A singer, songwriter, guitarist and kantele player, 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, swing and cabaret songs from Finland, France, Germany,
Cabo Verde, Brazil, Mexico and the U.S.
She is a Minnesota native whose grandparents all emigrated from Finland. This led her to a serious exploration of Finnish music, including studies at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Jarvi plays the 5, 8, 10, 15 and 36- string kantele (Finnish folk harp). Her recordings have led to radio play and performances at festivals in the U.S. and in Finland, where she is known in Finland as Minnesotan Satakieli--The Minnesota Nightingale.
She was named the Finlandia Foundation Performer of the Year for 2000
and was awarded a McKnight MacPhail performing fellowship for 1999-2000.
An award-winning poet under the name Diane Jarvenpa, her book of poetry Divining The Landscape was published by New Rivers Press. She has been the recipient of grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, including a Fellowship grant to work on a second book of poetry.
Diane Jarvi's recordings Foreign Winds and Revontuli are currently being heard on radio throughout Finland, in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia as well as radio stations around the U.S.
Her most recent recording Flying Into Blue combines the artistry of her songwriting with her love of world music and poetry. She sings songs in Karelian, Sami, Gaelic and Spanish as well as poetry by Keats, Rossetti, Dickinson and Poe. These are blended with some of her original songs, and features accompaniment by many award-winning instumentalists.
"A singular vocalist [whose] recording of Finnish folk songs, Revontuli, is one of this year's most superb local recordings." --Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Beyond being adept in both guitar and kantele (a Finnish folk harp); a collector of songs from regions as diverse as Ireland's County Donegal, Russian Karelia, Ingria and Mexico; and a fine songwriter in her own right, she is blessed with a voice that can capture all the sweet tones of a classically trained vocalist while maintaining the relaxed feel of a great country or folksinger."
-- Twin Cities Revue
"Vocalist Diane Jarvi who sings haunting selections in both French and Finnish, recalls Edith Piaf, the beloved French chanteuse. Great Stuff."
"The star of the show is Jarvi's marvelously versatile voice, alternately soothing and scintillating, but always soulful."
-- Saint Paul Pioneer Press
"I think that Diane Jarvi is making a place for herself as an interpreter of songs that range so widely that a category--if one is necessary--does not currently exist. Perhaps someday her style will be described as "cafe art song," or as "Finnish-American international people's singer," or as "indigenous-Minnesota-worldwide-tribal." I can only say that at this point in her career, I am glad that she puts her beautiful powers at the service of Finnish music."
--Finnish American Reporter