Johanna Juhola

FINLAND


There’s no one quite like Johanna Juhola; nimble-fingered accordion virtuoso and multi-faceted composer, she blazes her own colourful trail, breezing blithely across style borders and genre barriers with a captivating mix of musical excellence and engaging charm. Her compositions blend the parallel worlds of Argentinian and Finnish tango, following the latter’s path into the melancholic soul of Finnish folk, emerging into the sunlight with uplifting flirtations with pop music and innovative excursions into electronica. Her multi-textured sound-stories are inspired by such imaginative themes as a limping tango dancer, a love affair between a driver and his seductive sat-nav, the singing of whales or simply feeling like a hippo on the dance-floor. 

The newest concert ensemble presented by Johanna is a vividly visualized show titled Imaginary Friends. Besides this she performs with her two colourful fantasy tango ensembles, Johanna Juhola Reaktori and the Johanna Juhola Trio. The music is dancable in many different ways; you can choose argentinian or finnish tango or just jumping!! 

Tens of millions of  TV viewers saw Johanna Juhola play the song “Fantasiatango” as an opener for the Eurovision song contest in 2007 in Helsinki. This composition gave it’s name for Johanna’s second solo album released in February 2010, describing the style of the music very well. Her other albums are Miette (2006), Tango Roto Live (2010), Fantasiatango 2 (2012) and Diivan jäljet – Shadow of a Diva (2017). Johanna has performed in more than 30 countries, also at Womex at 2009 in the opening ceremony and 2011 a showcase with Johanna Juhola Reaktori. 

Johanna is well-known on the Finnish music scene through her influential involvement with bands such as Tango-orkesteri Unto, Las Chicas del Tango, Troka and Spontaani Vire, duo collaborations with pianists Timo Alakotila and Milla Viljamaa and classical violinist Pekka Kuusisto, music for theatre, circus, film and television. Juhola has also performed as a soloist of several Finnish symphony orchestras as well as with for example BBC Symphony. 

In 2020 Johanna made a three videos series Conversations with Everyday Ensemble. Through the videos, Juhola demonstrated her way of observing music or potential musical elements in her everyday surroundings. These sounds have served as an inspiration to the compositions, and soloists in the videos include trams, dancers along with their rustles and thumps, and beeping domestic appliances. 

”Johanna Juhola is one of Finland’s most artistically ambitious crafters of contemporary folk music.” 

”Johanna Juhola is a confident accordion star who has created her own unique style. Despite shining the limelight on the accordion, her music portrays a strong vision beyond just one instrument.” 

”The outfit is extraordinary, but so is the music of the Helsinki based accordionist.”

”Whether yearning, zest for life, grief, pain, love, happiness, freshness, comfort – she can express it with her instrument.” 

”The songs of the album leave a strong visual impression. One believes the stories that the artist wants to tell and get grasped as soon as they reach the ear.  The professional musician Juhola lets the childish joy of playing run wild. This is rousing and heartwarming.”

”A true free spirit..”

 

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