New Jazz from Finland

Finnish jazz has gained recognition and fans around the world from the days of Edward Vesala, Heikki Sarmanto, Olli Ahvenlahti and Matti Oiling. Building from that tradition, today’s Finnish jazz scene is more flourishing than ever. Ranging from Dalindèo’s groovy retro sounds to Oddarrang’s cinematic crossover, not to mention Espoo Big Band’s jazz-rock fusion, Kalle Kalima’s adventurous guitar tones and the melodic piano jazz of Aki Rissanen Trio.

Dip your toes into Music Finland’s frequently-updating playlist of the freshest Finnish jazz, available on Spotify and Apple Music. And scroll down for artist bios!


New Jazz from Finland

Related Artists

Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orkesteri

Pauli Lyytinen is a Helsinki based musician and composer. Lyytinen´s approach to music is always improvisatory and experimental regardless of the genre. As saxophonist he´s been studying and exploring widely extended sounds and techniques and the use of effect pedals with acoustic sax.

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Dalindèo

Dalindèo is a sextet founded in 2003 and led by composer and guitarist Valtteri Pöyhönen. The group’s unique sound consists of danceable rhythms, strong melodies and an emphasis on the craftsmanship of top musicians. Their fourth album Slavic Souls blends contemporary jazz with Finnish Tango and northern schlager.

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Verneri Pohjola

Trumpeter and composer Verneri Pohjola is acknowledged as a jazz star in the making. In June 2017 Pohjola released Pekka, an album that promises to be a defining moment in Finnish culture, reinterpreting the music of Verneri’s late father Pekka Pohjola, the internationally acclaimed and revered prog-rock bassist and composer, through the prism of his son’s unique vision.

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Superposition!

Superposition! plays energetic jazz based on free tradition and its music draws from Ornette Coleman and Satanko/Vesala quartets. The ensemble is lead by Olavi Louhivuori who also composes the material for the band.

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Matti Salo Trio

Matti Salo Trio's music is melodic, modern jazz where the immediate presence of the musicians is a vital part of the soundscape.

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Saxman Syrjänen

Panu "Saxman" Syrjänen is Finnish rock and blues saxophonist. He's played in different jazz groups during the years, and his music is often described to be a combination of different genres.

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Timo Lassy

“Quality swinging jazz with a difference!“, as Gilles Peterson calls it. Saxophonist Timo Lassy has cemented his position at the helm of the burgeoning new Finnish jazz scene. He has worked with an international all-star cast ranging from the Italian style-master Nicola Conte to US jazz vocalist José James as well as extending his talents into the art of film-music by composing for the soundtrack of the movie Moomins on the Riviera.

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Jimi Tenor

Composer and musician Jimi Tenor needs no introduction: after 30 years of career as an established artist, Tenor has redefined his style and sound over and over again and moved from 60s and 70s jazz, psychedelic soul and African funk to techno and experimental rock. Tenor continues to release music in different formats and through different labels at a formidable pace.

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Mikko Pettinen

Mikko Pettinen (known from groups like UMO and Higher Ground Vocals) formed his latest group Why Not in the fall of 2018 with multi-instrumentalist Joakim Berghäll, bassist Vesa Ojaniemi and drummer Tuomas Timonen. Why Not plays Pettinen’s compositions where acoustic jazz meets world music, electronic tones, effects, loops and free improvisation.

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'N Stuff

´N Stuff was formed in 2014 by guitarist Tuomo Noppari, pianist Teemu Vänskä and singer-guitarist Jori Pesonen. ´N Stuff is a collective, which composes, writes, arranges and records music with Latin and soul influences.

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3TM

Drummer/producer Teppo Mäkynen (of Teddy's West Coasters, The Stance Brothers, The Five Corners Quintet) presents his new major work, 3TM. The trio consists of Mäkynen, tenor sax man Jussi Kannaste and bassist Antti Lötjönen. Mäkynen, manning the drum seat in the combo, is using samples and sounds here to break off from the standard aural image of the jazz trio. What we have instead, is a new world of sound rooted somewhere in between acoustic jazz and abstract electronic music, blurring the lines of genre and time. Their debut album, Form, won the equivalent of best jazz album award at the Finnish Grammys.

