Artists

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TRIO Soon/Piho/Lepasson

Estonia
at - Estonian Traditional Music Centre, Tasuja pst.6

at - Black Box
TRIO Soon/Piho/Lepasson are a group of three kannel players (Katrin Soon, Ann Maria Piho and Kadri Lepasson), dedicated to historical and contemporary playing techniques of this ancient Estonian folk instrument. Gentle beat, game of overtones and repetitive melodic patterns create a light and bright soundscape, that offers calmness in the everyday rush.

Trio don’t define themselves strictly as a traditional music group, but traditional music is clearly at the very heart of their creation. The interpretation of archival materials and their own compositions shaped by different impulses are both equally important in the trio’s repertoire.

“Confidently fragile,”
Kristiina Ehin


“Tasteful games of rhythm engulf, almost paralyze you and keep the mind pleasantly awake. Kannel is like a magic instrument, something greater lies in this vibration of strings, full of overtones. It’s really nice to use the word “powerful” when talking about kannel, an instrument often seen as a symbol of mild and quiet music. Decibels play no role whatsoever in music when the idea itself carries.”
Leanne Barbo, Muusika

Katrin Soon
Ann Maria Piho
Kadri Lepasson

triosoonpiholepasson.ee
www.facebook.com/triosoonpiholepasson
https://soundcloud.com/trio-soon-piho-lepasson



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Ando and friends

Various countries
at - Telia Kaevumäe Stage
Every year, old and new friends meet, new acquaintances are made and music experiences are shared at Viljandi Folk Music Festival. Everyone will find or discover their own favourites at the festival who you’d like to hear again.
It’s a tradition that the “Ando and Friends” concert on the last evening of the festival gives everyone a chance, once more, to meet their new favourites and enjoy the songs and tunes of their old friends. 

The line-up of the concert will be revealed at Kaevumäe on Sunday night.
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Angus

Estonia
at - Tent

What could be a better fit for a summer evening that a jolly dance party with reggae and ska rhythms? Young musicians from Southern Estonia bring warm southern winds with them and sing their jolly songs in their mother tongue.

Using the reggae and ska style which started in Jamaica, the musicians promise that they’ll provide a sunny, bright and invigoratingly energetic experience. They’re definitely not playing music just for themselves, they’re creating an intoxicating mood amongst the audiences. Their fiery Afro-American rhythms and humanely warm feelings which are expressed both verbally and musically won’t leave anyone cold. Take off your shoes of prejudice and enjoy dancing under the sky with an open heart!


Anton Ventsel
- vocals, guitar
Elari Ennok - vocals, guitar
Mati Tubli - vocals, bass guitar
Rauno Vaher - drums
Tõnis Kirsipu - percussion
Lauri Kadalipp - vocals, saxophone
Johannes Kiik - vocals, trombone



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Berecz András

Hungary
at - Telia Kaevumäe Stage
at - Telia Kaevumäe Stage
Folk singer and story-teller, translator and folklore researcher András Berecz is a unique phenomenon and a specialty in himself. His singular style is that of an authentic and powerful master of the archaic Hungarian traditional singing practice. His songs, tales, studies, translations are widely known and loved in Hungary, in former Hungarian areas, and in the world over. His publications, CDs, books have reached all corners of the world. He is a „living legend” of the Dance-house movement rallying and transmitting traditional dances, music and songs. This time he performs with his son István and their excellent musician friends. The band plays traditional Hungarian music. The members are outstanding musicians, some of the best in the new generation of the Dance-house movement.

Márton Kovács - violin
Szabolcs Molnár - violin
Endre Papp - viola
Viktor Pandák - double-bass, ütőgardon

András Berecz is coming to the festival in cooperation with the Storytelling School of Estonian Folk Culture Centre and Piret Päär.


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Black Bread Gone Mad

Estonia
at - Tent
Black Bread Gone Mad is a prog-rebel folk band from Estonia with a cool vintage touch. They play their own compositions, which are greatly influenced by estonian traditional music, world music and by the 70's rock.
Their wild and energetic live performances remind you that music can be unbounded and absolutely unlimited. The band members are fans of different music styles, such as the 70's rock, afro rhythms, estonian folk, Middle Eastern music. While creating new tunes BBGM wants to add freshness and exciting sound to the traditional music scene with the sole goal that music should inspire and wire the band members up.

Merike Paberits - flute/vocals
Lee Taul - violin/vocals
Peeter Priks - guitar/vocals
Mati Tubli - bass/vocals
Martin Aulis - drums and percussion

www.blackbreadgonemad.com
www.facebook.com/blackbreadgonemad/
www.instagram.com/blackbreadgonemad
www.soundcloud.com/blackbreadgonemad
www.youtube.com/channel/UC2JwuZFVa_CloxgFjd7HGpQ




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Cätlin Mägi & Jaan Pehk

Estonia
at - Kultrahoov
Cätlin’s traditional tunes and Jaan’s musical and verbal dressing blend into a novel folk compote, seasoned with sweet fairy tales and warm and spicy folly. Cätlin Mägi and Jaan Pehk have been playing together in different groups for over 20 years. At Viljandi Folk Music Festival, they’ve performed previously in a group called RO:TORO.

