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

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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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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Alvarado, Koistinen, 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.

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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Tuomo Uusitalo

Tuomo Uusitalo is an award-winning pianist, composer, arranger and educator. Having released three albums as a leader, and appearing on numerous albums as a sideman, he has established himself in the New York jazz scene, and continues touring internationally both as a leader as well as sideman.

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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.

Joona Samuel

In his music Joona Samuel combines progressive rock and jazz, drawing inspiration from artists such as Jaga Jazzist, Magma and King Crimson. On his debut EP The Act Of Disintegration Samuel wanted to compose a soundtrack to an "internal film".

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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.

MÖLy Trio

MÖLy Trio was founded in 2015 by Turku based saxophonist Jaakko Martikainen. At times serene and moody and at others tight and hard swinging, the combo's music has been described as "archipelago jazz", a nod to the Norwegian "fjord jazz" sound. The trio released their first album Floating in Nauvo and Other Stories in the beginning of 2017.

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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. He has also collaborated with such international names as Paul Jackson, Rick Margitza, Eric Truffaz and Kenny Wheeler.

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Matti Saarinen, Grímsey

Matti Saarinen is a guitarist and composer best known from his band Grímsey. Grímsey was founded in 2015 the debut album being released in 2016 by an Icelandic label Warén. Second album was released in May 2019 by Finnish label Eclipse Music bringing together the unique guitar artist and the top-class rhythm group consisting of drummer Joonas Leppänen, who is also known for his own Alder Ego band, and Eero Tikkanen, also known from the band Mopo.

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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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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