1. 01 Road Assistance Johanna Juhola 3:43
  2. 02 Tango kolmessa erässä Johanna Juhola 4:03
  3. 03 Tillsammans Johanna Juhola 3:19
  4. 04 Diivan jäljet Johanna Juhola 4:43
  5. 10 New Adventures in Candyland Johanna Juhola 4:39

Johanna Juhola (b. 1978) has been hailed as an undisciplined innovator in the tango genre, a world music icon and a major reformist in the field of accordion music – she has even been called a musical superhero! Johanna shakes up tango traditions wherever she goes. The newest concert ensemble presented by Johanna is a vividly visualised show titled Imaginary Friends. Besides this she performs with her two colourful fantasy tango ensembles, Johanna Juhola Reaktori and the Johanna Juhola Trio. Her highly original output and collaborative work with top names from the classical, jazz and even electronic music scene has sealed her reputation as a groundbreaking and genre-transcending visionary.

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).

*

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 called Imaginary Friends. In this vividly visualised show, Johanna is the only live performer, with her team of accompanists and fellow performers projected alongside her on two large video screens. Joining Johanna virtually are the man that inspired her to begin playing the squeeze box years ago, a star-studded YouTube cavalcade of fellow musicians, an amorous navigator, a chorus of clapping hands, an entire orchestra of cloned Johanna’s and many more imaginary ensembles.

The other bands playing Johanna’s music are Johanna Juhola Reaktori and Johanna Juhola Trio. Johanna Juhola Reaktori consists of Tuomas Norvio on live electronics, double bass queen Sara Puljula and harmonium innovator Milla Viljamaa. Reaktori offers a mix of ingredients from these four exuberant musicians. The mood shifts from intimate folk tones to offbeat electronica or from a celebration of naivism to virtuosic excitement. The music is danceable in many different ways; you can choose Argentinean tango or just jumping!!

Johanna Juhola Trio features virtuoso guitarist Roope Aarnio and sound designer Hannu Oskala who manipulates the sound of Roope and Johanna’s instruments in real-time and adds some samples.

Johanna is well-known on the Finnish music scene through her influential involvement with bands such as Tango Orchestra Unto, Las Chicas del Tango, Troka and Spontaani Vire, duo collaborations with Timo Alakotila, Pekka Kuusisto and Milla Viljamaa, music for theatre, circus, film and television as well as at the helm of her own projects, she maintains an impressively busy work schedule; an indefatigable explorer of her instrument’s potential. Examples of collaborations from last years have been a duo with the angel-voiced singer Emma Salokoski, Turku Jazz Orchestra playing Johanna’s compositions arranged for a big band and Johanna being a soloist of Oulu Symphony Orchestra playing Johanna’s compositions in live broadcasted Finlands 100 years concert.

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 its 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 also recorded Timo Alakotila’s ‘Concerto for Free-Bass Accordion and Chamber Orchestra’ as well as with other bands including Duo Milla Viljamaa & Johanna Juhola and Tango Orchestra Unto.

Johanna Juhola’s work to date has revolutionised our common perception of the accordion as a musical instrument. Her peers have named her an accordion superhero, a pearl of world music and a daring re-inventor of tango music as we know it. Her highly original output and collaborative work with top names from the classical, jazz and electronic music scene has sealed her reputation as a groundbreaking and genre-transcending visionary.

*

Previous shows include: Bardentreffen (DE), TFF Rudolstadt (DE), Jazz Ahead! (DE), Schrammel.Klang.Festival (AU), WOMEX 2009 and 2011 (DK), Squeezebox Festival (DK), Oulu Music Festival (FI), Folkbaltica (DE/DK), Akordeono Festivalis Vilnius (LV), Le Grand Soufflet (FR), Making Tracks tour in UK, Festspillene (NO), Mixmusic Malmö (SE), Urkult (SE), Haapavesi Folk (FI), Kaustinen Folk Music Festival (FI), Kihaus Folk (FI), Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival (FI), Helsinki Festival (FI),  Soloist of BBC Symphony Orchestra and Late Night Prom at Proms Dubai, Soloist of Turku Jazz Orchestra at Turku Jazz Festival, Soloist of Oulu Symphony at national Finland 100 years – live aired concert, Eurovision song contest opening number composer and solo performer 2007…

*

SELECTED PRESS REVIEWS AND QUOTES:

