Artists

cancel

3-4!

Estonia
at - II Kirsimägi
The first night’s festival party will be started with a bang with the all-star party band 3-4! They will play folk hits from today, yesterday and the day before yesterday. The repertoire includes nostalgic songs by Vägilased, Paabel and VLÜ and newer hits from TradAttack!, Puuluup and Duo Ruut.

Bring your dancing shoes and come join us!
 
Lee Taul – fiddle, vocals
Arno Tamm – fiddle, vocals
Lauri Kadalipp – saxophones, bagpipe, vocals
Marti Tärn – bass guitar
Ahto Abner - drums



cancel

5/5

Finland
at - I Kirsimägi
at - I Kirsimägi
at - I Kirsimägi
5/5 is a group of five professional Finnish folk musicians strongly connected to South Ostrobothnia, a region in western Finland. Performance by 5/5 is like a tonic of energy or kiss of life brought to you by acoustic instruments.  
The most distinctive feature of 5/5’s sound is the tight rhythmic beat based on traditional Finnish folk dance music. By their freshly written original tunes 5/5 is bringing this tradition to meet present day’s standards.  

“If the peasants of the past had subwoofers in their horse carts, there would have been only one playlist to be heard on every town and street and that is 5/5”

Leija Lautamaja (ENKEL, Floating Sofa Quartet) 

5/5 is:

Lauri Kotamäki - melodeon  
Arttu Mäkelä - guitar  
Miia Palomäki - fiddle  
Sampsa Kujala - bass  
Joonas Ojajärvi - mandolin  



cancel

Ando & Friends

Various Countries
at - Kaevumägi
Ando will gather his friends and all the best moments from this years' festival on stage. It is warm view and soft goodbye to the festival, till we meet again next year. 
cancel

Antti Paalanen

Finland
at - II Kirsimägi
at - Kaevumägi
Musician and composer Antti Paalanen has been prominent in the field of Finnish contemporary folk music for many years. Antti Paalanen makes his music on the bisonoric (diatonic) accordion, a common instrument in Finnish folk music for the past century. Paalanen has employed an organic performance style, new techniques and new expressive sonorities to expand the potential of the instrument to embrace a variety of genres.

In Paalanen’s music, man and accordion breathe the same air and exude the same energy. He creates a one-man band, simultaneously producing bass, harmony, melody, vocals and percussion. The result is a massive, pulsating wall of sound where at times it is impossible to tell whether it is the musician or the instrument producing the sound.

Paalanen has a vision of bringing the accordion into modern genres of dance music, which means mining the capabilities of the instrument for the sort of sonority and power expected by listeners of contemporary popular music. Paalanen combines lovely melodic lines with a modern techno beat and throat singing that resembles the grunting vocal styles of metal music.



cancel

Arno Tamm and the traditional musicians from the Eller College

Estonia
at - Kaevumägi
The students and teachers from the traditional music department at Heino Eller Tartu Music College have chosen their favourite songs from the ones they’ve learnt during their studies and combined them into a programme where the gently picked vegetables meet with fresh shoots and exotic flavours. They play traditional tunes from around Estonia.

Mirjam Aavakivi - flute
Dan-Voldemar Dehteruk - fiddle
Kätlin Kits - fiddle
Emma Lotta Kiviberg - flute
Herbert Konnula - accordion
Juuli Kõrre - fiddle
Sofia-Liis Kose - fiddle
Maria Mänd - fiddle
Tobias Pilv - contrabass
Villem Suits - piano
Arno Tamm - guitar
Katariina Tirmaste - flute
Mirabell Veli - fiddle
Kertu Zahharov – fiddle



cancel

Black Bread Gone Mad

Estonia
at - I Kirsimägi
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.

In summer of 2021, Black Bread Gone Mad will release their second album.

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



cancel

Curly Strings and friends

Estonia
at - II Kirsimägi
Curly Strings is delighted to play music from their new studio album “Pidu meis eneses” (“A Party within Ourselves”) which was released in May.

