Värttinä is introducing two new additions to its lineup: Karoliina Kantelinen, vocals, and Mikko Hassinen, drums & percussion. Karoliina is an old acquaintance of the band, having done several shows with Värttinä, as a substitute singer, already 10 years ago. Mikko Hassinen, one of the top Finnish jazz/world drummers, has been playing live with Värttinä since 2011.
Karoliina Kantelinen is a singer and an ethnomusicologist from Helsinki who specializes in different ethnic singing styles. Her doctoral dissertation is on the old yoik tradition from Russian Karelia, formerly a Finnish territory. She currently teaches folk music at the department of musicology in the University of Helsinki. At this moment Karoliina is finishing her artistic doctoral studies at the Department of Folk Music in Sibelius-Academy. Known for challenging the old established ideas and concepts of interpreting Viena Karelian yoiks, Karoliina uses the traditional Kalevala style as her inspiration for new contemporary folk-based compositions. With her distinctive broad-ranged voice, she is also known as a ‘lament singer’ whose unique ability spans a range of emotion from anguish to compassionate sensitivity.
Mikko Hassinen is one of Finland’s most versatile jazz musicians. He has studied in the Sibelius Academy, both jazz- and composition/music theory. During his 20-year career he has performed with several different artists, notably Eero Koivistoinen, Pepa Päivinen, Raoul Björkenheim, Severi Pyysalo, Jukka Perko, Vesa-Matti Loiri, Jimi Tenor, Madeleine Eastman, Viktoria Tolstoy, David Liebman, Randy Weston, Tomasz Stanko and Frank Marocco. Hassinen is also a sought-after arranger, orchestrator and conductor, having worked with eg. Umo Jazz Orchestra and Helsinki Philharmonic.