Mortality

Bringing together an all-star cast of musicians from the vibrant Helsinki jazz scene the Finnish jazz supergroup Mortality combines the conceptual aesthetic of progressive rock with the harmonic and tonal soundscapes of jazz and jazz improvisation.

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Emmi U

Emmi U. Quintet is a jazz ensemble founded in 2018 by pianist Emmi Karoliina Uimonen. Classical impressionism and old Nordic vocal melodies are heard in the modern jazz aesthetics of Uimonen´s compositions and arrangements. The fresh sound is created by jazz violin and saxophone taking turns in melody and stems.

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Bowman Trio

Bowman Trio (trumpetist Tomi Nikku, bassist Joonas Tuuri and drummer Sami Nummela) gained international acclaim with their eponymous debut album in 2016. "The Hillary Step" single is the first tasting from a We Jazz Records live album including Bowman Trio, Black Motor and Jaska Lukkarinen Trio, released in October 2018. On "The Hillary Step" Bowman Trio remains faithful to the intimate and immediate 'loft jazz' sound, while upping the intensity a notch.

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Jukka Eskola Soul Trio

Jukka Eskola (born 1978) is a Finnish trumpet player who ranks among the most sought-after jazz artists in Finland. He has become known as the leader of the Jukka Eskola Quintet, Jukka Eskola Orquesta Bossa, and as a member of The Five Corners Quintet, Finland’s most successful jazz outfit to date, plus the live band of Jimi Tenor, to name but a few. His latest musical endeavor is Jukka Eskola Soul Trio, whose latest, self-titled album was released in 2017.

Alvarado, Koivistoinen, Tuomarila

Jazz legend Eero Koivistoinen’s brand new trio consists of Buenos Aires based vocalist Martin Alvarado and pianist/composer Alexi Tuomarila, also a well known name in the European Jazz scene. The trio's music is based on the melodies and atmosphere of Argentinian tango, meeting with its Finnish counterpart as well as modern Nordic jazz sound.

Iiro Rantala

Iiro Rantala is one of Finland's best known jazz musicians internationally. When his Trio Töykeät was formed in 1988, Rantala concentrated on this group for 18 years. The trio were known for a unique combination of deep musicality and madcap humour, and played over 2,000 shows in forty-five countries. ECHO Jazz award winning Rantala has since then built a succesful solo career and released albums via ACT since 2009.

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Aurora Hentunen

Aurora Hentunen’s music contains a lot of references from Northern Jazz and melodies from Scandinavian folk music. Her music has been described as very compositional and the band as distinctive, led by mature young musicians. The band is considered as one of the rising stars in the Northern Jazz scene.

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Aki Rissanen

Over the last years, pianist Aki Rissanen has made a name for himself in the international jazz world both as a leader and as a sideman. His trio's recent, critically acclaimed album 'Another North' on Edition Records, with Antti Lötjönen on bass and Teppo Mäkynen on drums, is his most authoritative work to date. His previous album Amorandom won the Finnish Grammy for the best jazz album of the year in 2016.

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Olli Hirvonen

Olli Hirvonen (b. 1989) is a Finnish jazz guitarist currently based in New York City. He is the most accomplished Finnish guitarist of his generation, having already been chosen as the Artist of the Year of the Pori International Jazz Festival 2011 and having an international career well on it’s way.

Pope Puolitaival

Petri "Pope" Puolitaival is an Oulu-born reedsman. Known for his robust, noticeably bop-influenced playing, he leads his own group, Pope Puolitaival United, and plays in a number of defining Finnish groups of the 2010s, including Dalindèo, Martti Vesala Soundpost Quintet, Ricky-Tick Big Band and Nina Mya's band.

Ricky-Tick Big Band

Formed in 2010, Ricky-Tick Big Band, led by bandleader Valtteri Laurell Pöyhönen (ex-Dalindèo) consists of 16 musicians – all domestically and internationally acclaimed top players – and three rappers (Redrama, Paleface and Tommy Lindgren). The band’s musical style could be described as energetic and fiercely groovy contemporary big band jazz, with foundation in the Duke Ellington school and influences ranging from New Orleans to Ethio-jazz.

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Kalle Kalima

Kalle Kalima’s music is mean, moody, magnificent, and is also adventurous and full of surprises. With his other experiments he’s off exploring the badlands on the borders of rock, putting his hand on his heart to salute his Finnish homeland, and then inspiring jazz lawlessness in the band Kuu!

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