“It all starts with the outfit: Johanna Juhola is completely dressed in bright red, in a cleverly cut dress that only allows two reactions: “Great” or “impossible”. …The outfit is extraordinary, but so is the music of the Helsinki based accordionist. …Johanna’s melodies bloom bright red and blue like her instrument. …You’re never safe from surprises.” (Schwäbische Ravensburg)

“Visit of The Finnish superheroine” (Nuernberger Nachrichten)

“Johanna Juhola, currently the most exciting accordion virtuoso in Finland.” (Folkworld)

“The Finnish music scene is not lacking in eccentrics. Even there, accordionist Johanna Juhola is considered an extremely colourful bird. She confirms that on her new album “Diivan Jäljet” (Shadow of a Diva).” (Deutschlandfunk kultur)

“This is excellent, nothing less. It is highly recommended.” (RootsZone)

“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.” (Finnish Music Quarterly)

“Yes, there are also birds of paradise in Finland. In large numbers even and often female. One of the most colourful is certainly Johanna Juhola. Whenever we think of the Finnish accordionist, we inevitably have to smile. The name Juhola stands for unpredictability. There is only one constant on her albums and that is her fascinating, versatile and technically perfect accordion playing. It gives each piece of music its own personal touch. Whether yearning, zest for life, grief, pain, love, happiness, freshness, comfort – she can express it with her instrument.” (Global Music Magazine)

“A true free spirit.” (Maz Online)

“The music is fascinating and touches an unknown depth in the soul and causes goosebumps… Shadow of a Diva is an album that gives joy, energy and desire to new adventures.” (Lira World Music Magazine)

“The opener ‘Road Assistance’ is almost bursting with good humor… A veritable earworm is the last piece ‘New Adventure In Candyland’, to which I just want to jump up and dance.” (Female Music Network Melodiva)

“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. This album makes you happy, believe me and hear it yourself.” (Folkworld)

“Juhola’s accordion playing technique is superior, without falling into empty showing off, her compositions and arrangements are open-minded and absolutely visionary.” (Retrokki)

“The innovative accordionist Johanna Juhola is one of those Finnish musicians who have been able to create something really original and recognisable… ’Shadow of a Diva’ is an entertaining, multifaceted album, with guest artists, ranging from a rapper to a tango singer, adding further layers of intrigue.” (Helsingin Sanomat)

“Besides jazz, Finnish new folk music is one of our best exports as we market our culture to the rest of the world. Johanna Juhola is clearly one of the best of the best.” (Suomijazz.com)

“You can always trust Johanna Juhola: the album Shadow of a Diva from this magnificent and multifaceted artist is once again a wonderful trip in the world of tango and modern folk music.” (Kansanmusiikki)

“Johanna is an innovative accordion music reformer praised by critics… Road Assistance is a real hit… Many of the compositions got even deeper with the visual dimension.” (Österbottens Tidning)

“On this album, Johanna has certainly managed to combine the ‘groove’ of folk music and the swirls of tango into a very individual sonic world. The album also benefits from Juhola’s interesting anecdotes printed inside the CD cover!” (Huvudstadsbladet)

“Johanna Juhola is the new tango queen of Schweinfurt.” (Main Post)

“One of the highlights of last summer’s Haapavesi Folk Festival was the production of Johanna Juhola & Imaginary Friends. The combination of live music, pre-recorded material and videos transported the listener to a different dimension. When the concert was over, we were all suspended in a dream world, somewhere between film and reality.” (Kansanmusiikki)

Audience comments of Johanna Juhola & Imaginary Friends on Facebook:

“The tremendous Johanna Juhola made my jaw hit the floor and my imagine run wild in her remarkable Imaginary Friends concert!”

“Johanna Juhola & Imaginary Friends was rock solid. Musically, visually, and artistically it was perhaps the best concert I’ve seen on the Kapsäkki stage. It was also very well crafted, captivating and stylish. World-class stuff!”

“What a fabulous project! Everyone go see this wherever it is on. It is entertaining, impressive and contains some highly enjoyable accordion music to boot!”

“The Kapsäkki theatre team and I want to extend a public ‘thank you’ on social media for the well-rounded, touching, delightful and enchanting expert performance you gave us. A knockout!”

“An incredibly stunning and moving performance, a fantastic treat for the eyes and ears. Thank you!”

“An absolutely stupendous and skilful show that generated a wide range of feelings. THANK YOU!”

