About Diane Jarvi

A singer, songwriter, guitarist and kantele player (Finnish folk harp), Diane Jarvi is a versatile performer of folk and world music. In addition to her own compositions, Jarvi is known for her intimate and authentic interpretations of tangos, waltzes, gypsy music, ballads, jazz standards and cabaret songs from around the world.

Diane Jarvi's recordings Foreign Winds, Revontuli, Flying Into Blue,  Paper Heart, Wild Gardens and Bittersweet are heard on radio throughout Europe, Australia, Canada as well as around the U.S. She has been the subject of two film documentaries, Muistot and Kaipuu, by the award-winning Finnish filmmaker Erkki Määtänen. She is known in Finland as Minnesotan Satakieli — The Minnesota Nightingale.

She has studied kantele and Finnish folk music at the Sibelius Academy. And she has been the recipient of artistic grants and awards including a McKnight MacPhail performing fellowship and awarded Finlandia Foundation Performer of the Year.

In 2010 she was the recipient of a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage fund from the Minnesota State Arts Board to teach kantele in the town of Cokato, MN. She has also received a writing fellowship grant and an artist initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She has performed all across Finland, in France with the great Occitan musician Patric, in concert for Hawaii Public Radio, at colleges and Universities in the United States and Canada.

Jarvi's newest CD bittersweet, an artvesting project through the New Bohemian Arts Cooperative,  gathers together music from her Finnish heritage; waltzes, tangos, songs from the Kalevala and Finnish-America as well as music of  the kantele—the Finnish folk harp.

An award-winning poet under the name Diane Jarvenpa, Jarvi has five books of poetry. Her new book, The Way She Told Her Story, from New Rivers Press, tells stories of the immigrant experience.

All of her recordings blend the artistry of her songwriting with her love of world music and poetry.


“Diane Jarvi's music can best be described as poetic cross-cultural jazzy bilingual world folk – OK, her music is hard to describe. But it's certainly not hard to like.” -Minneapolis Star Tribune

Wild Gardens...one of the best Minnesota recordings of 2007… delivering poetic jazzy world folk.”  -Minneapolis Star Tribune

“A voice that moves bewitchingly from dark to light.” -Ilta-Sanomat, Helsinki

“The raw, yet understated power of Jarvi’s voice is sweet, yet sensuous.” -Susan Buddig, worldmusiccentral.org