The band’s new songs offer positivity, beauty, life-affirming joy and inspiration to the listeners. The band members feel that despite the hardships, the world is a beautiful and interesting place and life with all its shades is worth living. The soundscape of the Curlies is familiar to traditional music fans: the enjoyably gripping and pulsating multi-layered mix of string instruments is combined with Eeva’s iridescent vocals. But their new music is more of a joint venture than ever before and each song has been thoroughly thought and felt through in endless rehearsals. The arrangements are mode detailed and wholesome than ever before. At the same time, they’ve also been going back to their roots and rediscovering them which is something that bands and people do from time to time. The band will also play their other beloved hits so come and party with Curly Strings!

Members: 

Eeva Talsi - vocals, fiddle
Taavet Niller - contrabass, vocals
Jaan Jaago - guitar, vocals
Villu Talsi - mandolin, vocals



cancel

DJ Ats Luik

Estonia
at - Kuusemägi
Ats Luik is going to play music on July 24, 2021 in Viljandi.
cancel

DJ Heivi Saaremets

Estonia
at - Kuusemägi
cancel

DJ Susanna Raiend

Estonia/ UK
at - Kuusemägi
Susanna, who currently resides in London, has a show “Shit Day Shampoo” and party series “Marrakech” ja “Nothing But Net”. She will play exotic dub electronic dance music from different times and places around the world. 
cancel

DJ's Lauri Täht, Erkin Antov

Estonia
at - Kuusemägi

Lauri Täht (Tähetund, IDA Raadio) and Erkin Antov (JazzItUp, Raadio2) are one of the best traditional music DJ's in the world from Estonia (try to prove otherwise!).

This time they will keep it simple by offering various kind of dance music - from tropical funk, dancy jazz to ultramodern vibrations. 


cancel

DJ's Maarja Nuut & Evar Anvelt

Estonia
at - Kuusemägi

Early-morning set of Maarja Nuut and Evar Anvelt is mainly meant for different pets and wild animals. 

Abstract beats and animal sounds are dominating, hypno moon is raging in the sky. 


cancel

DJ's Roman Vjazemski ja Kaarel Valter

Estonia
at - Kuusemägi

Peacekeapers of underground folkscene of Tallinn, members of boardMonopol Entertainment OÜ.

One of them is the boss of IDA radio morning show "Seinast seina tapeediks", other one sidekick of  R2 "Tetris" and "Estonian Funk Embassy".

Otherwise simple guys, who don´t need much. Yin-yang, Roma Fie ja Karlaone. Nothing else to add. 


cancel

Duo Mann ja Juula

Estonia
at - Estonian Traditional Music Center
The duo Mann & Juula aka Maria Mänd and Juuli Kõrre are childhood friends and violinists from Pärnu. They are studying for the second year at the Heino Eller Tartu Music Collegel in the Department of Traditional Music. The duo enjoys playing their own songs and traditional music from different countries.

Maria Mänd - violin
Juuli Kõrre - violin



cancel

Duo Ruut

Estonia
at - I Kirsimägi
“Meaning is born from enchanting sounds. Underneath the archaic nature of the songs of old village singers, there’s something deep, eternal and relatable.”
Müürileht


At the concert, the new songs from the new short album called “Kulla kerguseks” (“For the Lightness of the Gold”) and older hits will be played. Duo Ruut will bring you familiar flavours but also something more spicy and exotic and of course mellow vocals and juicy kantele sounds. Starting from dancing and ending with the new moon, from singing to spells - that’s how Duo Ruut asks you for a dance.

Duo Ruut is a joint effort of two good friends who have different musical backgrounds and tastes. Having found a new musical bereathing from their ancestor’s heritage, Katariina Kivi and Ann-Lisett Rebane sat down behind a kantele in 2017. The decision to come together was, on one hand, a crazy coincidence and, on the other, a result of a long period of experimenting and academic music studies. The kantele became a “blank slate” which gave them room for inventing and developing new playing techniques. Playing on one instrument together sets strict limits on what you can do – that’s why Duo Ruut challenged themselves to let their imagination run wild and make sure that their essentially minimalistic music is jam-packed with exciting ideas.

Duo Ruut’s debut album “Tuule sõnad” (“The Words of the Wind”) was released in 2019 and it received the debut album of the year award at the Ethno Ladles ceremony in 2020. In 2021, it was a nominated for the debut album of year and the ethno/folk album of the year awards at the Estonian Music Awards 2021.