“Wow! I am very impressed! What a terrific entirety. Thank you!”

“The deep emotions of tango and the musical virtuosity of this dream band kicks your heart into overdrive. Johanna Juhola and Eppu Nuotio’s piece ‘Huudetaan’ is a terrific take on everyday life in a relationship.” (Helsingin Sanomat)

“The mix of accordion and electronica works tremendously well. The whole record is notably successful in all of its far-reaching and creative musical innovation. Juhola is also among other things a multi-instrumentalist who loves to combine instruments alongside her main instrument, the accordion, to create arrangements which are distinctive and wonderful. This she does using such instruments as the claviola which she supports with the glockenspiel, an instrument that fits perfectly for the kind of imaginative soundtracks that she is a master of creating.” (Accord))

“Listening to these tunes on this debut solo album you begin to understand the depth of the musician’s talent!” (Accord)

“Whether performing solo, with her Reaktori band, duos with Milla Viljamaa and Timo Alakotila or Las Chicas del Tango, Johanna Juhola is the undisputed star of Finland’s tango and accordion scene.” (Folkworld)

“Milla and Johanna weave a typically fast and rhythmical tango tapestry that is playful and sparkling.” (Kansanmusiikki)

“By now the collaboration is so flawless that the photograph on the album cover is quite close to the truth – you can almost imagine them playing on one and the same instrument. The rhythm, in particular, is bulletproof. Those who wish to may read Elina Lajunen’s diary entries, on which the whole thing is based. I myself was able to picture each situation without having read the booklet, this music is very strongly visual.” (Huvudstadsbladet)

“Among my favourite things about the CD is the way that Juhola combines original Tango recordings and her own versions of them; for example there is a fabulous version of the rousing Metro-tytöt song Huulet kylmät kuin jää (Lips as cold as ice).” (Pelimanni)

“The sense of a long-standing cooperation between the two musicians is self-evident.” (Muusikko)

“Johanna Juhola is the hidden talent of the Finnish folk scene: she flits like a sprite between Tango and similar music styles, without getting hung up on conventions and boundaries. Her fingers glide across the accordion keys as if there were no tomorrow. There is no keeping up with her seemingly endless imagination and inventiveness. Norvio’s sounds bring Juhola’s music right into the twenty-first century, whilst achieving a rare balancing act, bringing together Tango, Folk, Electronica and all kinds of obscenity – unfamiliar, yet pure and poignant – the inevitable result of such an unconventional departure from a musical genre.” (Nordiche musik)

“The concert was among the best live music experiences this autumn!” (Kisa- ja kulttuuriturismia)

“The visual impact is immediate, thanks to boldly coloured costumes in turquoise, green and red that give the effect of a Pixar-designed team of Finnish superheroes whose special powers, it emerges, are musical brilliance, ease with strangers and witty imagination… There’s a contradiction between Juhola’s relaxed body language and amused expression and the furious scrabble of her fingers across the accordion buttons, an essentially relaxed figure making a musical whirlwind that evokes folk tradition, hard bopping jazz, classical formalities and Jerry Lee Lewis, all at the same time.” (The Bristol Post)

“Johanna Juhola Reaktori who provided some much needed injection of joy and light-hearted humour through an incredible sonic and visual performance to the watching audience at Rich Mix, London last Tuesday night… The combination of a folk/tango band with a rapper and augmented with electronic beats goes to show that the sky is the limit when it comes to creative inspiration for the band.” (Andrew Chua)

“Everything from Pussy-Cat-Dolls-sounding electronics to Swedish rapping played over the top of consistently flawless and expertly crafted Fantasiatango – the name of the tune written by Juhola for her Eurovision entry in 2007 but which aptly sums up the band’s aesthetic. With quirkiness and originality in both their music and stage presence, the captivating Johanna Juhola and her Reaktori are a treat for tango- and folk-lovers alike.” (Craig Macartney)

“Juhola’s virtuosic accordion playing set the tone for the evening, with most songs led by driving melodic lines, circling obsessively round certain pitches and motifs, occasionally leading to superbly judged cadential figurations… I look forward to hearing more of Johanna Juhola Reaktori and I hope these extraordinarily talented musicians continue to synthesise their unique and potent sound.” (Desmond Clarke)

“Johanna Juhola Reaktori are certainly an original and joyful band to behold. Their spirit and uniqueness make them a must-see for any tango lover, or anyone who simply appreciates ingenious and skilled musicianship.” (Charmaine White)

