Folk Music from Finland

Loituma is a Finnish folk music group that was active between 1989-2008. The band was formed at the Folk Music Department of the Sibelius Academy by a group of seven students. They came to be known as Jäykkä Leipä (Stiff Bread). In 1992, the ensemble was consolidated into a four-piece group with a combination of kanteles, vocals and violin. The original name was changed to an easier to pronounce name for international use. “Loituma” was found on the map; it is a lake in South-Eastern Finland.

Loituma’s repertoire included original compositions by the band members, folk songs and schlagers. The musicians collaborated often with kantele guru Martti Pokela (1924-2007). Loituma’s sound has been an inspiration for younger musicians, especially those who play the kantele.


Anita Lehtola-Tollin (vocals and 5-string kantele)
Sari Kauranen (5-string/concert kantele and vocals)
Hanni Autere (violin, vocals, 5-string kantele, alto recorder, double bass, Sámi drum)
Timo Väänänen (5-string/concert kantele and vocals)

Loituma today

All Loituma members still work full-time or part-time in music. They are still in contact with each other, and have performed in private occasions several times since 2008. Timo finished his doctoral studies in 2008 and Hanni in 2011.

More about Hanni and Timo: and

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