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[Sámi / Norway]


Main Stage

About artist / band

Gabba, which translates to “Ivory-coated Reindeer” in Sámi, is a band that seamlessly blends traditional joik with influences from Norwegian folk, Americana, and other musical traditions. Their music is a reflection of the Sámi people’s lifestyle, with each song transporting the listener to the vast landscapes of the Arctic region.


The Sámi are indigenous people of Northern Europe. There are Sámis in Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia. They all feel related even if they speak different Sámi languages as they have never considered borders to be anything more than some lines drawn on paper. A joik (also spelled yoik), is a traditional Sámi form of song. According to music researchers, joik is one of the longest living music traditions in Europe. The Sámi world view is based on shamanism and the joik creates an emotional bond between people, animals and nature. The sound of a joik is comparable to the traditional chanting of some Native American cultures. With the Christianization of the Sámi, joiking was condemned as sinful. Today joiking is still alive and is also used as a source of inspiration and an element in contemporary Sámi music.


Gabba are led by the blind joik master John André Eira from the village of Mazé in Guovdageaidnu region, who brings his ancestral legacy and original compositions to band’s music, creating a sound that is both haunting and captivating. The unique and innovative interplay in the band is due to the fact that the musicians live together and play in multiple bands. In 2023, Gabba was awarded the Norwegian Grammy, in the category of “traditional music” cementing their status as one of the leading Sámi bands in the country.


John André Eira – vocal (joik)
Ola Brandsnes Vårtun – keyboards
Christoffer Mietle Furuheim – guitar
Espen Bakke – bass
Idar Eliassen Pedersen – trumpet
Marius Trøan Hansen – drums