“Painting a story with their music, Johanna Juhola Reaktori whisk the audience away in an emotion fuelled, musical journey, that visits both comedy and tragedy… The gig was completely led by emotion. Throughout the course of the evening, Johanna Juhola Reaktori shared ecstatic and uplifting highs as well as dramatic, atmospheric and sombre tones. The quartet needed no lyrics as their instruments truly spoke, sharing a story through musical phrases and movements, evoking a variety of emotions from beginning to end.” (Robert Burnham-Rusk)

“Every song has its own unique flavour built with imaginative soundscapes. Fantasiatango 2 is like a never-ending road movie, where the surrounding sceneries change quickly and everything is characterised by enthusiasm and a free atmosphere. Johanna Juhola creates deeply expressive themes that really grab you. Fantasiatango 2 is beautiful and enjoyable music with an infectious joie de vivre.” (Finnish Music Quarterly)

“My it’s good. I don’t understand a word (Bipolär tango) but who cares, it’s great anyway.” (Listen, learn, read blog)

“Johanna captivates and seduces the audience with her virtuoso accordion playing and charmingly humorous small talk… Accordion playing at its hottest!” (Johannes Adolfsson)

“Johanna Juhola is one of Finland’s most artistically ambitious crafters of contemporary folk music. With her trusty accordion at her side, she forgoes skipping down the familiar path of yesteryear, choosing instead to lead the tradition down a new road.” (Karjalainen)

“The foundation of ‘Las Chicas del Tango’ is the super-strong duo of accordion artist Johanna Juhola and pianist Milla Viljamaa, accompanied by soloist Kukka-Maaria Ahonen. It is simply impossible to overlook the power both of their instruments exude – lively, energetic riffs and a brilliant command of tango nuevo, in Juhola in particular.” (Huvudstadsbladat)

“I have listened to a lot of tango over the years (I’m especially fond of Astor Piazzolla’s new tango), and I give this album top rating. The musicians have provided everything listeners need for an authentic tango experience except the macho male dancers and women in spiked heels. You are on your own in that regard.” (Moon Child)

“Thanks to this naughty innovator, the tango’s lifespan has been extended by at least another century.” (Ode Magazine)

“Refreshing, different, magical, young, pearl of world music.” (Ilkka)

“A grin creeps to my face. There is something unsurpassed about listening to Johanna Juhola’s instrumental music in morning rush hour traffic – the oncoming people’s faces suddenly all have a story to tell. As a listening experience, it is comparable to reading a book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.” (Suomen Kuvalehti)

“The title of Juhola’s previous release ‘Fantasiatango’ describes her music well, reflecting the festivity of Piazzolla and dark soaring airs of Danny Elfman film scores.” (Karjalainen)

“Johanna Juhola has been called one of the most interesting innovators of accordion music in Finland. Fantasiatango (Fantasy Tango) has a wonderfully original sound. The communication of Juhola and her two bands is rich, playful, thoughtful and devoted. Professional precision and the ambition of the compositions hold tension in the relaxed flow of the stories. This is true musicianship.” (***** five stars) (Me Naiset)

“The music reminds me of Edward Scissorhands, amusement parks, Buenos Aires tango halls, dark conifer forests and Pippi Longstocking in a toy store. It is at times spirited, at times sad, and at times mystic. As a whole the album it is carefully crafted and intelligent. With enough skill rules can be broken imaginatively. Fantasy tango lives up to its title. When you wish to escape reality, Fantasy tango takes you on a rich mental and musical journey. Try it while waiting for a train or a flight.” (Kaleva)

“Fantasiatango (Fantasy tango) is the composition that Johanna Juhola performed in the Eurovision Song contest semi-finals while lifted up near the ceiling of the hall. The same Fantasiatango is now the title of Juhola’s second solo album, and it describes precisely what Juhola’s music is about: fantasy and tango. Echoes of Argentinean Tango Nuevo mix with somewhat naïve amusement park feel, evoking rich images.” (Helsingin Sanomat)

“Johanna Juhola is a graduate of the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department, a creative accordionist whose second solo album Fantasiatango (Fantasy tango) is a gold strike. The title sums up the essential: this is tango-based, fresh and joyous fantasy music. The album is full of exuberant colors, clever tricks and gentle playfulness.” (Etelä-Suomen Sanomat)

