Eccentric, eclectic and very cheeky: Accordion Finnish style
Charismatic and playful accordionista Johanna Juhola conjures a magical world that blends Buenos Aires tango halls with forest-dark Finnish landscapes. An original blend of contemporary tango and inventive use of electronica, Johanna’s music draws on the melancholic nostalgia of Finland’s tango nuevo, one of the country’s most enduring and popular music forms, but laces it with an uplifting exuberance and circus-like theatricality that is uniquely her own.
Johanna first gained recognition in the early 2000s following two first prizes in the world renowned Astor Piazzolla Competition for her performances with the Novjaro Quintet and with Milla Viljamaa. Swiftly becoming a well-known face on the Finnish music scene even before she gained her master's degree in accordion from the Sibelius Academy in 2008, Johanna was propelled into Finland’s tango elite as a member of bands Troka, Las Chicas del Tango and Spontaani Vire, through her collaborations in duos with Timo Alakotila and Milla Viljamaa, and her numerous guest appearances and compositions for theatre, film and television productions. In 2007, tens of millions of TV viewers around the world saw her play her specially commissioned composition 'Fantasiatango' as an opener for the Eurovision song contest in Helsinki.
Johanna continues to pave the way as a musician and composer with her mesmerising Reaktori quartet, featuring harmonium innovator Milla Viljamaa, double bass queen Sara Puljula and internationally acclaimed music producer Tuomas Norvio on live electronics. These incredibly talented musicians bring their own stylistic influences to Johanna’s compositions, surfing fluently between modern folk music, offbeat electronica, tango, classical, jazz and pop into their own forward-oriented sound. Mostly composed for theatre, Johanna’s songs are enriched by engaging, surreal narratives: from the tale of the limping man who created a unique style of tango dance to the story of the last of the coyotes.
Visually entertaining and musically spectacular, Reaktori’s innovative performances transport audiences into an imaginary world of fantastical tango. Johanna’s Making Tracks tour is sure to captivate with its musical wizardry and cheeky theatricality, a buttons-and-bellows charm attack Finnish-style.
“unforgettable and impossibly beautiful.” Anna Magazine
“humour, surprises, sensitivity, originality… Johanna’s music is golden-rimmed and sunny.” Trad Mag