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 Apple Music and Spotify. And scroll down for artist bios!

New Jazz from Finland on Apple Music
New Jazz from Finland on Spotify

Related Artists

Kerkko Koskinen

Kerkko Koskinen is principally known to Finns as the songwriter, keyboard player and leader of the hugely popular band Ultra Bra in the 1990s. Even in those days, he was ambitious and uncompromising in writing music, and that has not changed. He has since written music for instance for the 60-member Kerkko Koskinen Kollektiivi and for the UMO Jazz Orchestra, besides writing film scores and incidental music for the stage.


Signe is a jazz band with four female vocalists (Riikka Keränen, Kaisa Mäensivu, Selma Savolainen and Josefiina Vannesluoma). The band's music reflects their background in jazz and nordic heritage and incorporates improvisation, taking traditional jazz expression in new directions through the unusual lineup of four female voices and a double bass.

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Case Kämäräinen

Drummer Tomi Kämäräinen presents his new quartet with his own perspective on music by combining lightness and grace of modern jazz timbre with experiencing Copenhagen in vast and various pictures. Kämäräinen has worked as a musician since 2004 playing with different productions and bands all around Finland and performing with awarded musicians like Esa Pietilä and Pekka Toivanen. 

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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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Maja Mannila

Maja Mannila is a young jazz/soul singer, pianist and composer, whose songs are a mix of r'n'b, soul, jazz and gospel music. Raised in a family of musicians, she has a firm grasp on making music, while emphasizing the importance of freedom and fun in creating and playing music. In the future, Mannila aims for recording and international gigs both with a band and as a solo artist. Mannila has been noted by English drummer Richard Spaven and singer Anthony Strong, who have asked her to perform with them. She also plays and sings in Iiro Rantala's new trio and in the up-and-coming band Peela.

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Aki Himanen & Aleksi Kinnunen

Trumpeter Aki Himanen and drummer Aleksi Kinnunen are both respected jazz musicians, but also electronic music producers. Together, they connect the energetic pulse of techno music with the spontaneity of jazz. Himanen and Kinnunen are looking for contact between humans and machines through improvisation and musical interaction. The songs have been strongly framed using electronic music, within which there is room for the collective improvisation of both musicians. The new album features guest appearances from Iiro Rantala and double bassist Eero Tikkanen.

Dynamic Dynamic

Dynamic Dynamic is an electronic jazz fusion band from Helsinki. Calling their music "new wave Nordic instrumental music", Dynamic Dynamic also draw influences from contemporary rock and r'n'b. Built on two guitars and a rhythm group playing together, the ensemble relies on strong melodic expression and an open sound world, without forgetting surprising sounds. The songs on the debut album "Bloom", released 2022, are compositions by the band's guitarist Jaakko Penttilä. The other players in the lineup are Jere Mäntykangas (guitar), Samu Jaantila (bass) and Tuomas Karlsson (drums).

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Silva Kallionpää Quartet

Silva Kallionpää Quartet, a fusion of four players with their own voices, which has been active since 2017, is not afraid to test its own limits. Their compositions, drawing from modern jazz and sometimes end up in undefined grooves, frame the group's conversational work style. Music tells stories, which are created with new nuances at each performance. The band's debut album "Unadaptable" was released in April 2022 via Eclipse Music.

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Kokko Quartet

Jazz foursome Kokko Quartet aims to cross boundaries between different music styles, with influences ranging from North and South India to Arabic and Ethiopian music. Their songs are mainly composed by saxophone player Kaisa Siirala. The quartet's line-up includes Kaisa Siirala on saxophones and bansuri flute, Johanna Pitkänen on piano, Timo Tuppurainen on bass and Risto Takala on drums.

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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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Alexi Tuomarila / Lithium

Pianist and composer Alexi Tuomarila is a well known name in the European Jazz scene. With extensive touring behind him as a leader as well as with trumpeter and ECM artist Tomasz Stanko, Tuomarila has become a regular in many European jazz projects. Currently Tuomarila has worked with Jonne Taavitsainen, Joonas Tuuri and Andre Fernandes in a collaborative called Lithium.

