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Helsinki, Central Finland, Finland | INDIE

Helsinki, Central Finland, Finland | INDIE
Band World Jazz


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Pipoka: Veto"

The people who love accordion and tuba may like or even fall
in love with the Veto album. And then there are the rest of people?
Nope. Although people do have different tastes, Pipoka crosses
borders and units different genres with its ingenuity, know-how
and optimistic attitude. - Satakunnan kansa

"The alliance of three virtuosos finds its own unique sound"

The unusual set-up produces refreshing and personal timbre
with advanced sense of lyricism, rhythmic imagination and
playful virtuotic general feeling. - Aamulehti

"Captivating versatility"

The music of their newest album Veto is astoundingly versatile.
You will find various folk musics, progressive rock, jazz and
classical music in their full bloom. And - of course - the music
of the Beatles. - Helsingin Sanomat


Pipoka is a Finnish trio, with its roots firmly entwined around its two active founder members, accordionist Veli Kujala and guitarist Jarmo Julkinen. Veto is still anchored in the original conception of chamber jazz, with highly structured pieces that provide ample opportunities for exploration and development, as well as a considerable dose of Latin America.

Key to this concept is versatility of approach and participants. Whereas its self-titled, 2004 debut (also on Rockadillo) featured compositions by original mentors like Egberto Gismonti, Hermeto Pascoal, Astor Piazzolla and Severino (Sivuca) Dias de Oiveira, alongside just two self-penned pieces, Veto finds newcomer Petri Keskitalo lending his skills to bolster their burgeoning compositional talents. Tubaist Petri Keskitalo has his own roots, spread across the diversity of Finnish contemporary music, from the Avanti Chamber Orchestra to the Helsinki Philharmonic, as well as the long lamented ethno-jazz quartet, Zetaboo. On Julkunen's "Diego," a tribute to seventeenth century Spanish guitarist Ortiz, the warm, percussive-blown bass lines bounce through the tune, rounding the feel of the music.

For a musician otherwise enamored with the raw (on Kalle Kalima's K-18, his microtonal accordion pays tribute to the Finnish master of the raw, Raoul Björkenheim), here Kujala brings a lighter, maybe wittier, and certainly more lyrical style. Pipoka's version of twentieth century Finnish folkist P.J Hannikainen's Ardilla is both respectful and exploratory, with Julkunen's guitar and Kujala's accordion trading melodic variations over Keskitalo's bubbling tuba. For old time appeal, there's a slinky instrumental cover of The Beatles' "Julia."

For a taste of their instrumental bravado there is an experimental approach on Kujala's "Wingsnaps," where the tuba growls its lines, plumbing similar depths to a Tibetan horn, as Julkinen's cavaquinho jangles in accompaniment and Kujala visits those micro-tones again—all inspired by a flight from Paris home to Helsinki. Pipoka lives up to expectations of Finnish musical expertise imbued, in equal measure, with respect for its own traditions, both inside and outside orchestral chambers, and a quirky sense of transnational humor. Even the album title, Veto, incorporates two contradictory meanings, with the local usage indicating tugging power or attraction. - www.allaboutjazz.com


Veli Kujala: Pipoka
(Rockadillo Records, release date 13 Oct 2004)

Pipoka: Veto
(Rockadillo Records, release date 1 Dec 2010)



Pipoka is a unique trio featuring the most noble instruments of mankind: accordion, guitar and tuba. The members of Pipoka are top virtuosos of their instruments. Although the music is hard to pigeonhole, Pipoka describes it as classic-progressive Brazilian-Ugrian chamber jazz spiced with evident ethnic elements.

The debut took place in 2000 at the Sibelius-Academy, where all the members nowadays work as teachers. In 2006 Pipoka composed and premiered a musical, which was commissioned by the Helsinki Festival. The band has established its place in the music scene through domestic and international tours after CD releases.

Veli Kujala - accordion, bandoneon, quarter tone accordion
Jarmo Julkunen - acoustic and electric guitars, cavaquinho, banjo
Petri Keskitalo - tuba