The Jouhikko Project

Bringing the Jouhikko from Karelia to North America

After nearly being forgotten, the traditional Finnish bowed lyre, the jouhikko, is now enjoying a revival in Finland. In North America the instrument is still mostly unknown, even among communities with deep Finnish roots like Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With funding from the American-Scandinavian Foundation and the Finlandia Foundation, musician Clare Zuraw is studying jouhikko technique and repertoire. Working with instrument maker Alice Margerum, Zuraw teaches and performs to raise awareness of the instrument. Joining forces with musicians Oren Tikkanen and Matthew Durocher, Zuraw and Margerum also perform as the group Jouhikombo.

Upcoming Events

Finnish American Folk School – Jouhikko for Beginners Online 4 weeks – Wednesdays April 6-27th, 2022, 8-9pm EDT

This class is an introduction to playing the jouhikko, a traditional Finnish bowed lyre with horsehair strings. Students will learn how to hold and tune the instrument, use the bow, and play scales and a simple tune. Classes will take place via group video call (Zoom) and students should have access to a device with Zoom, an internet connection that supports video calls, and the ability to record, send, and watch short videos. No experience necessary. Cost: $50

Selected Past Appearances 

Photo credit: Kristin Ojaniemi

Finn Funn Weekend Troy, NH

Finnish American Heritage Society, Canterbury, CT

Juhannus Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, MI & Agate Beach, Toivola, MI

Heikinpäivä Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, MI

Portage Lake District Library, Houghton, MI

Jouhikombo: Matthew Durocher, Alice Margerum, Oren Tikkanen, Clare Zuraw