Sampo Lassila NARINKKA is a dynamic and new-seeking modern klezmerband, which music can be called with a new term: ”suomiklezmer”. (Suomi being the Finnish word for Finland).
After playing years traditional klezmer in the 1990's, Lassila realized that Finnish klezmer just didn't exist. So he decided to roll up, start working and create a new style and sound that would be distinctively Finnish klezmer.
The music is new, Finnish and European worldmusic, acoustic klezmer, that mixes a wide range of influences from traditional jewish and balkan folk music even to Scandinavian contemporary chamber music and jazz - with distinctive Finnish-sounding melodies and soundworlds, Finnish mentality, humour and musical stories, but still respecting the rich and wonderful tradition of klezmer.
It would be too easy to call this music just klezmer, the idea is much more open. The musical multicultural heritage in the Finnish urbanenvironment is the root idea of Narinkka’s music. Interestingly between the eastern and western Europe, the Finnish cities have had their own quite special mixture of musical cultures.
Neoklezmer, Finnish Worldjazz, Klezmerjazz, Contemporary Finnish World Music, Finnish Urban Folkjazz…??
In it’s music, Sampo Lassila Narinkka actually melts the traditional klezmer -style into the special Finnish atmosphere – the feeling in the Narinkka’s music, composed by the leader Sampo Lassila is distinctively slavic, sentimental, rugged, somehow touchingly honest, but suddenly almost scaringly strong. The musical connection between the band members really happens – in a touching or, on the other hand, hilarious way. The other side of the band's repertoire, the beloved traditional klezmer tunes, are arranged matching the own Narinkka -style, growing the live experience into kind of time travel experience, from the old Bessarabia shtetls to modern Finnish suburbs.
The phenomenom Suomi (“Finland” in Finnish) is not superimposed on the traditional style, but painted faintly and organically inside the style, without forgetting Finnish melancholic and heartwarming humour.
But, ultimately, Sampo Lassila NARINKKA’s acoustic music is really based on that very special moment, when a listener and the musicians can really connect in music, in human music.
Sampo Lassila Narinkka line-up
Sampo Lassila, double bass, compositions
Aleksi Trygg, viola pomposa
Markku Lepistö, accordion (autumn 2019-)
Janne Tuomi, percussion, regular visitor
Narinkka was grounded by Sampo Lassila in 2010. The debut-album (which is actually a profile-album of Sampo Lassila) raised straight up to 4th place in the World Music Charts Europe in February 2013 and stayed for three moths in the Top20. Also was this album scored 16. in the World Music Charts Europe for the whole year 2013, being the most successful Nordic album in the year 2013. Narinkka has performed eg. in Helsinki Festival at the Huvila world music series among many other festivals and concerts and toured in Germany, Iceland, Sweden and Finland. In summer 2015 Sampo Lassila founded a small scale world music festival in Sysmä, Finland. In this Suomiklezmerä Sysmässä -festival the trio played 10 concerts in one weekend with various soloists. In the beginning of 2016 the trio was accepted to the artist roster of german agency Tomato Production. The second album of the group, 'In Strange Lands - Vierailla mailla was published in Finland in March 2016 and raised into Top20 in three international world music charts. In February 2016 the second album of Sampo Lassila Narinkka was nominated for the Etno-Emma music prize in Finland. Sampo Lassila Narinkka has also made own music in two Russian silent movies from the 1920's and collaborated with modern dancers like Saku and Laura Koistinen.