The key incredients of the Finnish tango are longing and passion. Tango-orkesteri Untos music is firmly rooted in both. The six virtuosos led by pianist-arranger Timo Alakotila salute the classic Finnish tango repertoire with their freshly nuanced and powerful renditions of works by Unto Mononen and Toivo Kärki, the most prominent composers of the genre. The varied musical backgrounds of Untos musicians - from world music and jazz to theatre music and tango nuevo – imprint their music with a wealth of influences, freedom of playing and depth of interpretation. Untos music breaths and flows with exceptional freedom.
Tango Orchestra Unto, named after the great Unto Mononen, was founded in 1998 at the initiative of the Finnish Performing Music Promotion Centre to promote Finnish tango at EXPO98 in Lisbon. Since then, the band has performed mainly abroad, with a warm reception from the audiences and the press alike. The successes in recent years include sold out concerts in Vienna at the Jeunesse Festival (2009) and FolkBaltica Festival in Germany (2007). In July 2009 the band performed at the City of London Festival at an event dedicated to the Finnish tango.
On their first album, Finnish Tango, released by ARC Music in 2003, Tango-orkesteri Unto interpretes a fine selection of the most loved Finnish tangos arranged by Timo Alakotila.
On this new album the band again explores the evergrees but also introduces original material written to Finnish poetry by such significant Finnish songwriters like Anna-Mari Kähärä and Jussi Tuurna as well as the bands own Timo Alakotila and Johanna Juhola.
Finnish tango is alive and well in the hands of Tango-orkesteri Unto!
The members of Tango-orkesteri Unto are all prominent figures in the Finnish world music and jazz scenes and have played with f.ex. Värttinä, JPP, Troka,Luna Nova,Nordik Tree, How Many Sisters, Duo Johanna Juhola - Milla Viljamaa, Spontaani Vire, UMO Jazz Orchestra, Raoul Björkenheim, Pepa Päivinen, Maria Kalaniemi duo among others.