Cätlin Mägi - Jew’s harps, bagpipe, vocals
Jaan Pehk - guitar, vocals



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Choor

China
at - Kirsimäe Stage
at - Telia Kaevumäe Stage
Choor is an ethnic Mongolian ensemble based in
Beijing, China with members who grew up in the grassland regions of Inner Mongolia. Choor is a very old word in Mongolian, meaning polyphonic, harmonic, and overlapping.

The performers were each born into herding families and at a young age, began their study of the Mongolian Morin Kuur (horse-head fiddle) and other instruments from their parents and other folk artists. In their high school years they entered professional music schools where they received
systematic, academic training on their instruments and were able to bring their artistry to a new level. They represent a fresh generation of young Mongolian performers and combine adept musicianship with a profound musical sensibility bestowed upon them through many years of living
on the expansive grassland. 

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Drukmo Gyal Dakini

Tibet
at - Estonian Traditional Music Centre, Tasuja pst.6

at - Estonian Traditional Music Centre, Tasuja pst.6

Tibetan Mantra healing is the practice of using sound as a healing medium - the primordial sounds of nature, as well as divine words from the Sanskrit and Tibetan languages. It is a powerful method of bringing balance to various diseases, restoring health, and protecting against future disease for oneself and others.

Drukmo Gyal (འབྲུག་མོ་རྒྱལ ), a Tibetan singer/Tibetan Medicine therapist born in  Northeastern Tibet, with support from her local Tibetan Yogic community and family, she practiced Tibetan healing mantras with traditional melodies and travelled around the world to share her culture and philosophy through singing since 2015, she has sung more than 100 concerts in over 30 countries until now.

Gonpo WangGyal(དགོན་པོ་དབང་རྒྱལ།), a Tibetan folk musician from northeastern Tibet, a master of many kinds of Tibetan instruments, who involved in recording projects of famous Folk singers in China and Mongolia, not only did he work on music arrangements for large-scale musicals, he also performed in numerous music festivals and live videos on Chinese TV channels like CCTV, Mongolia TV, etc...

Drukmo Gyal (འབྲུག་མོ་རྒྱལ )will share healing mantras and Tibetan Folk songs with traditional Tibetan instrument played by Gonpo WangGyal(དགོན་པོ་དབང་རྒྱལ།).

More articles about Drukmo Gyal:
www.drukmogyal.com



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Duo Ruut

Estonia
at - Jaani Church
Duo Ruut is born from a longtime friendship, countless laughs shared and hours spent together. The four walls of Ruut (The Square) are held up by Katariina Kivi and Ann-Lisett Rebane who both study in Tallinn, in the Old Town Educational College. One day, they found themselves playing together on one single kannel, although neither of them was really a kannel player. It turned out to be a really interesting and innovative way of playing. Apparently kannel can be simultaneously used as a melodic, harmonic and percussion instrument, and can thereby create very different soundscapes. Duo’s repertoire consists of self-made unique folk music arrangements.

Ann-Lisett Rebane
Katariina Kivi

https://www.facebook.com/duoruut/

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Eeva Talsi, Karoliina Kreintaal, Kristiina Ehin

Estonia
at - Estonian Traditional Music Centre, Tasuja pst.6

Kinship with some people is something distant and theoretical. Others share more than a family name or a long gone great-grandparent, they are connected by stories and songs, jokes, teachings and sayings - in other words, by tradition, in its purest form. It’s this kind of treasury of old families from Lääne County (West Estonia) that connects three well-known people who are also closely connected to traditional music: poet and musician Kristiina Ehin, singer and fiddler Eeva Talsi and fiddler and singer Karoliina Kreintaal. Kristiina is related to both Eeva and Karoliina through the female line and remembers meeting them at family reunions and celebrations of childhood. Eeva and Karoliina are not directly related, but their family trees, the lines of Lindal and Peetris, have meandered alongside each other for centuries, touching and intertwining at times.

Which stories and songs are good for watering the roots that are implanted in the mythical stories of the Great Northern War, have been transmitted orally and have lasted through different regimes and wars, deportations and awakenings, which extend all the way to us and will hopefully overlive us? Three women are trying to find an answer to this question with the help of folklore archives and by collecting tradition. What is certain is that you need to water the roots from time to time, so that the buds could bloom.

Kristiina Ehin - storytelling, vocals
Eeva Talsi - vocals, fiddle, bowed lyre
Karoliina Kreintaal - vocals, fiddle, bowed lyre
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Ethno Estonia

Various countries
at - Kirsimäe Stage
Estonian ETHNO 2019 is an international music group which consists of 80 musicians from 16 different countries from around the world. Youngsters from Brazil, Cameroon, India, French, Alzeria, Ghana, Portugal and  Estonia bring various cultures together. The members are different every summer which means that the performances are always new and unique. Their repertoire is similarly colourful, consisting of traditional tunes and songs from different countries which are learnt during the 2-week music camp. The joy of life, bubbling energy and the delight in playing music meet at every Estonian ETHNO concert and give a powerful energy boost to every member of the audience!
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Indrek Koff ja Katariin Raska

Estonia
at - Black Box

Everything has to be given back


If you have received - share.
If you’ve nicked - give back.
Everything is on loan anyway.

