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Sibbe Live!: Folkmusic Evening

Timo Alakotila & Johanna Juhola Duo 

Johanna Juhola (accordion, composition) and Timo Alakotila (piano, composition) will perform their compositions based on the rhythm types of traditional Finnish folk music known as “pelimannimusiikki” or “spelmanmusik”, with improvisation sections. Juhola’s and Alakotila’s musical language is at once earthy and traditional, whilst also showcasing the artists’ tendency to fuse styles they love into the harmonies and phrasing of their compositions.  

The duo has been playing together for about 15 years and has performed in Finland, Scandinavia, Europe and the United Arab Emirates. Both musicians have also performed on their own in several dozen countries. The duo released their second joint album Amicum in spring 2023.  

Professor Timo Alakotila is one of the most important innovators and trendsetters in folk music in Finland. He has contributed to some two hundred and fifty recordings as musician, composer, arranger and/or producer. Alakotila is a highly sought-after collaborator as a musician, composer and pedagogue. Extensive collaborations in various genres of music such as folk, jazz and classical music with top artists and orchestras, both in Finland and abroad, have provided a broad base for spreading the joy of music. Timo is the Artistic Director of the Kaukas EloFolk Festival and has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work. 

Accordionist Johanna Juhola has renewed the image of the accordion with her performances and compositions. Juhola has released five solo albums and performs her fantasy accordion compositions in her ensembles Johanna Juhola Reaktori and Trio. Juhola is also the creator of the visual Imaginary Friends concert, in which star guests, animated characters and various sound sources perform on two video screens alongside the solo accordionist. As a musician, Juhola crosses genre boundaries and has collaborated with various top names of classical, jazz, pop and machine music. In 2022, Juhola was awarded the NPU Prize of Nordisk popularauktors union for her compositions.  

“The accordion plays wildly, freely and sometimes very wistfully, writing its stories in the air and in people’s souls. The piano is at times a huge orchestra-like player, at other times a gentle storyteller with a pleasant story to stop and listen for a while. Together, the instruments create magical moments, powerful images on the canvas of the mind.—It’s worth getting to know this lively, vibrant and energetic music first hand, because that’s what music is made for in the first place.” – Mika Roth, Desibeli.net 

“The compositions range in style from supple jazz to jaunty, fateful tangos and more sedate – I would even say – new-age melodies. Alakotila and Juhola, both masters of their respective instruments, treat audiences to unbelievable solos – delicate, dizzying and unrestrained!” – Retrokki 

“…you hear dance, classical, jazz, and all almost imperceptibly blended into a flowing mix of Finnish new music. Beautiful!” 
Holly Moors / moorsmagazine.com  
 
“They share a purity of tune and an enviable virtuosity as well as a heartfelt gift of melody.— Alakotila and Juhola’s version showcases the brilliance of both musicians as well as the magic that happens when they play together.” - Fiona Talkington, Songlines 

Videos: 

Timo Alakotila säv. Ground tangue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5dnUSU-w5Q Johanna Juhola säv. Lupa tanssia: https://youtu.be/zbsHrOvV8Kw