Press release 18 March 2015

The programme for the 48th Kaustinen Folk Music Festival has been released. Dozens of high-profile artists bookings ensure that the festival programme will once more offer unparalleled quality and variety with thousands of performances over the entire festival week from July 6th to 12th, on no less than 24 stages.

The theme for the 2015 festival is folk song, and the festival programme includes tons of it. Heikki Salo hosts the Excuse Club (Tekosyy-klubi), starring well-known singer-songwriters Pentti Rasinkangas, Matti Johannes Koivu and Topi Saha and the acclaimed Finnish novelist Juha Itkonen. Folk song project Little folk song (Pieni Kansanlaulu) brings together Finnish leading hip-hop artist Paleface, and singer-songwriters Johanna Försti, Aili Järvelä and Topi Saha. Paleface also performs as a soloist with Näppärit at this year’s Children’s matinee II concert. The many flavors of folk song are also represented by artists such as Outi Pulkkinen, the winner of last year’s Konsta Jylhä Competition, Emma-nominated Piia Viitanen, Suomi Award winner Hilja Grönfors with her band and female choir Philomela. The Finnish sleigh song singer Erkki Rankaviita’s work is celebrated in a tribute concert, Suden Aika ensemble showcases the tradition of poem singing from eastern Finland and the annual Konsta Jylhä Competition has a folk song theme.

This summer’s festival also includes some highly prominent names, such as Lauri Tähkä, who’s known for adventuring somewhere between folk poetry and rock music, Pohjonen Alanko, a musical project by the legendary Kimmo Pohjonen and Ismo Alanko, Varjokuva, a surefire nostalgic dance music band, and Katri-Helena, the queen of Finnish ever-green pop music. To celebrate the great Finnish singer Tapio Rautavaara and 100th anniversary of his birth, Tallari & Anssi Känsälä have released an album with Rautavaara’s music.

Naturally, the festival week is practically teeming with top folk music names. Juurakko has an irresistible way of combining blues with folk music, Tuomas Logrén & Savuava Kirnu charmed everyone at the president’s Independence Day reception, Antti Paalanen, the unearthly accordionist, the jouhikko-playing Pekko Käppi & his band K.H.H.L, and the trash-folk ensemble Esko Järvelä Epic Male Band ensure that there’s no shortage of modern folk music. Arto Järvelä, ambassador of Finnish fiddle mastery, celebrates his 50th artist anniversary with friends, Leikarit revel their 40th anniversary, whereas Haka reaches the 10thanniversary milestone. Freija serves a touching, bittersweet menu of folk songs, Shava gives a beat to dancing feet and Okra Playground tries their wings in electric-acoustic fusion. Domestic and international superpowers come together in an unprecedented spectacle when the fiddling flagship JPP from Kaustinen joins forces with Väsen from Sweden.

There’s no lack of international color either at the festival: some examples include mandolin ensemble MANdolinMAN (BE), top fiddler Jaron Freeman-Fox and The Opposite of Everything (CA), Tyvan throat-singing expert Huun-Huur-Tu (RU), fierce fusion band Tribali (ML), Finnish-Danish duo Mirja Klippel & Alex Jønsson (FI/DK), Trío Bordelestino (CL) and Baltic Crossing (FI/DK/UK). Kongero (SE) provides Swedish song mastery. Folklore groups from China, Switzerland, Vietnam and Russia will also perform at the festival.

Rimpparemmi Dance Theatre has been granted the 2015 Maineteko Award in the field of dance and circus for their Mä ja Niko (Niko and Me) production, which they will perform at Kaustinen, continuing the string of quality dance theatre pieces aimed for chidren and families. Janne ja Aino – Balladi erään säveltäjän elämästä (Janne and Aino – A Ballad of the Life of a Composer) is a dance piece based on the life of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, created by Ville Ojanen, Heidi Maria Paalanen, Petri Kauppinen and Milla Korja. As always, there’s an abundance of Finnish folk dance, as more than thirty dance groups from all over Finland gather to display their modern and traditional choreographies. The regional theme this year is Uusimaa region in the south of Finland, and Uusimaa has a strong presence in the dance programme as well. Dance group Ottoset, based in Kaustinen, also celebrates their 30th anniversary this year.

Traditional folk music is the essence of the festival, and once more thousands of folk musicians, dancers and singers gather at Kaustinen to put into practice this year’s national theme Everyone Plays, initiated by the Central Committee of Folk Music and Dance. Band of the Year Orivesi All Stars, for instance, is in the front line to show everyone how it’s done. The theme region Uusimaa is represented in their own theme concert. Lilla Spelmanstämman is a theme focused around the Finnish-Swedish traditional folk music. Viljami Niittykoski, a Kaustinen-born composer and musician, was born 120 years ago, and his work is celebrated in a concert brimming with local talent and skill. Local talent is also displayed through the annual cavalcade play, the Meirän Kreeta (Our Kreeta) piece narrating the story of legendary folk musician Kreeta Haapasalo, and also in the great Kaustisen orkesteri’s concert, lead by Janne Nisonen.

