Zäpämmät: Äiti Maa

Global and local are like yin and yang for the duo Zäpämmät. Though partners Marjo Smolander and Pauliina Kauppila are both deeply rooted in Finnish folk tradition and have degrees from Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy, Smolander also calls herself a kantele-griot, combining the iconic Finnish zither she plays and the West African musician-storytellers she emulates; percussionist Kauppila is likewise steeped in flamenco and Afro-Cuban … More Zäpämmät: Äiti Maa

Ánnámáret Ensemble: Gollehelmmot

Our idea of northern latitudes is shaped by stories like The Call of the Wild and Dr. Zhivago—tales that focus on outlanders who venture into the cold for exploration or refuge. One benefit of world music and literature is meeting people for whom a place like the Arctic is not an adventure but home. Anna Näkkäläjärvi-Länsman is a singer-songwriter, musical academy director and teacher from Utsjoki, at the north end of Finland’s longest road … More Ánnámáret Ensemble: Gollehelmmot

Tuuletar: Tules maas vedes taivaal

Nature plays music for those who listen. In addition to the unique performance style that has earned them well deserved laurels, the women of the a cappella quartet Tuuletar listen carefully—to the earth, to the modern urban soundscape and to their own inner voices, all of which contribute their “vocal folk hop,” based on Finnish mythology but skipping across musical borders. The group’s name comes from the goddess of wind and … More Tuuletar: Tules maas vedes taivaal