Katariin and Indrek have nicked stories and tunes from different nations and would like to share them now: as we know, a trouble shared is a trouble halved. We’ve learned to sharpen and bite our tongue and now there are many things itching on the tip of our tongue. We want to tinkle, tinker and twiddle, whistle, blow and blare, hum, babble and grumble, jingle and jangle. We will share stories, songs and poems from at least ten different peoples and accompany them on at least ten different instruments.
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Juhan Uppin

Estonia
at - Estonian Traditional Music Centre, Tasuja pst.6

Rohkem lõõtspillimängijana tuntud Vabariigi Pillimees Juhan Uppin esitleb festivalikontserdil oma uut sooloalbumit, millel kõlab üks eripärasemaid Eesti rahvapille päkarauakannel. Albumiga teeb Uppin kummarduse ühele silmapaistvaimale päkarauakandlemeistrile ja -mängijale Aksel Tähnasele (1911–1997), kelle muusika on olnud Uppinile selle pilli õppimisel suurimaks inspiratsiooniallikaks. Uppin on ilmselt esimene nüüdisaegne mängija, kel on õnnestunud Tähnase kandle mängutehnikast ja tema omanäolisest stiilist päriselt aru saada, seda jäljendada ja edasi arendada.
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King Ayisoba

Ghana
at - Kirsimäe Stage
at - Kirsimäe Stage
“King” is no exaggerated title in the name of this remarkable Ghanaian artist. King Ayisoba is a real superstar in his home country and known all over the world as the King of kologo (a lute instrument from West Africa, made of calabash and a goatskin). His hypnotic and bouncing wild melodies, a trademark raspy vocals and straightforward and persuasive  songs have enchanted audiences across the world. 

King Ayisoba has been called “a musical preacher” because in his tunes he often gives advice and talks about good and bad. He himself has said, that his music is the medium to talk to his people, to advise and encourage them with the ancestors’ wisdom that never grows old. King Ayisoba grew up in a small village and as a boy he always had his kologo with him whenever he took the family sheep and cattle out to graze. He played at markets, local bars and funerals until he was old enough to leave the region and try his songs on the people in big cities. He has won many notable music awards and participated in numerous collaborations with different artists from around the world.

King Ayisoba - Kologo player, lead singer
Abaadongo Adontanga – dancer, backing vocals and dorgo
Ayuune Sulley – Sinyaka, backing vocals, kologo player
Gemeka Akligilalatanda – guluku drums, dundun drums
Ayamga Francis – Djembe and Bemne drums

https://kingayisoba.net


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Lena Jonsson Trio

Sweden
at - Kultrahoov
at - Telia Kaevumäe Stage

Lena Jonsson’s ability to balance a deep knowledge of traditional Swedish folk music with innovative artistic sensibilities, sparkling joy of life and a charisma of a rock-star have made her one Sweden’s most visionary musicians. She has created a unique style inspired by traditional Swedish music as well as rock, pop and the american old-time and bluegrass traditions. This world-class musician is coming to Viljandi with her amazing trio that was nominated for a Swedish Grammy this year for best Folk album.

Lena Jonsson- fiddle
Erik Ronström- guitar
Kristofer "Krydda" Sundström- bass

https://www.lenajonsson.com



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Lepaseree despite Reigo Ahven

Estonia
at - Kirsimäe Stage
Lepaseree Reigo Ahvena kiuste („Lepaseree despite Reigo Ahven“) is the collective musical meet-up of the well-known traditional music trio Lepaseree and the professional life artist Reigo Aven, which can but might not turn into a sumptuous traditional music concert. Lepaseree which paints mainly in pastels has voluntarily decided to let the percussion lover Ahven into their porcelain shop. Whether crossing the Roche limit preserves the beauty of Lepaseree or whether we should book a place in the chaos section of the Contermporary Art Museum instead remains to be see on Thursday at 14.00 at Kirsimäe!

Meelika Hainsoo – vocals, fiddle
Paul Daniel – guitar
Marti Tärn – bass
Reigo Ahven – percussion instruments



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Lõõtsavägilased

Estonia
at - Tent
The group Lõõtsavägilased started in the December 2013 when Margus Põldsepp from Untsakad put together a group of young Estonian accordion players from Karksi-Nuia Music School: Andres Eelmaa, Rasmus Kadaja and Tobias Tae.

For the first six months, they focused on instrumental tunes, then they started to include more and more songs in their repertoire. In 2017, the frontman of the group Andres Eelmaa switched his accordion for a bass guitar to add different colours to the band’s music. Ott-Mait Põldsepp joined the group in 2019 with guitar and mandolin.

Lõõtsavägilased play mainly folk and traditional music but they do not discriminate against any other styles either. During the last five years, the band has given more than 600 concerts and has taken the stage at all the important traditional music festivals in Estonia. They’ve worked with several notable artists like Untsakad, Zetod, Jaan Pehk, Hardi Volmer and Metsatöll and won many music awards.



