Jazz, Blues & Folk

photo © Jukka Piiroinen / Jukka Perko Avara / Oulun Musiikkijuhlat

Popular legend has it that jazz arrived in Finland in 1926 by a band of American-Finnish musicians on the M/S Andania. Today there is a thriving jazz scene, with the annual Pori Jazz Festival enjoying international acclaim. The blues might be older than Finland itself, but the Finnish blues scene is stronger than ever and it can be found not only in small clubs but also on large-scale festivals


Finnish folk music can be roughly divided into two historical eras, the earlier stratum is often called the ancient Finnish period or the Kalevala era. It covers such genres as the singing of Kalevala poetry, the chain dance, the lament, and a distinctive brand of music performed on such instruments as the five-stringed kantele, the bowed harp, and a host of folk wind instruments. The later stratum of Finnish folk music is the period of agrarian or pelimanni music and it is clearly rooted in Western culture.