“Fantasiatango is like a fun, diverse soundtrack for a slightly strange day.” (Finnish music quarterly)

“To get an ensemble like this (Johanna Juhola Reaktori) to make the music is a real jackpot for any performance. Johanna Juhola is not only one of our leading accordion artists but a charismatic performer as well.” (Huvudstadsbladet)

“The best part of this tango show is the orchestra. A tip for friends of Argentinean tango Nuevo: the band in the Tango Roto show is excellent. Johanna Juhola Reaktori performs the compositions of Johanna Juhola and Milla Viljamaa with phenomenal skill and wonderful passion.” (Helsingin Sanomat)

“Kraft is a collaboration of two virtuosos, Johanna Juhola (accordions) and Pekka Kuusisto (violin). Hence, their playing is super skilled, dancing around technical pitfalls. The combination of a classically singing violin and a tight rap tempo in ‘One MC, one delay’ is especially exhilarating. The duo’s swing challenges the original Don Johnson Big Band whose vocalist Tommy Lindgren features in this screwball arrangement. As if in passing, the album has gulped down some tango and polska too. Quite a debut.” (Helsingin Sanomat)

“These super-skilled musicians make genuine, original entertainment as they venture from the fields of accordion and violin to any sounds or genres of music… Johanna Juhola plays Kraft’s contemporary-ethnic-jazz-prog-fusion as her native language, and playing live she takes a great deal of responsibility for the rhythm, harmony, and bass lines.” (Rondo)

“From the first notes of Max Höjd it is made clear that one must give up any hope for defining the genre of this music. It is like impressionistic, cinematic, musical fireworks that flies too high to even try to get a grip of. The two artists abandon themselves to the game called music without shame. Max Höjd is a package of breathtaking virtuosity that makes even the mini grand piano exude professionalism. A mood album capable of changing one’s mood.” (Pelimanni)

“The technical skills of the musicians are astounding, but the humaneness and warm humor made the greatest impression. When the artists are this skilled and dedicated to what they do, two is just the right size for an ensemble. There is communication, no schizophrenia. As one half of the group said it, “Perfect”.” (Aamulehti))

“All four musicians have a master of music degree from the folk music department of Sibelius academy, which shows in the way they can keep the music together. They play tightly together even through bursts of time signature variations -a sign of their truly admirable rhythmic skills… the album release gig was a proof of the group’s incredible live energy. The pieces were even more effective than on record, and the master speaker bassist Sara Puljula’s humor was a perfect accompaniment to the music. A band well worth listening to!” (Rondo-magazine))

“The group Spontaani Vire playing is both wildly swinging and sharply disciplined… Johanna Juhola (accordion), Sara Puljula (bass), Eero Grundström (pump organ, keyboards), and Emilia Lajunen (violin) make daring mixtures. The tango ‘Tilda’ makes me think of Aki Kaurismäki’s type of melancholy. Beautiful and perfectly in line with the rest.” (Huvudstadsbladet)

“The album is bursting with sharp, energetic, playfully joyous, virtuosic music… It is a proof or the group members’ composition skills as well, since the compositions are mainly their own… During their years together these musicians have woven their playing together to form a seamless texture. The arrangements and instrumentations are interesting and varied and make room for individual instruments in addition to the whole group blasting together.” (Pelimanni)

“Both musicians are solid professionals in their main instruments, piano and accordion. The instruments used in the performance, piano, accordion, portable harmonium, claviola, good old Rhodes piano, and mini grand piano added original extra to the tone colors when backing the vocals and in the instrumental parts of this variegated music. The use of the instruments was controlled in a rational way too, letting their characteristics show in the best possible way. The two musicians performed this huge task easily, professionally, and in keeping with the style.” (Karkkilan tienoo)

“As the group had a wide range of instruments, their tone colors were rich and diverse. The pieces performed by Spontaani Vire told stories even though none included vocals or lyrics. It was a great pleasure to listen to and experience this highly skilled and energetic performance.” (Pogostan Sanomat)

“Now it’s her (Johanna Juhola) turn to shine, on this duo album. Under Alakotila’s guidance she has blossomed into another of Finland’s stunning accordionists, and has developed her own musical style, retaining the grace of players like Kalaniemi (Maria) yet bringing an almost raw edge to her own compositions. This is CD of sheer joy from two fine musicians.” (Songlines)

