The artists behind
Tango Alakulo are:
Christian Garrick
Christian Garrick is an award-winning British jazz violinist, composer and band leader.  As violinist with Tango Alakulo alongside maestros David Gordon, Jarmo Julkunen and Jani Pensola, Christian adds his improvisational voice to magnificent effect whether playing snippets of Sibelius’ marvellous melodies or in rhythmic role duelling with Jarmo’s ukulele.
Jani Pensola
Jani Pensola, also known as the “Funky Finn”, is equally at home in the fields of classical, jazz and tango.The double bass has taken Jani to almost every corner of the world, ending up in London due to good weather and inexpensive living costs.
   Jani has already achieved a prodigious reputation being a member the LSO Double Bass section as well as delving deeper into the mysteries of solo double bass, contemporary and chamber music.
   When Jani is not spending time with the bass, you might find him experimenting in South London’s Curry Houses with the hope of an extreme dining experience, and he is also English enough to understand what good bitter means every now and then.
Heikki Salonen
Costume Design
Heikki’s time is split between London, Paris and Venice. Working as a design director for a Parisian fashion house, he also does various projects with artists, architects and designers. His leisure-time is filled with dogs, long-distance hiking and music, elements of which often creep into his projects and to his eponymous brand in some shape or form. Heikki aims to challenge himself and the viewer with triggering familiar elements within the layers of references from various different sources that seem current and substantial to that specific moment.
Klaus Haapaniemi
Visual Design
Finnish, London based designer and artist.
    Enjoys creating moving installations for stage and often collaborates with fashion designers, musicians and dancers.
   Interested in applying storytelling to objects and projects, creating visual narratives.
   Loves the versatility of working between different fields of art and design. “It’s always rewarding to step out of my comfort zone to find a completely new job and purpose”.
Timo Torikka
Timo Torikka is an actor who takes every chance to participate in projects never done before. When he is not working in Finland, he is working in France. He shift easily from the stage to act in front of the camera. He loves good, well told stories, preferably with good food and wine. The most beautiful word for Timo is Alakulo, melancholy in English, but literally it means “smoke that stays down”. Beautiful. Isn’t it?
Veli-Matti Hakala
During his 12-year career so far, Veli-Matti has worked as a lighting designer and operator, as a techician as well as a backliner for a number of front row artists, groups and festivals. ‘Vellu’, as he is often called by colleagues and friends, enjoys working with artists representing a wide scale of genres, from rock to art music and hip hop. He has toured large parts of Europe and Russia, and worked in numerous TV and theatre productions.
Jarmo Julkunen
“I was once told that if you dismantle one classical guitar you can build three ukuleles from the parts of it… Not sure if that’s the truth but what I know is that I always try to sound like three guitars together with one ukulele. Although I just play ukes of different sizes with Tango Alakulo, plucked instruments such as lutes, banjos, guitars, mandolins etc., have always been part of my personal history. When I’m not gigging I compose musicals and educate guitar players at the Sibelius-Academy in Helsinki.

My motto? Despite the fact that music has always been my best friend and comfort, I’d say Navigare necesse est, vivere non est necesse.”
David Gordon
A London-based pianist and harpsichordist David Gordon specialises in jazz and classical music. South America is David’s musical home and tango in particular brings out a different musical energy in him. David is also a composer and an improviser, who did a version of the Black Cat’s Tango for Tango Alakulo.
   “I have been coming to Finland since 1998 and always love being there.  The musicians and the country, the language the sense of living tradition seems to be very strong.  I find it is a place where magic often seems to happen.
   I like the fact that there has been a continuous tradition of tango in Finland, that it’s for young people as well as old. I have enjoyed playing and even sometimes arranging Finnish tunes, including tangos by Toivo Kärki.”
Vilja Achté 
3D modelling
Vilja works in London and Helsinki. Whilst studying media design and visual communication in London, her work has taken on a range of influences from graphic arts, experimental narrative and moving image.  She is interested in inconclusive stories, decay and melancholic kitsch.


Yona is a singer-songwriter who follows her own path. With her first six solo albums, she has already found quite an audience.
   “Music is the best thing I know. I wouldn’t want to live a life without music. I hope my music encourages people to live boldly and to feel fearlessly.”
   Yona and her band partly improvise on stage and go with the intuitive flow. The feeling oscillates between hypnotizing intimacy and the epic demolition of musical boundaries. Yona, so she says, doesn’t believe in boundaries.
Iiro Rantala
Piano virtuoso Iiro Rantala is the founder of Trio Töykeä (The Rude Trio), one of the best-known Finnish jazz bands. As a pianist he has played with many different orchestras, but he has also composed music for many musicals and dance performances. Moving around in musical twilight zones comes natural for Iiro. He’ll be joining Tango Alakulo in Germany in June 2017.