Tiia Karttunen ( b.1996) is a young accordionist, pianist and composer who currently studies jazz and contemporary music at the Sibelius-Academy with Veli Kujala and also in the Helsinki Pop Jazz Conservatory. She started playing piano at age 4 and then began to study classical accordion at age 5 in the Joensuu Conservatory. Because of her talent, she was noticed very early and at age 10 was already a soloist of one of the military bands of the Finnish Defence Forces. Tiia won her first national competition at age 8 and since then has won every competition in which she has participated in Finland including the North Carelian Young Soloist competition as the very first accordionist in a final concert with Joensuu Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Arturo Alvarado, and Finnish Folk music Championships at Sata Häme Soi Festival in 2013. Also, the Finnish Cultural Foundation has honored Tiia by giving her a large grant in 2016. Despite Tiia’s classical education, she feels at home in most music genres, including folk, jazz, tango and world music in general, and makes her own music with mixing those genres to create a fresh and unique sound by adding her own natural improvisation. She has performed solo and with various ensembles around Finland, Russia, Estonia, Netherlands, Portugal, Austria and many other countries. She will continue her studies in Conservatorium van Amsterdam in the fall of 2017. Tiia is excited to come to the USA for the first time.