Even though Duo Ruut has been active for a short time, they’ve toured around the world and visited, for example, Japan, one of the most reputable festivals Celtic Connections in Glasgow and Sharq Taronalari festival in Usbekistan.


Members: 

Katariina Kivi
Ann-Lisett Rebane

cancel

Ethno Estonia

Various countries
at - II Kirsimägi
Estonian ETHNO is an international music group which consists of young musicians from 16 different countries from around the world. 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!
cancel

Eva Väljaots

Estonia
at - Estonian Traditional Music Center
Eva Väljaots is an Estonian folk musician, who plays various types of traditional kannel – an archaic string instrument widespread in Finno-Ugric cultures. Modern meets ancient in her music inspired by the present moment as well as her own heritage, age-old tales, and Finno-Ugric musical tradition. She loves to improvise and invite the listeners to wander around various soundscapes, with each kannel opening up a new world.


cancel

Get up the Wooden Hill

Ireland
at - II Kirsimägi
at - II Kirsimägi

Get Up the Wooden Hill are a new and exciting band to emerge onto the traditional music scene. Comprised of five individuals – each masters of their instruments, this group forged their musical understanding from years spent playing together in the various venues and pubs of Dublin including The Cobblestones and The Pipers Corner. Seán Garvey, Leonora Lyne, Maitiú Ó Casaide Dermot O’Hanlon and Ian Kinsella’s blend of fiddle, flute, accordion, guitar and uilleann pipes, complimented by vocals in English and Irish generate a dynamic and compelling sound that encapsulates the essence of Traditional music.

Seán Garvey
Leonora Lyne
Maitiú Ó Casaide
Dermot O’Hanlon
Ian Kinsella



cancel

In Memoriam Igor Tõnurist

Estonia
at - Estonian Traditional Music Center
Igor Tõnurist, who passed away early this year, was a man worth remembering, even if in the last decade health reasons forced him to stay on the sidelines. Igor's reach and the number of people touched by him are so large that he can be called a cultural phenomenon. Without exaggeration, the performers at the concert are all his students, including those who over time became more like colleagues or followed a parallel path.
Igor Tõnurist's activities and personality had a significant impact on the revival of folk music in the last quarter of the 20th century.

As an ethnologist, he studied folk instruments near and far, collected invaluable knowledge about instruments and the way musicians played together, and gathered information about old songs and lifestyles. His mission was to share the knowledge he had gathered in live performance, to which end he established the folk music groups Leegajus and Sõsarõ. His wish and aim was to present folk culture as a whole, encompassing music, song, dance, knowledge, customs and costumes.

Igor was a brilliantly captivating performer - a musician and storyteller - who, in his lectures and concerts, gave a vivid insight into the village life of our past, but was also happy to share information and introduce the traditions of other peoples, especially Finno-Ugric, East Slavic and Baltic people, which he had sudied himself.

As a scientist and a wise revivalist, Igor Tõnuris became a key figure in the folklore movement and the founder of the Baltica folklore festival. With the determination and personal charm of a master, he advocated the traditional authenticity of folk music performance and the performer, which was far from self-evident at the time.

For decades he was an invaluable expert and advisor in the field of folk costumes, as well as co-author of comprehensive works on Estonian folk culture.

Igor Tõnurist was a pioneer and a bridge builder, both in the past and in the present, and his influence leads to the future. Over the years, he taught at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallinn University and its predecessor, supervised student projects at the Viljandi Academy of Culture, and reached a wider audience of folk music enthusiasts through courses and seminars organised by the predecessor of the Estonian Centre for Folk Culture. However, it is perhaps more important to acknowledge Igor's invisible influence through attitudes and principles that will surely transcend time.  

Author:
Kristin Kuutma
Former member of Leegajus
UNESCO Chair of Applied Studies of Intangible Cultural Heritage
University of Tartu

Photo: viruinstituut.ee
cancel

Kaisa Kuslapuu ja Karl Laanekask

Estonia
at - Estonian Traditional Music Center
Kaisa Kuslapuu and Karl Laanekask are two friends who started making music together when Karl was doing his Master’s degree in traditional music which led them to the dance clubs in Tartu. They’ve developed into a unique duo where the combination of instruments can makes you raise your eyebrow – a banjo and a piano aren’t usually (or ever) the first instruments you would play together or associate with Estonian traditional music.