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Maaker/Saulius/Jansone

Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania
at - Jaani Church
Saulius Petreikis

Saulius Petreikis – one of the few people in Europe who has a unique collection of musical instruments from all over the world and is using them to create and perform his own music. Although Saulius studied classical trumpet in Klaipėda's Stasys Šimkus Conservatory (2001-2004) and Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (2004 – 2010) but for the last ten years he is genuinely exploring the World Music. While playing music he connects light-playfulness and deep sincerity, spontaneous expression, and inclination to a synthesis of different styles. Saulius professionally plays various wind instruments from all over the world. Raised in a family of folk musicians, Saulius pays a lot of attention to Lithuanian folk music. He is always looking for new sounds, is daring to experiment and improvise.

Saulius Petreikis has a colourful program that differs every time according to the audience and the space where it is played. Saulius collaborates with different Lithuanian and foreign artists, not only musicians, but dancers, actors and directors too. He is also creating music for theatre performances. Saulius Petreikis has released 9 albums of his own music ("Pasaulio tautų muzika" in 2013; "Lowlands" in 2014; "Tyka" in 2016; "Aukštumos. Lygumos. Žemumos", "Dzūkija", "Lietava" in 2017, "Negirdėta Lietuva" and "Pasaulis sveikina Lietuvą" in 2018, „Jūrėse" in 2019) and has participated in more than 30 albums of other musicians.

Andre Maaker

Andre Maaker is considered to be one of the best jazz guitarists in Estonia. He himself prefers to  avoid any style definitions, he calls himself a creative musician, thereby allowing him to move between various musical styles.  He is fascinated by different sound worlds, and when improvising, he feels equally at home on jazz, folk, rock and chamber music stages.

He is active both as a solo artist and in various groups like Bad Habits Trio, Trio Romansid and Triller. His latest stage partners include first class names like Jaan Sööt, Liisi Koikson, Sofia Rubina and Kadri Voorand.





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Maarja Soomre and Brite Vilgo

Estonia
at - Black Box

The creation of an instrument


Each instrument has a physical body which begins to resound at a human touch and takes us to its fantasy world. Each of us perceives the sound slightly differently, for some it might seem jolly or lively, for others lyrical, some detect words within the instrumental sounds, others hear only the rhythm. “The creation of an instrument” is a concert where these two important components, body and sound of an instrument meet and become alive through two human beings: singer Maarja Soomre and dancer Brite Vilgo. The initial inspiration came from old archival recordings where different singers imitate the sounds of Estonian traditional instruments. Who or what makes your soul sing? Come and find out at the concert.  

Maarja Soomre - vocals
Brite Vilgo - dance
Kerttu Kruusla - visual artist



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Mäeotsa kapell

Estonia
at - Estonian Traditional Music Centre, Tasuja pst.6

Four of the most courteous gentlemen have made guys and girls dance to their joyful tunes for a good many years already. When the kannel gets started and the fiddle joins in, then the bass and the guitar will not just sit around doing nothing either. That’s how the men of Mäeotsa will play into the early hours of the morning!
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MandoTrio & Friends

Estonia
at - Tent
at - Tent

MandoTrio is a group of three young mandolin players who play traditional music and their own compositions. In addition to the husky sounds of double strings they are also using stomp-box and octave to spice things up with bass and drum.

MandoTrio’s mission is to infect people with mandolin madness. Hans is from Tallinn, Kristjan from Liimala and Tanel from Jõgeva, they were brought together by Viljandi Cultural Academy and by the love of mandolins in traditional music.

Kristjan Kuusmik is describing the band: “MandoTrio’s concert is made special both by our soundscape and repertoire. We play traditional dance tunes and songs but also our own heartfelt compositions. We like to communicate with people and we hope our music will give them a wish to take up the mandolin as well.“

These happy fellows will present their second studio album in Viljandi and they’ve invited along their most inspiring friends and fellow musicians, to make it truly memorable.

Hans Mihkel Vares - mandolin, vocal
Tanel Sakrits - mandolin, vocal
Kristjan Kuusmik - mandolin, vocal

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Mari Kalkun, Rasmus Puur and VHK String Orchestra

Estonia
at - Telia Kaevumäe Stage
Mari Kalkun’s voice tickles your ears while telling stories of forests, towns, the world and her own life. Mari’s music has grown together with her in time and acquired new nuances – it’s quiet but powerful. As part of her programme called “Ilmamõtsan“, she accompanies herself on the accordion and different zithers, bringing these archaic instruments to the 21st century with playful ease. The themes that run through Mari’s music are common to all humans – her music is like a sanctuary where she goes to find tranquillity and determination and offering it to others. “Ilmamõtsan” masterfully combines global and local sounds and reflects on the novel soulscapes that are created from the contrasts and synergy between the two. It’s a musician’s answer to a world that’s spinning on full throttle.

Mari has performed around the world, including most European countries and lately also in Japan. The album she recorded with the group Mari Kalkun & Runorun called “Tii ilo” was nominated for the Ethno Album of the Year award at both the Estonian and the Finnish Music Awards. In 2018, she was nominated for the Female Artist of the Year award at the Estonian Music Awards and her album “Ilmamõtsan” was chosen by The Guardian to be amongst the top 10 best world music albums of the year. Several music specialists and the audience chose her programme to be one of their favourites at Tallinn Music Week in 2018 and she was given the TMW artist award.

