FinnFest celebrates Finnish-American culture
An annual festival celebrating Finnish-American relations, titled FinnFest, will bring a massive amount of Finnish culture to California's San Diego on 10–14 August.
The programme will introduce Finnish culture and society from Santa Claus and Moomins to different aspects of politics, history, science and language. In addition, the event will have a wide-ranging musical programme taking the listeners from runo singing and kantele playing to the contemporary classical music, pop, rock and dance music.
For example, the festival's folk music programme will feature Finnish duo Polka Chicks, and Finnish-American folk music duo Kaivama. Kantele music will be presented by concerts and kantele lessons. Popular music of Finland will be highlighted by favourite bands Ismo Alanko Teholla and J. Karjalainen & Polkabilly Rebels. In addition, Finnish schlager and dance music will be represented, among others, by two elegant ladies Vieno Kekkonen and Pirkko Mannola, popular singers ever since 1950s.
Contemporary classical music gets also a prominent share of the programme. For example, Finnish clarinettist Mikko Raasakka will play works by composers Jukka Tiensuu, Perttu Haapanen, Kimmo Hakola and Riikka Talvitie in his own concert. In addition, American conductor Craig Randal Johnson and clarinettist Gregory Barrett will perform Aki Yli-Salomäki's Concerto for clarinet in the orchestral concert.
FinnFest has been arranged since 1983, taking place in different locations around the country. The festival's aim is to bring modern Finland together with historic and contemporary America, and create a broad community of Finnish Americans, Finnish citizens living in America, and other Americans.
Merja Hottinen / Fimic
5 August, 2011