Despite that, they’ve started discovering the endless treasure troves of tradition music together and their unique sound keeps them going. Kaisa and Karl’s repertoire consists mainly of their favourite dance songs and other interesting archival finds mixed with original songs.

Kaisa Kuslapuu – piano, garmon, vocals
Karl Laanekask – bandjo, vocals



cancel

Kärt Johanson & Seán Garvey

Estonia / Ireland
at - Estonian Traditional Music Center
at - Estonian Traditional Music Center
They say in Irish “abair amhrán” - “tell me a song or story”.

Seán Garvey is one of the most exceptional traditional singers who follows the older Irish singing tradition (sean-nós singing) and who has a thorough understanding of the culture and language. His ballads in English are similarly exquisite. He’s a great guitar, bouzouki, banjo, flute, fiddle, etc player. Seán has been a fan of Estonia for 30 years since 1988 when a few dozen extraordinary traditional musicians came to Estonia to perform.

Kärt Johanson is a singer whose repertoire consists of both newer and older traditional songs mixed with a few of her own songs from the album she’s about to release. What happens when the two worlds which are so different yet so similar meet?

Seán Garvey - Guitar, bouzouki, fiddle, flute.
Kärt Johanson - Guitar, mandolin



cancel

Kids ETHNO

Estonia
at - Estonian Traditional Music Center
Children's ETNO 2021 is a traditional music collective with 30 talented young musicians. Children aged 12 to 16 learn and teach each other traditional instrumental songs and tunes from Estonian folk music in a week-long music camp.

Every summer, the camp has new faces that come from different parts of Estonia and make the whole experience, both for the audience and the participants, unique and special. Every Children's ETNO concert radiates energy and vitality, which is conveyed through music.
cancel

Lõõtsavägilased

Estonia
at - I Kirsimägi
The group Lõõtsavägilased started in the December 2013 when Margus Põldsepp from Untsakad put together a group of young Estonian accordionplayers from Karksi-Nuia Music School: Andres Eelmaa, Rasmus Kadaja, and TobiasTae.

For the first six months, they focused on instrumental songs, then they started to include more and more songs in their repertoire. In2017, the frontman of the group Andres Eelmaa switched his accordion for a bassguitar to add a variety of sounds to the band’s music. Ott-Mait Põldsepp, who plays the guitar and the mandolin, joined the group in 2019.

Lõõtsavägilased play mainly folk and traditional music but they do not say no to playing other styles either. During the last five years, the band has given more than 600 concerts and has taken the stage at all the main folk music festivals in Estonia. 


Members:

Ott-Mait Põldsepp
Rasmus Kadaja
Andres Eelmaa
Tobias Tae
Margus Põldsepp

cancel

Mads Hansens Kapel

Denmark
at - II Kirsimägi
at - I Kirsimägi
"Enjoyment first, worry later!"  

These are the words that define the dance orchestra and folk ensemble Mads Hansens Kapel.  

Entering the service of the fine arts in 2016 MHK quickly became noticed on the Danish folk scene - and dance floor! The dance music has always been vibrant and changeable and this is heard clearly in the interpretation of theold melodies played with wildness, authority and heart! For there will be dancing, whether it is on the floor or the chairs!  

The ensemble has played for dance, as well as concerts, throughout the danish kingdom, as well as countries such as England, Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Finland and Switzerland. Mads Hansens Kapel is, with their eternal curiosity and playful approach, always in motion. From the fierce, the bold and the fussy, to the delicate, beautiful and heartily, MHK tells the story of 5 young men and their journey towards the stars.  

Mads Hansens Kapel consists of:  

Jonas Lærke Clausen - Violin  
Martin Strange Lorenzen - Klarinet  
Sebastian Boesgaard Bloch Larsen - Guitar  
Emil Ringtved Nielsen - Bas  
Julian Svejgaard Jørgensen - Klaver  

cancel

Mari Kalkun

Estonia
at - I Kirsimägi
Mari Kalkun is a musician, singer and a composer relying on her Southern Estonian roots. The songs are largely her own compositions, inspired by nature, Estonian poetry and folk music. Many of the lyrics are written by local poets carrying the feeling of rural life, the forests, the landscape. The flowing sound of Estonian language and its dialects create a meditative atmosphere in her music intertwined with the traditional singing – regilaul - and folkore. For making music and accompaning herself she uses kannel, piano, accordion, guitar but sometimes also pipes, whistles and various experimental instruments.

