Photo: Johanna TirronenCool and Nordic: Tango-orkesteri Unto are (from left) bassist Hannu Rantanen, violinist Mauno Järvelä, singer Pirjo Aittamäki, pianist Timo Alakotila, accordionist Johanna Juhola and guitarist Petri Hakala.
For more than a century, Finns have been creating their own idiosyncratic tango music. The supergroup Tango-orkesteri Unto serves up a fluid blend of classic and contemporary, folksy and intellectual. They perform in late February at Nordic Cool 2013 in Washington DC and at Scandinavia House in New York.
Finland’s first tango was performed on February 7, 1913 at the Apollo Theatre on Helsinki’s Esplanade, in a building that now houses the Ministry of Justice. The tango, too, has become an integral Finnish institution.