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

Odd Brew

The Jyväskylä and Helsinki based jazz quintet Odd Brew was formed in 2015. Their music can be described as fusion jazz blending electric fusion, modern jazz and chart pop and even some afro beats. After the release of their debut album Koemaisto (2017), a playful title referring to the first taste of a new drink, they were reviewed as eclectic in a fresh way. Their latest album Kummapaahto was released in 2021.

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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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Alder Ego

Helsinki-based drummer Joonas Leppänen introduces Alder Ego, his quartet formation bringing together four major talents from the buzzing Finnish jazz scene. Here, Leppänen is joined by trumpeter Tomi Nikku (of Bowman Trio), saxophonist Jarno Tikka and bassist Teemu Åkerblom. Together they create forward thinking jazz music of the now: melodic, flowing, and full of surprises. The music moves forward naturally, carrying with it multiple levels of discovery.

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Elektro GT

Elektro GT blends together six well-known Finnish musicians from different music genres and plays jazz mixed up with elements of electronic music and strong rhythms. They have released several albums with the latest album Ruma (2021) produced in co-operation with the Finnish rap artist Paleface.

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Hot Heros

Saxophonist Sami Sippola, bassist Ville Rauhala and drummer Janne Tuomi form the trio Hot Heros, whose second album "Folkjazz From Finland" was released in 2018. 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.

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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Timo Lassy & Teppo Mäkynen

Timo Lassy & Teppo Mäkynen’s first duo LP actually crowns years of collaboration between them. In The Five Corners Quintet, Teddy Rok Seven, Jo Stance, Timo Lassy Band, the two friends, both tried and tested stars of the vibrant Finnish jazz scene, have been playing together and experimented different forms of collaboration for more than a decade now. The new LP updates the sound of an acoustic sax & drums combo in an inspiring way.

Tomi Salesvuo East Funk Attack

Helsinki based sextet East Funk Attack Layers continue their previous work with new release, Nothing’s Enough. Composer Tomi Salesvuo brings the group together in musical snapshots of their world ranging from under three to over seven minutes of pure funk rhythms.

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Susanna Aleksandra

Estonian born jazz vocalist and songwriter Susanna Aleksandra is a real world citizen whose career has taken her around the world, from Paris to Los Angeles before settling in Helsinki. In the Finnish jazz scene, she has worked with major Finnish jazz composers like Jukka Eskola, Teemu Viinikainen and Riitta Paakki. Her new album “The Siren” has been completed with pianist Joonas Haavisto handling the producing duties.

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Kari Ikonen

Pianist Kari Ikonen (b. 1973) is one of the most distinguished jazzmusicians in Finland. He is known best from his multi-cultural Karikko Sextet and from the co-operation with many top groups and musicians, such as UMO, Ingrid Jensen, Bob Moses, Magnus Broo and Ron McClure. Ikonen is widely acknowledged from his compositions and he has been awarded in many internationally distinguished compositions, i.a. in Julius Hemphill Composition Awards (USA) and Scrivere in Jazz Composition Contest (Italy).

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Mikko Karjalainen Fellowship

Mikko Karjalainen Fellowship Quintet was founded in 2007. The band's music is extrovert quintet jazz with a modern twist. The quintet's influences come mainly from the 60's and 70's maintstream, with a modern aesthetic production.

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Sointi Jazz Orchestra

Founded in autumn 2013, Sointi Jazz Orchestra is a big band composed of young professional musicians. The group’s key aim is to a new, fresh and nuanced angle to big band culture without departing from its acoustic tradition. One of their strategies is incorporating influences from the sphere of classical music; another to treat the audience to modern and surprising arrangements and top them off with moments of breath-taking improvisation. Classical ingredients meet an effortless swing in the group’s cinematic style, causing definite genre boundaries to blur.

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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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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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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.

Gourmet

What if Duke Ellington, Tom Waits, Carlos Gardel and Charlie Haden met at a kebab kiosk somewhere in rural Finland?” This is what saxophonist Mikko Innanen and guitarist Esa Onttonen asked each other once upon a time in 1997. As a result Gourmet was born – reaching 21 years of existence in 2018.

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Oaagaada

"Think Art Ensemble Of Chicago on their groovy mode and add a strong DIY mentality, four people in a room creating music in the now. The lows are low and the highs are high, with the trumpet firmly on the red, adding just the right amount of blurriness into the picture." Oaagaada is a free jazz quartet from the rural parts of Southern Finland, focusing on "other things than the cleanest of hi-fi". The foursome consists of Tero Kemppainen (double bass), Simo Laihonen (drums), Sami Pekkola (sax) and Tuure Tammi (trumpet).

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Elifantree

Helsinki based Elifantree delivers an experimental musical trip on the border between pop and improvised music. On their third full-length Movers and Shakers Elifantree developed an increasingly danceable edge to their sound that only reveals the band’s jazz background upon close inspection.

Harri Kuusijärvi & Koutus

Koutus is a Finnish musical collective led by accordionist Harri Kuusijärvi. Drawing on various contemporary influences the group creates a distinctive soundscape with taste of prog rock, jazz and world music fueled with improvisation – avant-fusion-accordion-jazz, as it has been described. Kuusijärvi's compositions present accordion in a new light accompanied with varying lineups of unconventional instrumentations.

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AINON

AINON, formed in 2017 by cellist-composer Aino Juutilainen, is Helsinki-based ensemble, which draws influence from jazz and contemporary classical music.

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Heikki Ruokangas

Heikki Ruokangas is a jazz/avant-garde guitarist and composer. Since 2015 Ruokangas has released four albums that consist of performances as both solo artist and as a leader with various groups. By combining of melody and noise, music of Ruokangas moves from delicate and melodic atmospheres to all the way to violent avant-garde.

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Peela

Peela is a jazz-fusion band based in Helsinki. Peela plays energetic music composed by guitarist Johannes Granroth. The band is led by guitarist & composer Johannes Granroth who also writes most of their material. Peela brings influences from jazz, funkrock, pop and neo-soul to a foundation for the musicians to play and improvise with. Peela's music instrumental based, but often features the virtuoso singing of Maja Mannila as well. The band's debut album Layers was released May 2018.

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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

Trumpet player and composer Verneri Pohjola is one of the most distinguished musicians in the vibrant scene of Finnish jazz. He first became known as a member of a hip club soul band Quintessence and Ilmiliekki Quartet that won numerous awards including the prestigious Teosto Award for original compositions on their debut ‘March of The Alpha Males’ (2003, TUM Records) and the first place in the Young Nordic Jazz Comets ensemble competition.

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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.