Press release 8 March 2016
Kaustinen celebrates its 49th festival summer in 2016. The versatile programme consists, as always, of a myriad of amateur folk musicians, best professional folk musicians in the country, highly interesting international world music names and singer-songwriters from the top of the radio waves.
This year’s programme theme is wind music. Federspel from Austria has recently conquered world music stages all around Europe, now they’re heading to Kaustinen, armed with an unconventional and accomplished take on Austrian wind music tradition. The Finnish Wind on Wind and the Swedish Zephyr present archaic Scandinavian wind music in a joint concert, whereas Finnish modern folk music band Päre introduces us to the rare Finnish bagpipe tradition. The regional theme of the festival is the region of Kainuu in eastern Finland. Festival Friday’s concert will parade the rich musical tradition of the region.
Fascinating international names of folk music include Massivet specialising party folk, Karen Tweed and Timo Alakotila’s duo May Monday, Canadian-British Troy MacGillivray & Tim Edey, Danish world music band Basco, Nepalese trio Kanta dAb dAb, Kilema specialising in music from Madagascar, Finnish-American Aallotar, key names of Swedish and Finnish folk music in the Ale Carr & Esko Järvelä duo, and Danish violin and accordion wizards Rune Barslund and Andreas Tophøj.
The band of the year at Kaustinen is the highly accomplished cult band Piirpauke. Finnish folk music’s latest developments are also represented by Vilma Timonen Quartet who have recently gathered review praise for their latest album, duo Milla Viljamaa and Johanna Juhola with their genre-agnostic tango music and Karuna who work with acoustic sounds and versatile musical influences. On the opening day of the festival, the leading Finnish gypsy-swing band Hot Club de Finland featuring Dutch musician Paulus Schäfer takes the floor. On Saturday, Finnish Balkan music band Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha star in the final main concert. Rising stars of folk music’s new era include this year’s showcase bands Hermanni Turkki, troubadour Onni Rajaniemi and Swedish Lekarerätten.
Folk musicians are the heart of Kaustinen, and the dozens of stages around the festival area offer a wonderful variety of performers from morning to night. From the music of Kauko Käyhkö, to a traditional Kaustinen-style soiree and dance music from wind instrument bands, the 20 + stages around the area are passageways to delightful experiences and windows to the past and the future. The Lilla Spelmansstämman collective band presents traditional Swedish music all along the week and a special harmonica concert gathers together harmonica players from all over Finland.
The programme is also greatly informed by this year’s national Folk Dance Jubilee Year 2016. The festival features a broad range of folk dance from Finnish and international dance and music groups to dance theatre. The jubilee year celebrations include a large number of concerts combining folk dance tradition from east to west. At the centre of the folk dance jubilee theme are of course the top groups of Finnish folk dance, such as Polokkarit from Oulu who were recently selected folk dance group of the year. Dance Theatre Minimi targets their joy of dance to children and families with two dance pieces, and Tsuumi Dance Company’s Kake – tiellä tähtiin (Kake – On the way to stardom) speaks directly to the hearts of everyone fascinated by the 1980s in one way or another. The traditional ‘purppuri’ dance from Kaustinen has a strong representation in the programme, for instance in the Hovitanssista hoppatahtiin piece by the Finnish University of Arts. This magnanimous concert draws out the developmental stages of folk dance whereas the 70th anniversary concert of the legendary Kaustisen Purppuripelimannit paints a picture of the tradition of music, dance and celebration in the Kaustinen region, performed by a host of Kaustinen-born musicians.
Children’s music is present at the festival throughout the week, in the Children’s Tent and around the entire festival area. In addition to the traditional Children’s Matinee concerts, on Tuesday Soili Perkiö and Eija Ahvo will star in the Muumiperheen lauluretki (Singing with the Moomin Family) concert on the Festival Arena. Children’s orchestra Loiskis delves into the lives of Ella & Friends in a story concert based on the best-selling books by Timo Parvela, and the illustrious children’s music band Orffit – characteristically unafraid of challenges small or large – performs all of their music from their 10 albums during the festival week!
The dancing audience is in for a treat, especially on Friday when Yona and Kyösti Mäkimattila take the floor with their joint tango project, professional folk music band Tallari joins forces with the national favorite Jesse Kaikuranta, and Matti Esko, the celebrated interpreter of Finnish national character in music performs.
Singer-songwriters present themselves already on the opening day at the Tekosyy Club, guest starring Heidi Maria Paalanen, Timo Alakotila and Jesse Kaikuranta. The club concert is hosted by Heikki Salo. On Tuesday, Haaga Folk Machine meets Jarkko Martikainen on stage, and Laura Moisio and her band performs at Kaustinen for the very first time. On Wednesday, Olavi Uusivirta performs on the Café Mondo stage and Pave Maijanen stars in the Kaustinen Special concert on Thursday. On Saturday, Anssi Kela and his band take the afternoon to a whole other level.
Anni Järvelä, programme producer
anni.jarvela(a)kaustinen.net, tel. +358 40 3582 446