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The quartet led by saxophonist Max Zenger plays open-minded and playful, yet melancholic jazz. The group relies on Zenger’s compositions, influenced by his past experiences and encounters and brought to life by each member’s unique interpretation. So far, they’ve released two albums “Chapter 1” in 2016 and “Chapter 2” in 2017 to be followed by “Chapter 3” in 2022.

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Mariam Sandhu

Mariam Sandhu is a singer, whose career took off in a Finnish institution, the yearly Tangomarkkinat singing competition in 2014. Not limited to tango – or even jazz for that matter – Sandhu enjoys singing also schlager, blues, classical, pop and rock.

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. Pohjola's latest album released in 2022 is a co-operation together with French saxophonist Sylvain Rifflet.

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Joona Toivanen Trio

Joona Toivanen (born 1981) is a Finnish jazz pianist, currently resided in Gothenburg, Sweden. He has become one of the most talented jazz pianists in Finland. Toivanen’s own trio has toured frequently in Finland and abroad, for example in Europe, Asia and Australia, and besides his trio, Toivanen has worked with many top jazz musicians in Europe. The trio won the 2018 Teosto Prize for their album XX.

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Hot Heros

Saxophonist Sami Sippola, bassist Ville Rauhala and drummer Janne Tuomi form the trio Hot Heros. The sound of Hot Heros is rooted in Finnish folk music and European free jazz tradition, as the band members have collaborated with musicians like Peter Brötzmann, John Zorn, Iro Haarla and Raoul Björkenheim. Hot Heros has been called a torchbearer for Finnish legends like Piirpauke and Edward Vesala.

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Ilmiliekki Quartet

With trumpetist Verneri Pohjola, pianist Tuomo Prättälä, bassist Antti Lötjönen and drummer Olavi Louhivuori in the line-up, Ilmiliekki Quartet is a band of four star-calibre Finnish jazz musicians. Stylistically the range from the delicate end of the sparse contemporary jazz sound to the depths of Nordic fire music, always staying highly personal and melodic to the bone.

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Riikka Keränen

The Helsinki based vocalist-composer Riikka Keränen (also known from the vocal ensemble Signe) is about to release her debut album “A Vision of a Garden” via Flame Jazz Records in 2022. Her music fuses jazz aesthetic and improvisation with evocative stories. Along with Riikka, the quartet consists of pianist Juho Valjakka, bassist Jori Huhtala and drummer Anssi Tirkkonen.

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Varre Vartiainen

Describing his background as bop & roll guitarist Varre Vartiainen has been part of the Finnish jazz and rock scene for over 25 years. Vartiainen is known from the grooving guitar-fronted act Husband and has worked with many established musicians including Timo Lassy and Anssi Nykänen. He was elected as the young soloist of the year by UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra in 1998. Vartiainen released his first solo album “The Lost Case” in 2011.

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UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra

Consisting of some of the best jazz musicians in Finland, UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra moves from jazz and soul to classical music, mixing the old and new in surprising ways. The Big Band plays around 100 concerts every year in Finland and abroad. Their latest album “Last Dance” released in 2022 is the first recording between the orchestra and their new conductor and artistic leader Ed Partyka.

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Joonas Tuuri Quartet

A newcomer in the Finnish jazz scene, Joonas Tuuri quartet plays the compositions of base player Joonas Tuuri. Their music provides a strong, sensitive interplay and tangible atmospheres taking influence from acts like Wayne Shorter and Chick Corea. Joonas Tuuri Quartet's debut album "Dimensions" was released in 2022. The other members of the band are Ilmari Rönkä (alto sax), Toomas Keski-Säntti (piano) and Anssi Tirkkonen (drums).

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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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Tapani Rinne

Tapani Rinne has a unique sounds of his own as he uses both saxophone and clarinet in his music. He is well known from the music groups RinneRadio and Wimme & Rinne. Currently he is working with composer and producer Juha Mäki-Patola and they're about to release an album in 2022 combining ambient, jazz and neo-classical music.

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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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Melomatic Orchestra

The Melomatic Orchestra founded in 2014 plays the compositions of Rickard Slotte (flugelhorn, trumpet). Among Slotte, the quintet includes Jonas Rintala (tenor saxophone), Patrick Wingren (piano), Johny Åman (double bass) and Erik Lillkung (drums).