Mari Kalkun – vocals, 12-string zither, home zither, accordion, sleigh bells
Ahto Abner – percussion instruments

The VHK string orchestra consists of 24 students at the Old Town Educational College (Vanalinna Hariduskollegium or VHK for short) which was created in 1996. The youngsters who play in the orchestra are aged 13-19. At first, they concentrated mainly on early music and playing pieces that the college had commissioned (M.Siimeräs “Miikaeli mõõk”, etc). But recently, they’ve been performing mainly Estonian music starting from Cyrillus Kreek, Heino Eller and Veljo Tormis to Tõnu Kõrvits, Margo Kõlar and Pärt Uusberg. The VHK string orchestra has already given around 30 concerts this season both in Estonia and abroad.

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Nagy Bögö

Estonia
at - Tent

Nagy Bögö plays post-traditional music. The pillars of their musical creation are the folklore and the traditions, their source of inspiration the nature, home and friendship. Nagy Bögö starts with our own roots and ends up in Hungary, Bulgaria, in a fascinating symbiosis between the modern and old times or possibly in some completely unexpected place. The band is not afraid of putting together the opposites, crossing the boundaries and experimenting with traditional tunes on their musical journeys. The sizzling synergy between Nagy Bögö and the audience charges everyone with positive load that will last for a long time.

Karolin Übner - Estonian and Hungarian bagpipe
Katariina Tirmaste - flute, violin
Martin Vill - Bulgarian bagpipe, soprano saxophone
Jaan-Eerik Aardam - guitar
Mart Nõmm - double bass
Kevin Lilleleht - percussions

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Naised köögis

Estonia
at - Telia Kaevumäe Stage
We create contemporary lyrics, add sounds and find new meanings in folk songs. Sometimes our curiosity leads us to discover new musical cultures like the tongue-tying rap music or tango with its larger-than-life emotions. But our music is, first and foremost, based on the living tradition of Estonian music.

All our songs have started from a good story. Some stories are ridiculous, others are sad, some romantic, and a few are purely absurd but sooner or later the stories that speak to us become songs.

Katrin Laidre – vocals, garmon, bass
Sofia Joons – vocals, fiddle, guitar, percussion instruments
Kristiina Ehin – vocals, garmon, percussion instruments
Kairi Leivo – vocals, Jew’s harp, bass



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Nikns Suns

Estonia
at - Tent
at - Kultrahoov
Nikns Suns, named after latvian expression for raging dog, is a charismatic group that creates symbiotic mixture of traditional folk music and heavy rock. Their music, filled with ancient might and sparkling energy, has been highly esteemed by folk, rock and metal music enthusiasts alike. Having dug out the most inspiring ancient songs, Nikns Suns transforms them into modern rhythm music context without losing touch with the original.
Stories of band’s powerful and authentic stage presence at concerts have become folklore on their own.

They released their first album named “Kuri koer” in summer 2011 and their second album “Urjoh, hunti!” in summer 2017, which was nominated for the best metal album award at The Estonian Music Awards 2018.


Ragnar Toompuu - guitar, vocals
Priit Oks - vocals
Madis Nõmme - solo guitar
Merike Paberits - flute, bagpipe
Tanel Kadalipp - bass guitar, vocals
Kristo Joosep - drums
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Orivesi All Stars

Finland
at - Kirsimäe Stage
Orivesi All Stars is the biggest folk music collective in Finland with almost 100 members whose age varies from 8 to 85 years. The orchestra was founded to promote the discovery, learning, experience and sharing of musical joy. This lovely group does not distinguish between amateurs and professionals and the only goal is to produce nice and meaningful music together in a good spirit. The whole big and happy beehive is headed by true Finnish folk music legends Antti Järvelä and Timo Alakotila.

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Päri Päri

Estonia
at - Black Box

Tailwind takes the group PÄRI, PÄRI for a ride on different paths across the Runo song landscape, swirls them clockwise in a flurry of a dance and catapults them through time and space, rhythm and harmony. When PÄRI, PÄRI introduces the old traditional songs to the contemporary society, it turns out that people still worry and smile about the same things. You’re taken on this journey by three musicians Maarja Soomre, Jaan Varts and Tanel Ruben.

Maarja Soomre – vocal, zithe
Jaan Varts – acoustic guitar
Tanel Ruben – percussion instruments, sampler



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Puuluup

Estonia
at - Telia Kaevumäe Stage
All our tunes sound good.
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Rasmus Puur and VHK string orchestra

Estonia
at - Jaani Church
The VHK string orchestra consists of 24 students at the Old Town Educational College (Vanalinna Hariduskollegium or VHK for short) which was created in 1996. The youngsters who play in the orchestra are aged 13-19. At first, they concentrated mainly on early music and playing pieces that the college had commissioned (M.Siimeräs “Miikaeli mõõk”, etc). But recently, they’ve been performing mainly Estonian music starting from Cyrillus Kreek, Heino Eller and Veljo Tormis to Tõnu Kõrvits, Margo Kõlar and Pärt Uusberg. The VHK string orchestra has already given around 30 concerts this season both in Estonia and abroad.

