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

The Stance Brothers

Jazz drummer and composer extraordinaire, Teppo Mäkynen, released his acclaimed debut album "Kind Soul" as The Stance Brothers in 2007. At that time, the alias also hosted a live band gathered around the name, that lived a short but intense period of activity. The previous The Stance Brothers release was the vinyl single Minor Minor (2018), followed by the hip hop influenced version of Resolution Blue, a track from the Timo Lassy & Teppo Mäkynen album in 2020.

Njet Njet 9

Njet Njet 9 is a 9-piece "mini big band" from Helsinki, led by pianist-composer Ville Kyttälä. The band was founded in 2015 and consists of Erik Fräki, Heikki Laine, Linda Fredriksson, Martti Vesala, Mikko Haanpää, Pekka Seppänen, Veikki Virkajärvi, Ville Vannemaa amd Ville Kyttälä.

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Kadi Vija

Kadi Vija (b. 1985, EST/FIN) has a long background in vocal jazz improvisation and defines herself primarily as a vocal instrumentalist. Vija’s music explores sounds from modernism, jazz and electronics, as well as a deep fascination with rhythmic variety.

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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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Aleksi Heinola Quintet

Although a young musician, drummer and band leader Aleksi Heinola, strives to dig as deep into the 50s and 60s hard bop jazz sound as possible, with influences from latin groove, blues and gospel. The band is completed by trumpetist Mikko Gunu Karjalainen, veteran saxophonist Manuel Dunkel, pianist Mikael Jakobsson and Swedish bassist Daniel Franck.

Antti Lötjönen

Bassist Antti Lötjönen, one of the most highly-regarded and active musicians working in the Finnish jazz scene, now steps ahead with his debut album shining bright as both bassist and composer.

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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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Mia Simanainen

Mia Simanainen is a versatile singer-songwriter who has a wide scale of expression. Ahava, Simanainen's own folk-jazz group formed in 1999, has worked as the main instrument for Simanainen now for over ten years.

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Aki Himanen & Aleksi Kinnunen

Both being electronic music producers with a background in jazz, trumpeter Aki Himanen and drummer Aleksi Kinnunen takes machine sounds up a notch on their first full-length album Scapes I.

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Orchestra Nazionale della Luna

Founded by its chief conductors Manuel Hermia and Kari Ikonen in 2015, Orchestra Nazionale della Luna has quickly become an important orchestra with its diverse and highly original repertoire, as well as its inventive and energetic way of playing.

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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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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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