The festival offers a wide range of interesting programme for children and families too, lead by the Tradi Birds at the Children’s tent, but also around the whole festival park. On Tuesday, two traditional Children’s matinee shows fill the main arena, The New Rope String Band from the UK gives a whole new definition to hilarity, Tallari & Tuomo Rannankari sing songs of good and bad manners, multiple award winning Freija performs, Hyvä Trio administers some musical first aid, Pentti Rasinkangas deals out great music for the whole family and television viewers may recognize the music of Mimmit. A huge amount of programme and activities tailored for children once again form the Children’s Kaustinen programme, including singing, playing instruments, pony-riding, games, dances, crafts, workshops, short musical lessons for small children, and baby circus.

The Showcase series this year includes guitar artist J-P Piirainen, modern folk music ensemble Kopla who celebrate their 10th anniversary together, and Jaerv from Sweden who draw influence from pop and jazz.

The increased number of stages allows folk music and musicians of all kinds to play all around the festival area from early morning to late night. There’s always plenty of room for the traditional and the modern. More than 3000 musicians, dancers and singers are again expected to come to Kaustinen, and there’s no scarcity of opportunities for audience of all ages and skill levels to get involved either: there are jam sessions, dances and workshops for dance, instrument playing and singing every day of the festival week.


Extracts from the daily programme below.


For more information, please contact:
Programme producer Anne-Mari Hakamäki
anne-mari.hakamaki(a), +358 40 3582 446

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MONDAY 6th July Kaustislainen alotus, The Grand Opening Concert, Kaustisen orkesteri lead by Janne Nisonen, Trío Bordelestino (CL), Outi Pulkkinen, Jussi Asu, T for Three, Konsta Jylhä Competition preliminary round, Jylhän Pelimannit, Tekosyyklubi: Heikki Salo, Pentti Rasinkangas, Matti Johannes Koivu, Juha Itkonen ja Topi Saha, Mirja Klippel & Alex Jønsson (FI/DK), Väsen (SE), Kuusto, Folklore group from Vietnam (VN).

TUESDAY 7th July Children’s Matinee I: Ottoset, Children’s Matinee II: Näppärit, ISOn tanhuujat, The New Rope String Band (UK), Köyhäjoen pelimannit, Juha Itkonen, Matti Johannes Koivu, Väsen (SE) & JPP in concert together, Kopla, Outi Pulkkinen, Duo Timo Rautiainen & Ville Ojanen, Paleface, Anna Morottaja, Freija, Konsta Jylhä Competition final, Meirän Kreeta (1st performance), Lempäälän Helkanuoret.

WEDNESDAY 8th July Little Folk Song: Paleface, Johanna Försti, Topi Saha, Timo Rautiainen ja Aili Järvelä, Rimpparemmi Dance Theatre: Mä ja Niko, Floating Sofa Quartet (FI/SE/DK), Windalan pelimannit, MANdolinMan (BE), Suden aika, Maarit Nikula Tribute concert, Nikulan pelimannit, Hääkuoro, Vanhanpiian Pojat, Lilla Spelmanstämman, Rentukat, Simunan sakki, Jannen ja Ainon balladi, J-P Piirainen – Nordic Guitar Music, Antti Paalanen, Timo Alakotila ja Senni Valtonen, Singing workshop by Pia Rask.

THURSDAY 9th July Kaustinen Cavalcade play (1st performance), Band of the Year Orivesi All Stars, Master Folkmusicians in concert, Tallari featuring Johanna Försti, Ottoset, Huun-Huur-Tu (RU), Eilan ja Eskon kupletit, Lauri Tähkä, Emilia Lajunen & Kare Eskola, Tallari & Tuomo Rannankari, Leikarit, Philomela, Pekko Käppi & K.H.H.L., Night Quadrille, Äijäkanteleet, Esko Järvelä Epic Male Band, Kaustisen mieslaulajat, Vetelin mieskuoro, JPP, Tuomas Logrén & Savuava Kirnu, Ajaton lauluklubi.

FRIDAY 10th July. Jaron Freeman-Fox and The Opposite of Every thing (CA), Arto Järvelä, Kärri, Katrilli, Varjokuva, Erkki Rankaviita Tribute Concert, Iso Ilo, Haka, Hilja Grönfors Trio, Amazing Uusimaa regional theme concert, Kongero (SE), Pentti Rasinkangas, Meirän Kreeta (2nd performance), Maija Kauhanen, Okra Playground, Pohjonen Alanko, Songs from the Kaustinen Songbook, Wasel and the Weasels, Varjokatrilli.

SATURDAY 11th July Jaerv (SE), Viljami Niittykoski 120th anniversary concert, Baltic Crossing (FI/DK/UK), Mimmit, Airin Spelarit, Shava, Katri Helena, Final Chaos at Café Mondo, Luunappi, Kaustinen Cavalcade play (2nd performance), Duo Hurme & Amanuenssi, Tribali (MT), Jouheva, Alice Aloof, Juurakko, Central Ostrobothnian parade: Viskurit, Ostrobothnian Folk Orchestra, Kaustisen pelimannit and Purpuridansarna.

SUNDAY 12th July Breakfast music at the Festival Restaurant, Sunday service at the Kaustinen Church, Kaustinen-style church music at the Kreetan puisto park next to the church.

IN ADDITION: Master Folk Musicians give concerts every day (Mon-Sat), Kaustinen in Memories and Kaustinen Hour: folk music, stories and tales from Kaustinen (Tue-Sat), Kaustinen Comes Visiting: Music all around the village, at shops, service stations and old-age homes (Tue-Sat).