Laurell & Sun Dog - the new praised duo

The new duo Laurell & Sun Dog of Dalindèo’s frontman Valtteri Laurell Pöyhönen and drummer Eeti Nieminen (from Mopo) has been charming both critics and listeners with their improvisation-based debut album Mingling with… , which was released on October 27, 2023. For example, the Finnish music portal Desibeli.net gave it full five stars.

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Helsinki-based Dalindèo is known as one of the top-notch acts of Finnish jazz in the 2000’s, a stylistic trailblazer and a live band respecting the traditions but also breaking barriers. Their music is typically cinematic, melodic and suitable for dance floors (especially earlier in their career). It has been described as a cinematic jazz creation reminiscent of ambience in the movies by praised Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki and mixed with a Tarantinoesque vibe of danger and suspense. Eclectism as well as different themes and musical influences varying on every album have played a remarkable role since the very beginning, which has helped them to build a fanbase also outside the more traditional and puristic jazz audience.

Dalindèois a jazz sextet founded in 2003 and led by guitarist, pianist, composer and producer Valtteri Laurell Pöyhönen. The other founding members of the band are percussionist Rasmus Pailos (Asa & Band, Jätkäjätkät, The Slag Brig Project, Astro Can Caravan), trumpetist Jose Mäenpää (Ricky-Tick Big Band, Fly, Josén Pimeä Puoli), flutist and tenor saxophonist Petri “Pope” Puolitaival (Ricky-Tick Big Band, Jukka Eskola Orquesta Bossa, Jo Stance, Leningrad Cowboys, Sleepy Sleepers), bassist Timo Tuppurainen (U-Street All Stars, Lenni-Kalle Taipale) and drummer Jaska Lukkarinen (Ricky-Tick Big Band, Soul Captain Band, Kalevi Louhivuori Quintet). Pekka Lehti (The JP’s, J. Karjalainen & Mustat Lasit, JP’s Organ Trio) took over as the bass player the following year, but otherwise the line-up has stayed the same since.

The orchestra has released five albums so far. The debut Open Scenes was issued in 2006 and the latest effort Follow The Dark Money in 2020. Dalindèo started with a strong focus on dance floor jazz with tropical brasilica elements. Thus their repertoire has extended more into other directions. For example, their third album Kallio draws strong influences from the Finnish pop music of 1960’s as well as tango traditions. It was awarded as the Best album of the year in Funky Awards of 2013 and gained the respected Emma prize (the Finnish equivalent to Grammys) as the Jazz album of the year. Their latest effort is a thematic political and societal statement as well as musically darker and deeper, which has taken their music into more serious and intensive form than ever before.

Especially the most recent albums of Dalindèo have been praised by the critics and earned moderate attention also abroad. The respected British label BBE Music issued their theme albums Kallio (2013) and Slavic Souls (2016) as well as the EP release One More Devil (2017) for the international market gaining them international coverage. Dalindèo has performed in more than 16 countries on venues such as the legendary London Jazz Café as well as on several respected Finnish festivals, such as Flow, Ilosaarirock and Helsinki Festival. They have also been on stage many times on several events organized by Funky Amigos, including the Funky Elephant twice.

Text: Joonas Kervinen / Funky Finland
Main photo: Miikka Pirinen



• Follow The Dark Money (2020) (KHY Suomen Musiikki)
• Slavic Souls (2016) (KHY Suomen Musiikki / BBE Records)
• Kallio (2013) (KHY Suomen Musiikki / BBE Records)
• Soundtrack For The Sound Eye (2009) (Ricky-Tick Records)
• Open Scenes (2006) (Ricky-Tick Records, KHY Suomen Musiikki)


• Dark Money (2020) (KHY Suomen Musiikki)
• One More Devil (2017) (KHY Suomen Musiikki / BBE Records)
• Vintage Voyage EP (2008) (Ricky-Tick Records)

Did you know?

The frontman of the sextet, Valtteri Laurell Pöyhönen, also led the well-reputed 20-piece orchestra Ricky-Tick Big Band, which has been one of the most popular acts of the scene in Finland in the 2010’s. Besides this, he has also worked together for example with UMO Jazz Orchestra, saxophonist Timo Lassy and rapper Paleface. His debut solo album Tigers Are Better Looking was released in early 2023 by We Jazz Records and has received excellent feedback from the music critics.

Valtteri has divided his time between Berlin and Helsinki since 2009. he has also studied at the Conservatoire de Paris, the Codarts and Helsinki’s Pop and Jazz Conservatory during the years.

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