Mari Kalkun has got a master degree in traditional singing from Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. Part of the study time she spent in exchange in Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland and performed her master concert both in Tallinn and Helsinki. She received Estonian Ethno Music Award 2013 as the Best Singer.
cancel

Maria Mazzotta & Vince Abbracciante

Italy
at - Kaevumägi
at - Kaevumägi
An intense and passionate reflection, from a female point of view, on the various faces of love: from the biggest love to the most desperate and very tender one, and from the type that becomes unhealthy to the one that is possessive and abusive. This is “Amoreamaro” (Bitter Love), the new album by Maria Mazzotta, one of the most emblematic musical personalities of Southern Italy.

Previously with the “Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino” band, Mazzotta has gone on to become one of the most appreciated voices on the European world music scene.

She fearlessly passes through all the emotions that love can arouse, with the song as a vehicle for catharsis, consolation, strength, and as a “cure”, which is so very typical of popular tradition
.
She is coming to Viljandi with a talented accordionist Vince Abbracciante
 
Maria Mazzotta - vox and percussions
Vince Abbracciante- accordion



cancel

Martin Arak

Estonia
at - I Kirsimägi
Martin Arak is a simple Estonian man whose beloved hobby is to play the kantele like his ancestors did. His friends and family call him Kandle Oss because you don’t see many hefty nearly 100kg bald guys take their beloved instrument and start playing it. Oss also sings to some of the songs and is known to ask the audience to pitch in too. Behind his rough exterior hides the tender soul of a dad of two and a warm heart which opens up to all the listeners.


cancel

Metsatöll & Riffarrica

Estonia
at - II Kirsimägi
Metsatöll and Riffaricca take the stage at Viljandi Folk Music Festival with a programme which is poured into a Nordic talisman like molten cast iron, which is put together especially for this occasion from the songs of two groups that sail on the Ugric waves. Traditional music, riff folk and metal are melded together in the blacksmith’s smelting pot into an Estonian version of sampo.

The passion with which Metsatöll tells the stories of Estonian tribes hasn’t waned with years. The group sincerely believes that you can save the world from the symbolic plague with music and that there will be honourable Estonian old men in a thousand years’ time who are proud of their country and language, sacred places and traditions.

Metsatöll’s music is a mixture of metal music and our ancient musical heritage - the feeling and wisdom of being Estonian. In addition the instruments that metal bands usually use, Metsatöll also plays our own bagpipe, kanteles and flutes which were played here more than a thousand years ago. Metsatöll won’t let the Estonian story die out. Never.

The power and persuasion with which Riffarrica presents their original songs that are intertwined with tradition leaves no doubt that the name of this band which was born to play on large stages will be written in the cultural history of Estonia. Riffarrica’s powerful riff folk is inspired from the runo songs from centuries ago and the Nordic way of thinking. The name for the duo was taken from Lennart Meri’s book “Hõbevalge” (“Silver White”) where they talk about Aethicus’ “Cosmography” where the place name Riffarrica is used for the ancient coastal area of Rävala which is now the Northern coast of Estonia. Kulno Malva’s throaty voice, powerful accordion grooves and the novel soundscape of Kristjan Priks’s unique drum set has given birth to a fresh and interesting sound that Baltic Music News called “folk with a muscle”. Riffarrica – it’s massive riffs and runo songs.

Metsatöll consists of:

KuriRaivo – bass guitar, vocals
Tõnis - drums, vocals
Markus – vocals, guitars
Lauri – vocals, bagpipe, whistles, kanteles, ängipill, acoustic guitar, other traditional instruments.

Riffarica consists of:

Kulno Malva - accordion, bagpipe, vocals
Kristjan Priks - drums, vocals





cancel

Nagy Bögö

Estonia
at - Kaevumägi
Nagy Bögö is a trad-indie-popmusic band, playing the band members’ original compositions enriched by Estonian traditional music. Strong rythms, emotionally loaded harmonies and minimalistic melodies inspired by old runosongs’ texts describe Nagy Bögö’s music.