“Johanna Juhola (born 1978) is the modern accordionist that was lifted onstage impressively in the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals – one of the recently much-talked-about young Sibelius Academy top musicians. Choosing her to perform in the first Eurovision Song Contest held in Finland was well justified. She is, along with Kimmo Pohjonen, a musician who has created new Finnish accordion art with a fresh touch, and has also become well known internationally. Juhola’s solo album Miette was one of the most beautiful domestic recordings last year. The pieces are more hopeful, funny and playful than the sombre classics of the Finnish tango tradition. Yet they are just as much in touch with the soul, only in a more urban environment. The most delightful example of this is ‘Tango Hississä’ (Tango in an elevator) with Pekka Kuusisto’s playful violin.” (Aamuposti)

“Las Chicas Del Tango has an artistically challenging approach to tango. In addition to classic pieces from Astor Piazzolla and Carlos Gardel the album contains the trio’s own compositions. There are songs written both in Finnish and in Spanish. The last piece on the album, Piazzolla’s tango As Ilhas, sounds exceptionally magnificent as it crescendoes in intensity. Keeping music like this together and in rhythm is challenging for a small group, since Juholaand Viljamaa build on lightness and leaving space between the notes instead of going full steam ahead. The vocalist needs good timing, and Kukka-Maaria Ahonen has it. Her theatrical voice has traces of the sweetness of first love, mother’s warmth, frailty of a consumptive artist, and a bit of an ex-girlfriend’s bitchiness.” (Karjalainen)

“The album was worth making. The arrangements of Viljamaa and Juhola are kicking rhythmically with heels high enough, suitably for the Argentinean material. Sueño de Barrilete, more familiar Vuelvo al Sur and Yuyo Verde work wonderfully… Kukka-Maaria Ahonen sings with nuanced phrasing, thought and empathy throughout the album, both in Spanish and in Finnish.” (Helsingin Sanomat)

“These interpretations of Piazzolla and several other classics by Las Chicas del Tango are befittingly fearsome, pushing the envelope of emotion. Compositions of their own find the trio creating a style of their own: a marriage of tango nuevo and ancient Ugrian melancholy. A product of many projects as a duo, Johanna Juhola and Milla Viljamaa play together seamlessly: the suspenseful rhythms hit hard and the resounding bass notes of the grand piano carry the harmonium’s mesmerising solos. The two musicians utterly trust one another, a necessary element before one can truly submit to the music. The trio’s repertoire would fit in perfectly on any Buenos Aires stage, as their live performance at an autumn album release party most surely can testify.” (Rondo)

“Reverie is one of the best contemporary circus performances I have ever seen. There is nothing too much or too little in this hour-long performance. The performance dares to trust the magical power of slow pace that gives significance to the slightest gesture onstage. The atmosphere and the sovereign skill of the performers take the viewer along for a dive into the unknown regions of the mind.” (Uutispäivä Demari)

“Finnish tango is not what it used to be, due to the young folk musicians pianist Milla Viljamaa and accordionist Johanna Juhola. They have distinct composing styles: Viljamaa’s straightforward approach balances Juhola’s mysteriousness and creative fury, or vice versa.” (Eeva magazine)

“Milla Viljamaa and Johanna Juhola have proven their skills with Astor Piazzolla. On the tango duo’s second album piano and accordion converse open-mindedly. The tango has a sound that is exciting, restless even, elegantly passionate. This is music to take along for a summer evening.” (Anna magazine)

“Multi-instrumentalists Johanna Juhola and Pekka Kuusisto are natural born performance artists.” (Helsingin Sanomat)

“A woman loses her sense of reality but finds another where old rules do not apply. On the reverse side of daytime consciousness nothing is predictable… Dreams, fantasies, nightmares. The production not only works, it enchants. The dream-like atmosphere is emphasised by Johanna Juhola’s and Milla Viljamaa’s music, furtively soothing into dreaming… The high-heeled cavalcade is hilarious. I would like to see Reverie performed more times.” (Helsingin Sanomat)

“Troka’s playing is holistic, respectful of tradition and truly professional. The audience remained hypnotized for several seconds after the piece (Juhola: Astoral Polska fantasia) was over. Juhola is a renowned Piazzolla expert – a fact that was clearly audible in the sound worlds created by the piece.” (Keskipohjanmaa)

“Accordionist Johanna Juhola’s first solo album is wonderful. There is skilful playing, imaginative compositions and arrangements, humour, surprises, sensitivity, originality… Johanna’s music is golden-rimmed and sunny.” (Trad magazine)

