Kaustinen Folk Music Festival concentrates this year on Scandinavia, kantele and Tavastia
Themes for the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival this year are Scandinavia, the kantele and the historical province of Tavastia (Häme) in southern Finland. The festival focuses on Finnish folk music and its various related phenomena, such as folk dance, singer-songwriters, and mind-boggling crossovers. The festival is held on 9 - 15 July.
This year, a record-breaking number of over 300 folk music groups, from amateurs to professionals, are expected to arrive at the festival, including M.A. Numminen & Pedro Hietanen, Hyperborea, Freija, Alamaailman Vasarat, Suo and Tallari to name but a few. Also JPP will be celebrating their 30th anniversary, and Frigg their new release.
The Kaustinen Folk Music Festival Band of the Year 2012 is the Sibelius Academy Folk Big Band. It's a folk music band consisting of 35 musicians, each of whom plays an important role as the composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, soloist and a band member. Their instrument repertoire includes violins, kanteles, accordions, guitars, wind instruments and harmoniums. A wide array of instruments and indisputably strong folk singing skills give the band a distinct and unequalled sound.
Other folk festivals in Finland:
Haapavesi Folk Music Festival, in Haapavesi, 26 June – 1 July
Bluegrass, polska, fado, klezmer and music of many other genres have been blaring during summer nights in Haapavesi. The festival continues to bring out also modern folk music, such as Wimme, Suo and Emilia Lajunen, and arranges a variety of folk music educational courses.
Sommelo Festival, in Kainuu, Finland and in the villages of Viena Karelia, Russia, 28 June – 2 July
The Sommelo concentrates on rune singing and both traditional and modern folk music. This year the festival brings out ballads, the sound of bagpipes and Nordic music. The performers of Sommelo include Finns such as Freija, Suo and Emilia Lajunen, and also Sweden, Estonia, Russia, France and Greenland are represented.
Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival, in Ikaalinen, July 3 – 8
The idyllic centre of Old Town Ikaalinen is filled with musicians and friends of accordion music summer after summer. Both amateurs and world class musicians, such as Maria Kalaniemi and Timo Kotila, will perform at Ikaalinen – providing the festival audience with an astonishing variety of musical styles. The festival carries out also accordion competitions, both national and international.
Mirka Pesonen / Music Finland
25 June, 2012