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Manuel Dunkel

Saxophonist Manuel Dunkel (b. 1971) established his position as one of the prominent voices in the Finnish scene around the mid-1990s. Dunkel formed his own quartet in 1996, and to date he has released four albums with the group. He has been a member of the leading Finnish big band, UMO Jazz Orchestra, since 1994 and has also collaborated with such international names as Paul Jackson, Rick Margitza, Eric Truffaz and Kenny Wheeler.

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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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Pekka Toivonen Ensemble

Pekka Toivonen Ensemble is a combination of jazz and classical players led by composer - pianist Pekka Toivonen. The band is about to release their next album “Tuntematon mies” in 2022, a freejazz work representing a wilder side of the band. Pekka Toivonen ensemble also includes Joonas Leppänen (drums), Eero Tikkanen (double bass), Johannes Sarjasto (saxophone, recorder), Miia Reko (trumpet, flugelhorn), Yonatan Quemado (violin) and Tatu Ahola (cello).

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Linda Fredriksson

The internationally acclaimed saxophonist Linda Fredriksson known from several acts such as Mopo, Superposition and Ricky-Tick Big Band, is about to release her first solo album in fall 2021. Her music will include compositions with singer-songwriter influences combined with improvisation and jazz aesthetics. The first single “Neon Light” was released in early fall 2021.

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Iro Haarla Electric Ensemble

Group led by jazz pianist Iro Haarla has released their debut album “What Will We Leave Behind” in fall 2021. The album is an elegy to the extreme and yet perishable nature. Their music leans towards progressive rock and relies on strong musical expression with Ulf Krokfors on bass, Aniida Vesala on drums, Sami Sippola on tenor saxophone and Jukka Orma on electric guitar.

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Sami Jaakkola Quartet

Sami Jaakkola Quartet plays jazz with their own, unique sound. They released their debut single “Kuu ja Tähdet” in summer 2021. Sami Jaakkola Quartet is Sami Jaakkola (double bass), Ida Alanen (piano), Elias Nummenmaa (vibraphone) and Benjamin Nylund (drums).

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Uxila Exile

Drawing inspiration from films, literature and composer & vibraphonist Ilkka Uksila’s observations of the world, Uxila Exile creates an entity of strong images with full intact. Their music combines the sounds of European contemporary jazz, experimental rhythms and jazz traditions. Uxila Exile is Ilkka Uksila (compositions, vibraphone), Tomi Nikku (trumpet), Joonas Tuuri (double bass) and Ville Luukkonen (drums).


The Nordic act Aava consists of musicians from Finland, Sweden and Denmark. The fresh, new band draws inspiration from the Wadden sea, the Swedish mountains and the Finnish forests and has an improvisational approach. They’ve released their debut EP carrying the name of the band in fall 2021.

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Markus Holkko

Markus Holkko, also known as a singer-songwriter Linear John, is an Emma rewarded saxophonist. He is known from jazz acts like the U-Street All Stars, but also from funky ones like the Groove Convention. His latest release “East Side Up!” (2021) is a result of his time spent in North America and was recorded together with Jaron K Eames, Lex Korten, Adam Olszewski and Jongkuk Kim.

Tomi Nikku

Tomi Nikku’s playing has been heard in many known acts such as Sointi Jazz Orchestra and Bowman Trio, but now the young trumpetist has released his first album as a band leader. “The Light and Shade” (2021) reflects the current issues of society like polarization as well as Nikku’s own life experiences. Besides Nikku, Tomi Nikku 5tet includes Max Zenger (saxophone, bass clarinet), Ilkka Uksila (vibraphone), Vesa Ojaniemi (double bass) and Jonatan Sarikoski (drums).

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Niklas Winter

The jazz guitarist and composer Niklas Winter has been part of the Finnish jazz scene since the early 90’s and has so far released 9 albums and started his on record label “Abovoice”. In recent years, he has focused on duo collaborations with names such as Jesse Van Ruller and Severi Pyysalo. Most recently Winter has worked with an Italian guitarist Lorenzo Cominoli resulting an album “The Lighthouse” released in fall 2021. Winter’s improvisations and harmonies have been described as looking back in the history of jazz whilst expressing the atmosphere of today.

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