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Riffarrica

Estonia
at - Telia Kaevumäe Stage

RIFFARRICA (ex-Duo Malva & Priks) started in 2016. Kulno Malva and Kristjan Priks, both experienced folk musicians, joined forces to make vigorous and masculine folk music, drawing inspiration from centuries-old folktale songs. The combination of Kulno’s raspy vocals, dynamic accordion grooves and the sound of Kristjan’s distinctive drum set gave birth to a fresh and exciting sound –"Folk with muscle" as Baltic Music News so accurately named it.

“Accordion, vocals and percussion create a sound that you’d never associate with just two musicians – with a little help from some electronic gadgets, the accordion starts to screech like a hard rock guitar or obtains a tonal ambience as rich as that of a grand piano. It helps to emphasise the strong groove which is an unmistakable trademark of the duo.” 

Dani Heyvaert, Rootstime

In 2017, Duo Malva & Priks released an EP “Mässiv”

Kulno Malva - accordion, Estonian bagpipe, vocals
Kristjan Priks - percussion, vocals

www.riffarrica.ee
www.facebook.com/riffarrica/
http://bit.ly/concert-teaser-2018


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Ro:Toro

Estonia
at - Kultrahoov
“Old is gold”

Ensemble Ro:toro is quite an old collective, and so are its members. With age comes wisdom and knowing that there are other precious things in life than messing around with loopers and Jew’s harps or touring the world - there’s good old Ro:Toro with its evergreen tunes. That’s why Cätlin and Sandra got back together with old pals and one thing’s for sure - the tunes are old and golden, with the highest karat!

Sandra Sillamaa-  bagpipe, Jew’s harp, whistle
Cätlin Mägi - bagpipe, Jew’s harp, whistle
Marko Mägi - saxophones
Marek Talts - electric guitar
Silver Sepp - bowl instruments



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Rüüt

Estonia
at - Telia Kaevumäe Stage

Rüüt is a dynamic, playful and bold ensemble in which different worlds of an actress, jazz-musician and two Estonian diatonic accordion players meet and become combined into one. As a result Rüüt’s music is a good listening to folk lovers, those interested in technical intricacies and also to wonderers of mellow musical landscapes.

They have made characteristic arrangements to quite a few of Estonian traditional folk tunes and songs. In addition, the ensemble also arranges their own compositions. And the search for piece’s final arrangement does not end until all the members are entranced by it. To achieve that, the band conjures all kinds of ideas and solutions that will form the music.

The band is characterized by mystical atmosphere, intricate harmonic, melodic and rhythmic combinations, precision and a common feel.

Maili Metssalu- vocals, fiddle
Maarja Soomre- vocals, melodica, kannel
Toomas Oks - Estonian diatonic accordion, guitar, vocals
Juhan Uppin - Estonian diatonic accordion, kannel, vocals

www.ryyt.ee

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Sam Lee

Great Britain
at - Kultrahoov
at - Kirsimäe Stage

Sam Lee is Mercury Prize nominated folk singer, song collector, award winning promoter, broadcaster, animateur and naturalist. As an artist Sam traverses many worlds, challenging and pioneering folk music in diverse places and ways. Not just an award-winning singer with two highly decorated albums to his name and a sound incomparable to his contemporaries'; his work fostering live music in the UK has been instrumental in the explosion of folk in the last decade. Sam reinvents not just the way these ancient songs should sound but how they can be sourced, exist and thrive, from conscientiously gathering them in Gypsy Traveler camps to singing them for the Hollywood big screen.

“Ambitious, eclectic but, ultimately, dedicated to the enduring passions that resonate through this treasure trove of great songs.” 

Uncut


This Mercury prize nominee continues to shake up the folk scene with drama and surprise. Surely one of the albums of the year.”

Guardian




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Silver Sepp

Estonia
at - Estonian Traditional Music Centre, Tasuja pst.6

Sounds from the shed

Once, Silver found himself on a journey to an old shed full of ancient farm tools, hidden away in shady corners. Tools that had once been put down for just a moment and forgotten for at least a half century, tools that had gone grey and mouldy in the hopelessness of the waiting. Silver tapped and tuned to clear the throats of these forgotten things and breathed new musical life into them, so that they could talk and sing about everything that was, is and will be. Silver will bring along all his good old mythical friends to this year’s festival: the nail instrument, skis from the woods of Karula, the front wheel of grandpa’s bicycle, wash basins from a hundred-year-old sauna. And for the first time, we’ll get a chance to hear a hand plough originating from his father’s farm on the island of Saaremaa. Digging a furrow with a tool like this unearths runo songs as heavy as fieldstones and hidden viking gold, all buried deep within the layers of time.




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Sisters Anu and Triinu Taul

Estonia
at - Jaani Church
Our story began in a village named after its many fountains - the village of Alliku (fountain in Estonian). It was and remains a magic realm of fairies and spirits of our ancestors, where music has always been cherished and handed down from generation to generation. Singing has always come as naturally to us as breathing. A chance to sing together with your sister is a special gift. We will join our powerful voices and let the fountains, our ancestors and our hearts sing!

