with colourful melodic lines and lively, jazz-inspired rhythms. "Amicum" is Alakotila's and Juhola's first collaborative release in 16 years.

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