One of Finland’s premier fiddlers, Arto Järvelä has, over the past three decades, been a member of more than ten folk music groups. He's primarily known as founder, second fiddler, composer and arranger of Kaustinen fiddle legends JPP, in action since 1982. Throughout the JPP history, Arto has demonstrated profound talents as a remarkably skilled player and as a gifted composer and multi-instrumentalist.
His other groups along the years include Niekku, Tallari, Salamakannel, Ampron Prunni, Koinurit, Pinnin Pojat, the Helsinki Mandoliners, Erik Hokkanen & Lumisudet, Nordik Tree, Maria Kalaniemi & Vilda Rosor, Trio Nor and Black Diamond String Band.
Arto Järvelä was born 1964 in Hattula, southern Finland. In his family, fiddling goes behind three generations of famous Kaustinen fiddlers. In 1983 Arto began his studies at Sibelius Academy Folk Music department and graduated in 1994 as Master of Music. During his studies he adapted new instruments like nyckelharpa (keyed fiddle), mandolin, octave mandolin, kantele and has been seen jamming even with jouhikko (ancient finnish bowed lyre), double bass and brushes! In 1980 Arto wrote his first composition, Tango a-mollissa (in a minor). Thereafter he has composed over eighty tunes, most of them appearing on domestic albums, some of them recorded internationally, for example “Alice au pays d'Arto”, which Quebecuoise band LaBottine Souriante recorded in their album X-ieme in 1998. Arto’s playing is featured on dozens of albums. The first of his four solo albums showcases his original compositions, while the second one is dedicated to the music of his fiddling heroes of yesteryear. His third solo album Far In! is an imaginative variety of styles and flavours, all original compositions, with every instrument played by the maestro himself. His latest effort, Arto Järvelä plays fiddle Vol. 2 'Cross-tuned', is an exciting journey to the world of the open tunings.
As one of the Finland’s most talented folk musicians, Arto has been representing Finnish culture in more than thirty-five countries. Concert appearances have taken him as far afield as Cuba, Peru, Australia, Pakistan, Thailand, Egypt, USA and most of Europe.
Lately Arto has been doing a lot of solo gigs playing his fiddle, singöfela, esseharpa (ancient Finnish keyfiddle) and nyckelharpa.