Anu Taul
- vocals, guitar, tin whistle, bagpipe
Triinu Taul
- vocals, different whistles, bagpipe
Tarmo Noormaa
- accordions


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Tautumeitas

Latvia
at - Telia Kaevumäe Stage
at - Kirsimäe Stage

In ancient Latvia, the name “tautumeitas” was given to young women at marriageable age but today it stands for all women dressed in national costumes.

Tautumeitas's music is created by six voices and six pairs of hands owned by Latvian girls, who believe that music makes the world a better place.

The principal interest of the group is traditional singing, especially multipart singing. The particular voice resonance created by this form of Latvian traditional singing provides enjoyment not only for the audience but also for the performers themselves. In order to portray traditional music from their own perspective and to show how the modern day 'Tautumeita' thinks and feels, the members each incorporate different instruments into this traditional a capella vocal music. The majority of the band's members have studied ethnomusicology, which is why there are many traditional music influences from different parts of the world.

Timbral variety, fresh ideas and eclectic musical taste all fuse together to give Tautumeitas its unique sound.


http://www.tautumeitas.lv
https://www.facebook.com/tautumeitas/
https://www.instagram.com/tautumeitas/




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The Heritage Projekt

Estonia / Canada
at - Kirsimäe Stage
at - Kirsimäe Stage

Curly Strings, a four-piece from Estonia, and the April Verch Band, a trio lead by Ottawa Valley (Ontario, Canada) native, April Verch. The beginnings of this collaboration were simple. A mutual respect for each others music, a couple of brief chance meetings, and most importantly, the discovery of their mutual passion for the early traditional music of their homelands.

The set list for The Heritage Projekt begins by presenting the oldest form of music from both bands’ traditions, builds into medleys that highlight songs and tunes from Estonia and the Ottawa Valley that sound like long-lost cousins, then melds into selections both bands have composed together that fit within these traditions. It’s a journey of their roots and influences from history into present day. It is an opportunity to preserve and continue this heritage music all at once.

Both bands grew up rooted in the music of their specific region, honed their musicianship, and began to draw inspiration from other sources in forging their own brand of roots music. For Curly Strings that included blending inspiration from American bluegrass with their Estonian cultural space, and for the April Verch Band, fusing Old Time American, Scandinavian and classic country influences with regional Canadian styles.

While standing in a long line together at a burger joint in New York City, the bands entered into deep discussions and comparisons about their homelands and musical traditions, and quickly discovered that they had a lot in common. Both Estonian and Ottawa Valley traditional music styles grew out of a mixed pot of cultures and people, and included dance music from the various immigrants who settled in each location. A question emerged amongst these young musicians from opposite sides of the globe. What would a collaboration sound like that honored these timeless traditions and celebrated the common ground of these unique ethnic styles? Thus began, The Heritage Projekt.

This partnership is also an opportunity for both bands to revisit the roots that their music comes from, without concerns for having it fit their current band sound. Eeva Talsi of Curly Strings says “it’s something that both our bands have wanted to do for some time, and it’s been even more fun and exciting to do it as a team.” April Verch agrees, “by combining our efforts, we’re able to present our ethnic styles to each other, and to more and different parts of the world than we would be able to just on our own.”

Curly Strings:

Eeva Talsi – violin, vocals
Taavet Niller – bass, vocals
Jaan Jaago – guitar, vocals
Villu Talsi – mandolin, vocals

The April Verch Band:

Cody Walters - upright-electric bass, banjo
Alex Rubin - guitar, mandolin
April Verch - voice, violin,  stepdance

https://nearnorthmusic.com/roster/the-heritage-projekt/

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Tintura & Arno Tamm

Estonia
at - Telia Kaevumäe Stage

Tintura and Arno Tamm have got together for the 27th Viljandi Folk Music Festival, to create a special production dedicated to Estonians who’ve been force to leave their homeland.

Songs, that have been brought along from the home country, songs, that have helped to retain the memory of the long lost home, stories behind these songs, and the tunes that have managed to survive despite everything and found their way back home - all this creates a truly powerful story worth telling and remembering.

The heritage of Siberian Estonians has inspired many musicians lately, but this is a first  concert dedicated especially to the music of Siberian Estonians. Tintura, a band playing with folktronic, trip-hop and worldmusic, and Arno Tamm, the frontman of Paabel, will bring you their contemporary vision on how to bring back the tradition and move forward within it.

Karoliina Kreintaal - vocals, fiddle, bowed lyre , cither
Taavet Niller – double bass, vocals
Lauri Täht – beats, samples, effects
Arno Tamm - vocals


https://www.facebook.com/TinturaBand/
https://soundcloud.com/tintura
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Trio Durand Millet Raillard

France
at - Tent

Trio Durand Millet Raillard comes from a mountainous region of Morvan in Burgundy. The members of the trio have been surrounded by traditional music of the region from early childhood and today they are one of the best ambassadors of the traditional music of  Morvan region. This inspiring trio is doing a wonderful job at keeping the purest and the oldest function of folk music alive - they play for dancing and for delight of the community. They explore a repertoire of traditional Morvan music from which they create modern, dynamic and original arrangements for an energetic performance. This is a real treat for everyone who loves to dance the night away!

