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

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.

Joonas Haavisto Trio

Joonas Haavisto, one of the most talented Finnish jazz pianists of his generation, released his new album “oku” through Fredriksson Music in January 2016. Haavisto on piano is joined by Antti Lötjönen on bass and Joonas Riippa on drums.

Perussastamala

Perussastamala is the solo project of bassist Mikael Saastamoinen, inspired by bass, drone, ambient, dub and experimental jazz. The music is calming and while it has has a strong air of experimentalism and stream of consciousness, Perussastamala never loses the sense of melody and beauty. Perussastamala's debut album "May Queen" came out in 2019.

Alexi Tuomarila

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. Kingdom is Alexi’s new trio album with long term comrades Mats Eilertsen and Olavi Louhivuori (following the hugely successful release of Seven Hills in 2013).

Espoo Big Band

Espoo Big Band (EBB) is one of Finland’s most prominent big jazz orchestras and especially known for performing new Finnish big band music. EBB has toured in Asia, Australia and Brazil, performed at several festivals such as Detroit, Montreaux and Paris and released ten albums.

Katu Kaiku

Katu Kaiku was founded when the three young musicians spontaneously got together in one of the streets of Helsinki. After the summer in Finland they continued their grooves indoors concentrating on making their own material and finding their free way of expression. The music of Katu Kaiku is influenced by bebop, free jazz, popular music, nature and human temperaments.

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. After a lengthy 13-year break, comes their new album "Land Of Real Men", a milestone which will stand strong in each of the four musicians already remarkable discography. Stylistically it ranges 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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Jean Erik

Jean Erik, a quartet led by double-bassist and composer Janne Tuovinen (who has, among other things, been taught by legendary Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones), combines innovative acoustic jazz compositions, synthesized sounds and sound scenes. The band is complemented by drummer Anssi Tirkkonen, saxophonist Pauli Lyytinen and pianist Artturi Rönkä, all young and internationally renowned musicians and composers.

Signe

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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Jarmo Saari Republic

Jarmo Saari Republic is a supergroup built on the praised solo project Jarmo Saari Solu and branching out its tribal, experimental, lyrical and hypnotic soundscapes. The band includes three percussionists: Sami Kuoppamäki, Olavi Louhivuori and Abdissa “Mamba” Assefa. Saari is a famed guitarist, composer and producer, and his CV includes shows in more than 30 different countries and appearances on well over 100 albums.

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OK:KO

Drummer and vibraphonist Okko Saastamoinen formed his quartet OK:KO in 2015 together with pianist Toomas Keski-Säntti, saxophonist-flautist Jarno Tikka and bassist Mikael Saastamoinen. OK:KO has already gained positive attention at the Young Nordic Jazz Comets showcase, and We Jazz festival awarded the band leader Okko Saastamoinen with an honorary title “We Jazz Rising Star” in 2016.

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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.

Berghäll Triality

Saxophonist Joakim Berghäll's all-star trio, completed by guitarist Kalle Kalima and keyboardist Kari Ikonen (this time on the MOOG and prepared piano), paints intense and exotic soundscapes of northern wastelands and stormy oceans – with no rhythm section at all! Originally released as a limited edition as "Berghäll-Kalima-Ikonen" in 2018, the album now gets a re-issue on Eclipse Records as "The Arctic".

Herd

Vibraphone trio hailing from Helsinki, consisting of Panu Savolainen (vibraphone), Mikko Pellinen (bass) and Tuomas Timonen (drums). Herd was formed in 2009, and their debut album was a live recording simply titled "Live!!" (2011). They also recorded a collaboration album with singer Aili Ikonen. This year the trio returned with another album with a simple title: "X".

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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Mopo

Mopo is a collective of three musicians from Finland. The energetic band saw daylight in the fall of 2009 as a result of a bar fight. Mopo (a moped) accelerates easily from zero to speed of light, but mostly the trio steps on a gas pedal for a ruff ride in the countryside. The band draws their inspiration from jazz, punk and the Finnish nature. Their latest album, Mopocalypse, was released in January 2018.

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Outi Tarkiainen

Outi Tarkiainen is a composer who has one foot in the Modernist camp and one in the jazz camp. Several of her works exhibit, in a deeply instinctive way, an organic, innovative dialogue between these two traditions – an example being the title work of her acclaimed disc "Into the Woodland Silence". Tarkiainen’s music is frequently performed abroad and has been dubbed to draw on the immensity of the northern natural environment. As if an evidence of this, her recent orchestral song cycle The Earth, Spring’s Daughter, inspired by the Sami poetry, was commissioned by the three northernmost orchestras of Europe.

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Jussi Lehtonen Quartet

Virtuoso drummer and composer Jussi Lehtonen was awarded the Finnish jazz award Yrjö in 2018, the same year as his quartet released their live album "Live at Koko Jazz Club", showcasing Lehtonen's trademark rhythmic diversity as well as the band's ability to delivering melodies.

Emma Salokoski

Singer Emma Salokoski has become known both as a talented musical performer and as a strong group leader in her own bossa nova band Emma Salokoski Ensemble. Salokoski plays also an important role as a featuring artist on many live performances and recordings of several pop and rock bands.

Aapo Heinonen Quintet

Aapo Heinonen has a taste for swinging melodies and open-minded compositions, which he dips into the bowls of modal jazz, fusion, Latin jazz, world music and film music. The pieces come in big band form, but go through a gentle transformation in the hands of this improvising and communicative quintet.

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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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