New World and Folk Music from Finland

Get to know the most exciting new world and folk music from Finland! The Finnish music scene is more diverse than ever, with traditional music styles and instruments shaking hands with modern soundscapes and other genres. The artists featured on the playlist range from Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha's balkan grooves to Joonas Widenius Trio's flamenco jazz and Maija Kauhanen's music inspired by Finnish and Karelian traditions. 

The playlist is updated frequently. 

Featured cover artist: Maija Kauhanen.

Related Artists

Maija Kauhanen

Maija Kauhanen is a composer and a versatile multi-instrumentalist inspired by rural music traditions of Finland and Karelia. She specializes in Finnish Saarijärvi kantele as well as the old and rare technique of playing kantele using a tiny wooden stick as a plectrum. Her debut solo album Raivopyörä ("Whirl of Rage") came out in March 2017 on the Nordic Notes label.

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Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L

Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L music deals with love, death Finnish voodoo and archaic grooves. Trio's frontman, Pekko Käppi is a visionary Finnish folk music composer, singer and jouhikko player (bowed lyre). The group's cross-genre approach has led them to perform on a wide variety of festivals around the world, ranging from Holland's Roadburn to WOMEX, and Kaustinen Folk Music Festival to metal festival Tuska Open Air.

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Teija Niku

Memento is the second solo album by accordionist Teija Niku of Helsinki, Finland. Her debut album, Finsko Pajdusko, was built around Balkan folk music, but the musical offering on the new album is more expansive, particularly highlighting Niku as a composer and arranger. At the center of Memento are her accordion and vocals, complemented by top-flight Finnish jazz and folk musicians.

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Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha

Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha's music is an interesting combination of Balkan Roma grooves, Russian romances and old Finnish tango and humppa. The group, established in 2009, has won recognition and released three critically acclaimed albums, and also become very on-demand live act due to their wild live performances.

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Maria Kalaniemi & Eero Grundström

On the album Svalan Maria Kalaniemi, a master of free-bass button accordion joins forces with harmonium player Eero Grundström. The record contains Finnish-Swedish ballads, songs about the sea, passionate tangoes, frenzied minuets from Jepua, Kalaniemi’s own compositions and lyrical moods of contemplation.

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Joonas Widenius Trio

Joonas Widenius Trio music is a combination of Finnish traditions with jazz and flamenco. The band’s second album, Arktik Traktor Konspirazy, was released in spring. Pianist Iiro Rantala and jouhikko player Ilkka Heinonen are special guests on the album.

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Okra Playground

Helsinki based electro-folk band Okra Playground was formed in 2010. On this musical playground the kantele and bowed lyre, both ancient folk instruments, coexist in a new, exciting symbiosis with modern instruments and soundscapes. In 2016 the group played the official showcase of WOMEX and released their debut album Turmio, which came out in Europe via Nordic Notes and received a five-star review from Songlines Magazine.

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Sväng

After 14 years of touring and six albums, harmonica quartet Sväng decided to re-record songs from their vast repertoire of nordic dance grooves, tangos and balkan rhythms. In addition to old favorites, their latest release Hauptbahnhof also features a kopanitsa (a bulgarina traditional dance in 11/16 rhythm), a finnish polska and a re-arrangement of John Williams' Hedwig's theme from Harry Potter.

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Wimme & Rinne

Human is the latest collaboration between Sámi joik singer Wimme Saari and multi-instrumentalist Tapani Rinne. The duo's signature sound is a fascinating mixture of ancient joik traditions and modern soundscapes, which range from abstract ambient and field recordings to playful techno beats.

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Juurakko

Formed in 2011, Juurakko is a quintet whose instrumentation consists of kantele, harmonium, bowed lyre, guitar and some utility articles modified into percussion instruments. The lyrics spring from old texts from Finnish mythology as well as from everyday life.

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Timo Alakotila

Timo Alakotila is one of Finland’s busiest, most versatile and most in-demand musicians, as composer, arranger, pianist and harmonium player in folk, classical, jazz and pop fields. His career began as harmonium player and founder member of the fiddle group JPP, who quickly established themselves as the best and most innovative fiddle music group in Finland. On his first solo album Alakotila's sole instrument is piano.

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Ánnámáret Ensemble

Ánnámáret Ensemble combines Sámi singing tradition with acoustic folk music adding some spices from melodic pop and classical music to it. The group consists of vocalist and composer Anna Näkkäläjärvi-Länsman, who is joined by renowned folk musicians Johanna Juhola (accordion), Ilkka Heinonen (contrabass), Sami Kurppa (keyboards) and Janne Lappalainen (bouzouki, guitar).

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Antti Paalanen

Crazy accordion experimentalist Antti Paalanen has created his own sound with his diatonic instrument and he uses it to weave hypnotic and minimalistic tunes that tell stories about the world of today. On his songs Paalanen screams at his accordion, kicks the floor and hits the bellows. Alongside his solo career, Antti Paalanen is a member of several folk music line-ups such as Hehkumo, Hyperborea, Laitakaupunginorkesteri, Kiharakolmio, Trepaanit and Turkka ja Paalanen.

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BaranBand

BaranBand has become known for energetic live performances, and it is leaded by charismatic brothers Gian and Marouf Majidi. The band's music consists of own compositions and new arrangements of old traditional Persian and kurdish compositions. Baran is kurdish and means rain.

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Tuuletar

Tuuletar is a vocal performance group, consisting of four diverse women from Finland. The quartet takes influences from all around the world, inspired by sounds from American hip hop to South Asian folk, all while keeping their feet strongly rooted in Finnish language and musical heritage. Following the release of their debut album Tules Maas Vedes Taivaal, the group have toured and performed in Japan, Germany, USA, Russia, Taiwan and India.

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Tjango!

The story of Tjango! began in 2010, when three classical music professionals started to play the swing of Django Reinhardt and the tango of Astor Piazzolla. Later on, they moved on to create their own musical style, a mixture of gypsy jazz and Latin American rhythms combined with songful folk music-like melodies. The current lineup of Tjango! consists of founding members accordionist Antti Leinonen and guitarist Otto Tolonen, together with fiddler Tero Hyväluoma and double-bassist Tarmo Anttila.

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Suistamon Sähkö

Suistamon Sähkö performs new Karelian dance music with electronics, Russian toy accordion, power of song, rap and manic moves. Crazy music scientists Anne-Mari Kivimäki and Eero Grundström create new Suistamo dance music with a Notka accordion and electronics. Add two dancing vocalists Reetta-Kaisa Iles and Tuomas Juntunen and this visual folktronica act will make you dance yourself into a trance.

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Mamo

Mamo is an ensemble of four singers with a deep interest in the possibilities of the human voice. Their music is inspired by traditional Finnish, Bulgarian and Karelian singing styles. The four singers in Mamo – Emmi Kuittinen, Emmi Kujanpää, Juulia Salonen and Mira Törmälä – are all versatile professional musicians who work with teaching, composing, research and performing.

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