“The other member of Kraft is accordionist Johanna Juhola, who has made theatre music and is a member of groups such as Troka and Las Chicas del Tango. She proved an excellent partner for the sensitively co-operating duo’s fascinating exploration to the margins of music. It is just on those margins where the most exciting musical experiences often take place. This time the starting point was more or less ethnic music, but the result was very contemporary… Juhola’s accordion had a full sound and it created magnificent harmonies with the violin. At times her love for the new phases of Argentinean tango could be clearly heard in her atmospheric playing. Both also played a miniature grand piano that sounds like a music box. The effect was childishly magical. As a bonus addition to her own compositions and Rinneradio’s Helmi that was brilliantly treated, Tommy Lindgren appeared to rap a couple numbers from his own group, Don Johnson Big Band. A traditional pelimanni version of One MC, One Delay was especially charming.” (Aamulehti)

“Pekka Kuusisto can do anything, and when a violin is not enough, he will sing and whistle too. With Johanna Juholaas an equally nimble partner, the music at its best has surprises and the joy of spontaneous invention.” (Kainuun Sanomat)

“Sometimes so-called super ensembles just don’t work. Kraft, on the other hand, proved late last Saturday night that at its best, the collaboration of two extremely talented musicians can be very fruitful. Even though the Juhola-Kuusisto duo has an enormous amount of skill, their music did not at any point slip into mere demonstration of technical ability. Kuusisto mentioned during the gig that the hardest thing with the pieces was to make up smart names for them. Listening to Kraft made me think it must be true: so easy did playing seem for both Kuusisto and Juhola. The audience could feel the warmth and joy on stage.” (Keskisuomalainen)

“Johanna Juhola is doing to accordion in the 21st century what Maria Kalaniemi did in the 1990’s – she combines time-tied musical phenomena into her own, forward-oriented style that reaches an audience outside the traditional folk music circles too. Juhola’s Miette is a convincing solo debut – she has already been an influential member of several bands. Her skills show not only in the virtuosic playing and vivid compositions, but also in her brilliant collaboration with guest musicians.” (Rondo)

“Johanna Juhola follows her own path as a musician and composer and gives new features to accordion as an instrument.” (Hanuri)

“Juhola is, along with Kimmo Pohjonen and Maria Kalaniemi, one of the great innovators of accordion music. Disruptions are contrasted to beauty, storm to calm, childhood to aging and cheerfulness to pomposity. Unforgettable and impossibly beautiful.” (Anna magazine)

“Johanna Juhola and Pekka Kuusisto offered rare delicacies at Kokkola Winter Accordion –festival: a concert based on the duo’s own compositions was brimming with musical joy.” (Trad magazine)

“Johanna Juhola sweetens this masculine group. Her highly skilled accordionism is sensitive and expressive.” (Trad magazine)

“Spontaneous energy. The music tells stories, the melodies flow with joy and the compositions are well constructed. The solo debut from Johanna Juhola is fresh and fun.” (Huvudstadsbladet)

“The five-piece Troka excels in energetic, rich-sounding performances of original compositions rooted in traditional music… Astoraalinen Polskafantasia by accordionist Johanna Juhola is an excitingly visual Northern hommage to theArgentinian master Piazzolla.” (Helsingin Sanomat)

“The repertory at the Ateljeeri consisted of pieces by Argentinian tango composer Astor Piazzolla, but also of works by the members of the duo. These were many-faceted and stylish, with the same deep intoxicating effect as a bottle of good wine.” (Keski-Uusimaa)

“As soloist in the concerto, the exceptionally energetic Johanna Juhola proved to be not only an absolute master of the accordion but also a skilled chamber musician. Rarely does one meet a soloist who so completely enjoys making music and communicating it to her audience… who concentrates on her own performance but still manages to remember she’s not on stage by herself, but in cooperation with the ensemble.” (Salonseudun Sanomat)

Johanna Juhola Trio: Mummot (Grannies)

Johanna Juhola Trio: compilation 2019

Johanna Juhola Trio: Four Minute Love Story

Johanna Juhola Reaktori: live at The Stables, Milton Keynes, UK (2013)

Johanna Juhola Reaktori: Olavi

Johanna Juhola Reaktori: Road Assistance

Johanna Juhola & Imaginary Friends compilation

Johanna Juhola

Passionate and playful fantasy tango folk from cool Finland.