KRAFT

JOHANNA JUHOLA (accordion, minigrandpiano) 
PEKKA KUUSISTO (violin, viola, electric violin, vocals, sampler, minigrandpiano)

KRAFT made their debut in July 2005 at the Time Of Music festival in Viitasaari. The duo strives for genre-free musical communication and expression. Sounds are produced with a variety of instruments ranging from fiddle and accordion to live electronics, glockenspiel and the human voice. KRAFT performs all sorts of music for people who love music of all sorts.

Johanna Juhola (born 1978) has studied accordion in the folk music department of the Sibelius Academy since 1997. She loves tango nuevo and other passionate music genres and especially their fusions, as well as combining music with other kinds of performing arts. 

Juhola has composed music for several dance, theater and circus performances for the Swedish Theater in Helsinki, for Zodiak - the center for new dance, for Circus group Circo Aereo, for Theater of Keski-Uusimaa, and for many project-based working groups. Johanna Juhola won the International Astor Piazzolla Competition in 2000 with Novjaro Quintet and the International "Citta di Castelfidardo" award, Astor Piazzolla music section as Duo Milla Viljamaa & Johanna Juhola in 2002. 

Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto is one of the most versatile and distinctive musicians working today. Always demonstrating his extraordinary individuality and imagination, Pekka is unusually free and fluid in his approach and has been acclaimed for the spontaneity and freshness in his playing. Pekka is increasingly seen directing ensembles from the violin. “It’s about being a chamber musician, just like the other players. It’s the best way of ensuring there’s good communication between everyone on stage. When I direct, I get feedback straight from the musicians and develop individual relationships with them”.

Setting Pekka apart from most other violinists of his generation is his desire and ability to improvise and his love of playing many different styles of music, channelling the same intensity into each genre. “Playing folk, jazz, electronic music and improvising as well as classical music has really given me the relationship I have with my violin. It has taught me that a fiddle is not something to control – if you want to play in a free way you have to feel free and most folk musicians I know would agree. They couldn’t play the Sibelius Concerto to save their lives, but they are some of the happiest musicians I know.”