The recipient of Folk Musician of the Year awards in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999, Kimmo Pohjonen has brought a modern sensibility to the traditional accordion music of Finland. A veteran of pop and rock bands, Pohjonen continues to apply what he's learned to the folk music of his homeland. His debut album, Kielo, released in March, 1999, was named one of the year's best albums by Finland's leading daily newspaper, Helsingen Sanomat.
The son of a piano accordion player, Pohjonen began playing the button accordion at the age of ten. After studying classical music at Helsinki Conservatory, from 1980 until 1985, he continued to study classical and folk music at Helsinki's Sibelius Academy, which he attended from 1985 until 1996. During the same time, he studied at the Bagamoyo College of Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Initially attracting attention with his melodeon playing as a member pop and rock bands, including Toni Rossi And Sinitaivas, Pohjonen was invited to join Finnish folk group Ottopasuuna. He remained with Ottopasuuna until 1998 when he briefly joined a rock band, Ismo Alanko Saatio. Pohjonen balances his solo career with performances and recordings in Pinnin Pojat, a duo that he shares with JPP fiddler Arto Jarvela.
Pohjonen collaborated with Tapiola Sinfonietta in the spring of 2000 on an original musical production, Kalmusikkisin Fonia, that included a light show and quadrophonic sound effects. The show debuted with three performances at the Savoy Theater in Helsinki.
Pohjonen teaches at Sibelius Academy. ~ Craig Harris