Jari Mäenpää

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Jari Mäenpää
Jari Mäenpää.jpg
Jari Mäenpää at Bloodstock Open Air in 2011.
Background information
Born (1977-12-23) 23 December 1977 (age 39)
Origin Helsinki, Finland
Genres Melodic death metal, folk metal, power metal,[1] Viking metal, melodic black metal
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass
Years active 1997−present
Labels Spinefarm
Low Frequency
Nuclear Blast
Associated acts Wintersun, Cadacross, Ensiferum, Immemorial, ArthemesiA
Website www.wintersun.fi

Jari Mäenpää (born 23 December 1977, in Finland) is a Finnish guitarist, keyboardist, bassist, songwriter and vocalist. He is the founder of the band Wintersun in which he performs vocals, plays guitar and keyboards.[citation needed] He also played bass on Wintersun's first album before hiring a full-time line-up. Before forming Wintersun, Mäenpää was best known for his time in the folk metal band Ensiferum, which he joined in 1996 after leaving his prior band named Immemorial.[2] Wintersun was initially planned as a parallel project alongside Ensiferum, but in January, 2004 he was forced to leave Ensiferum due to clashes between their touring schedule and the studio recording time he had booked for Wintersun.

In 1997, Mäenpää had to put his musical career on hold to take part in Finland's compulsory military service. In an interview, Mäenpää admitted he disliked the time he spent in the military and suspects it's where he acquired tuberculosis.[3]

Jari was also a member of the band Arthemesia, and participated in Kimmo Miettinen's sideproject Lost Alone.

Writing style[edit]

Jari's style of guitar playing utilizes tremolo-picked melodies and phrases and the heavy use of extremely fast sweep-picking solos and breaks as heard on most of the songs. The speed of Wintersun's music is due in part to the use of blast beats and quick, spacey keyboard lines. This gives the guitar a charging, power metal feel for the most part.[4]

Notable instruments[edit]

  • Tokai Telecaster
  • Ibanez RGD(25½ scale)Custom
  • Ibanez RGD(26½ scale)Prototype
  • Ibanez JEM
  • Ibanez PGM301
  • Jackson DR3 with EMG
  • Daemoness 'Forest' Cimmerian VI
  • Mesa Boogie Mark V
  • Mesa Boogie Triaxis Pre Amplifiers
  • Peavey 5150
  • Fractal Audio Axe-FX II


Band Year of release Title Label
Immemorial No commercial release Ensiferum - Immemorial Split Demo
Ensiferum 1997 Demo 1
Ensiferum 1999 Demo 2
Ensiferum 1999 Hero in a Dream
ArthemesiA 2001 Devs - Iratvs Native North
Ensiferum 2001 Ensiferum Spinefarm
Cadacross 2002 Corona Borealis Low Frequency
Ensiferum 2004 Iron Spinefarm
Wintersun 2004 Wintersun Nuclear Blast
Ensiferum 2005 1997-1999 (compilation)
Wintersun 2012 Time I Nuclear Blast
Wintersun 2017 The Forest Seasons Nuclear Blast


External links[edit]

New title Vocalist for Ensiferum
Guitarist for Ensiferum
Succeeded by
Petri Lindroos
Keyboardist for ArthemesiA
Succeeded by
Magistra Nocte
Guitarist for ArthemesiA
Succeeded by
S.M. NekroC
Bassist for Wintersun
Succeeded by
Jukka Koskinen
Guitarist for Wintersun
since 2004
Succeeded by
Teemu Mäntysaari