Okra Playground

Okra Playground
Biography

Okra Playground – contemporary electro folk

Okra Playground from Finland, starred by Maija Kauhanen and Päivi Hirvonen is about strong vocal harmonies, big sound, age-old lyrics, hypnotic beats and mystical energy. The kantele and bowed lyre, both ancient folk instruments, coexist in a new, exciting symbiosis with modern electronic soundscapes. The music resulting from the quite unusual interesting combination has roots deep in the Finnish soil, but its tallest branches spread out towards the furthest shores of world music.

This is one of the most exciting bands to come out of Finland in recent times.” (Songlines Magazine UK 122/2016)

(Video by Alisa Javits)

Okra Playground’s second album Ääneni yli Vesien (My Voice Over Waters) was published in March 2018 by Nordic Notes and it gained great reviews and reached top 10 at Transglobal World Music Chart and top 3 at World Music Chart Europe. The band’s debut album Turmio (2015, Nordic Notes) has ever since been warmly received gaining praises in the new and old mediums – for instance receiving a five star review in Songlines Magazine. Turmio also made it to few listings of best albums of 2015 The debut also took Okra Playground to perform as the only Finnish band on the official showcase program of World Music Expo WOMEX in 2016.

Okra Playground Touring Highlights 2019

World Cultures Festival, Hong Kong
Tallinn Music Week, Estonia
Varangerfestivalen, Norway
Stenstansdagarna, Sundsvall, Sweden
Korrö Folkmusikfestival, Sweden
Etno-Espa Festival, Helsinki, Finland
Kihaus Folk Festival, Rääkkylä, Finland

Okra Playground Touring Highlights 2018

Folkelarm, Oslo, Norway
Riksscenen, Oslo, Norway
Victoriateatern, Malmö, Sweden
Folkets Hus, Olofström, Sweden
Toernee Mondial Tour, Flanders/Belgium
Tafelhalle, Nürnberg, Germany
Pferdestall, Bremerhaven, Germany
G Livelab, Helsinki, Finland
Arctic Paradise Folk & Jazz Event, Helsinki, Finland
Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, Kaustinen
Oulu Music Festival, Finland

Okra Playground Touring Highlights 2016-2017

Flow Festival, Helsinki, Finland
WOMEX the World Music Expo, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Brosella Folk & Jazz Festival, Belgium
Rainforest World Music Festival, Malaysia
Nordsjøfestivalen, Norway
Haapavesi Folk, Finland

The musicians of this groundbreaking group are well known in the fields of folk and pop music – both in Finland and abroad.

Maija Kauhanen – vocals, kantele
Päivi Hirvonen – vocals, fiddle, bowed harp jouhikko
Essi Muikku – vocals, kantele
Sami Kujala – electric bass
Veikko Muikku – accordion, synthesizer
Oskari Lehtonen – percussion

Youtube: Rautasuu
Youtube: Okra Playground Live Medley 2016-2018

Spotify: Ääneni yli vesien (2018)
Spotify: Turmio (2015)

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