Gregoire Durand - violin
Quentin Millet - bagpipes
Alex Raillard - guitar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k1tkk1Fd1E
https://soundcloud.com/triodmr




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Trip

Scotland
at - Kultrahoov
at - Kirsimäe Stage
at - Kirsimäe lava, II Kirsimägi
TRIP, formed in late 2016, are a Glasgow based five-piece band whose music spans four corners of the Celtic diaspora.
Their considered arrangements intertwine the traditional melodies of Scotland, Ireland, England and the Isle of Man with contemporary and self-penned tunes to produce a powerful, driven and distinctive sound.
The impressive line-up features Newcastle accordionist Michael Biggins, Sligo flautist Tiernan Courell, Manx fiddler Isla Callister with Scots Rory Matheson on piano and Craig Baxter on bodhran. All currently in their 3rd year at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, they are at the forefront of the innovative movement of young traditional musicians on the Glasgow scene.
2018 has been the band’s busiest and most successful yet, with performances all over the UK and further afield, including appearances at internationally acclaimed festivals such as Celtic Connections, Orkney Folk Festival, HebCelt and Festival Interceltique de Lorient. They were also semi-finalists in the BBC 2 Young Folk Awards. 

Tiernan Courell - Flute
Michael Biggins - Accordion
Isla Callister - Fiddle
Rory Matheson - Piano
Craig Baxter - Bodhrán

https://www.facebook.com/TRIPceol/
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Tuup

Great Britain
at - Estonian Traditional Music Centre, Tasuja pst.6

In the early 80s, Tuup, an aspiring drummer and performance poet, started to move into performance caribbean dub-poetry and was recognized by a small guyanese publishing house, run by Jessica & Eric Huntley, called Bogle L’Ouverture Press.

Tuup joined the famous West London Storytelling Unit, run by artistic-director, Ben Haggarty and assistant-director, Georgiana Kebbel, a challenging innovative arts group looking at performance storytelling for adults.

In the mid 80s, Tuup formed a storytelling group with Flora Devi called “Tellers of Time" (indian dance & folk tales coupled alongside african-caribbean tales & rhythms). Tuups' breath of experience as a professional storyteller covers 30 years and more. Tuup is working:

in many Festivals around the world : Toronto Storytelling Festival, St Donuts Festival Wales, Jonesborough Storytelling Festival Tenessee, Kanoon Festival Iran, Makan ya Makan Festival Jordan, Delhi Storytelling Festival India, Aachen Storytelling Festival Germany, Zwolle Unlimited Festival netherlands and many more.

in all the sectors of education, from primary to on-line open universit

in art festivals and over-seas workshops for British Council

Tuup has been commissioned by the Arts Council, BBC Radio 4 and Channels 4 on a number of projects.

TUUP is coming to the festival in cooperation with the Storytelling School of Estonian Folk Culture Centre and Piret Päär.
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Untsakad

Estonia
at - Tent
The forest starts rustling and the clouds escape when one poor traveller appears under the window. Oh, dear girl, I don’t know what to do with you, you naive girl from Tartu who thought that I only had eyes for you...

But a snake crawled out of the grass and told me, “Don’t come closer, she’s not blooming for you!“ A girl on the cliff edge, on the shore of Naroova, lifted her arms up and sighed from the bottom of her heart. Disco isn’t important, punk is everything. Nothing else matters, my dear disco lover. For sixteen years they fed the pig with potatoes, sauce and butter. Those who survived drank and hit each other and seven men were put to jail in the harbour.

Beer barrels were dancing – juhhaidii, juhhaidaa.
Pirates were having a jolly – juhhaidii, aidaa.

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Väikeste Lõõtspillide Ühing

Estonia
at - Tent
The orchestra called Väikeste Lõõtspillide Ühing (The Association of Small Accordions) was created on June 23, 1989 by youngsters who had y an untameable yearning to play the accordion. During those dreadful times, you couldn’t purchase a proper accordions anywhere in Estonia.

Once, the founding members ended up in a small village shop together where they were selling tiny childrens’ garmons. The instruments were cheap and soon, the voluntary citizen association was registered at Pärnu County Government. The insatiable passion for the sexy sounds of this instrument led to the creation of a folk dance orchestra in 1995.

During the 30th anniversary year, the association consists of:

Marko Matvere
Raido Koppel
Joel Sarv
Erkki-Kalle Esop
Aivar Vassiljev 
Sander Udikas



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Zetod

Estonia
at - Kirsimäe Stage

This is going to be the 16th Viljandi Folk Music Festival for Zetod! These lads have been raised in a spirit of folk music since the day they were born. From one stage to another – hardly any folk festivals go by without this band. Although the members are still pretty young, the band is definitely one of folk friends’ all-time favorites and could easily be put in the category of Estonian folk music legends. Today, they are as full of life as ever and keep on going!




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