Behind the colourful sound there is an intriguing set of instruments: vocals, bagpipe, flute, double bass, drums and acoustic guitar. It’s the freedom of crossing boundaries and the courage to experiment, that create the youthful symbiosis between tradition and modern times. The genuine warmth and positive charge, born of the Nagy Bögö’s synergy, will stay with the audience long after the last chord has faded away.


Karolin Übner - bagpipe
Katariina Tirmaste - flute, violin, vocals
Jaan-Eerik Aardam - guitar, vocals
Kevin Lilleleht - drums
Mart Nõmm - double bass, bass guitar



cancel

Naised köögis

Estonia
at - Kaevumägi
Introduction of this artist will be here soon!
cancel

NOËP Goes Folk

Estonia
at - II Kirsimägi
NOËP is one of the most beloved Estonian musicians who has won the hearts of n numerous people with his singles “Move”, “fk this up” and “Young Boy”.

The talented songwriter has been listened to more than 40 million times on Spotify alone. In addition to other important achievements, NOËP received the pop album of the year award at the Estonian Music Awards ceremony in 2019 for his EP “Heads in the Clouds”.

In March 2021, NOËP released an EP named “folktronic” which was inspired by the performance that was supposed to take place at Viljandi Folk Music Festival 2020. The concert was cancelled last year due to the pandemic but he did release the album. It includes songs by beloved Estonian musicals like Trad.Attack!, Curly Strings, Mari Kalkun, Maarja Nuut and Duo Ruut with a uniquely NOËP twist.

“Last year, they approached me with the concert concept “NOËP Goes Folk” which was based on the idea that I would add a traditional spin to my songs. In turn, I suggested that half of the programme could be folk songs with a NOËP spin. Inspired by this idea, I started creating remixes during the first wave of the pandemic,” explains NOËP.

This year, NOËP is back and ready to play both his own well-known songs and interesting remixes of the works of other artists.

In May, NOËP released a new song “Differences” which introduces the musician’s debut album which will be released this year. NOËP’s long-awaited LP marks the beginning of a new chapter on the musician’s creative journey. The deepest sounds on the album are inspired by the cold and dark Estonian winter during which the album was written and produced.

 

 




cancel

Pärlin

Estonia
at - Kaevumägi
Pärlin is a group that has an instant connection to each other so the members understand each other from the first half a note and even in moments of silence. Their music changes from joy to gentle sadness in the same way as the seasons change in nature. Their music makes your feet tap, your hips sway, your dance shoes pivot and puts a sparkle in your eye. After attending their concert, you feel a sense of both peace and excitement in your heart and you feel like you would like to meet again like you do with good old friends.

Members:

Sofia-Liis Kose - fiddle and vocals
Felix Verlin - contrabass and vocals
Alex Verlin - guitar and vocals
Kert Krüsban - bellows, accordion and vocals



cancel

PásztorHóra

Hungary
at - I Kirsimägi
at - I Kirsimägi
Pásztoróra: the secret meeting of lovers

PásztorHóra: a Csángó urban folk band – five young masterful musicians who spice the urban rush up with a pinch of the essence of Moldova.
Since 2014 when the band was created, they has performed in four countries on more than a hundred stages for at least 10,000 people. No one is surprised that the party lasts until the morning – their memorable rhythms and lively music makes you forget about everything else. The band’s repertoire oscillates between world music and traditional music by mixing the older and newer traditions. Their music is light and natural but also very powerful. The archaic style of old farmhands receives a modern 21st century makeover so it fits well on the contemporary stages proving that traditional music is both historical and contemporary.

Their recent album “Soha el nem felejtelek“ (“I Will Never Forget You”) which was released this year is a summary of their first five years on the music scene. The album contemplates on the footprints of life and the members have been working on it for years. PásztorHóra’s trademark is collaboration between different styles. The members of the band have played different styles of music ranging from early music to jazz and from pop to metal. The dynamic nature of Balkan music is combined with the elegance of classic music and all of this blends in with the love for traditional music. Their diverse personalities and captivating concerts create a special, even magical atmosphere. They will enchant you and you won’t want to leave!

“Even though tradition and the influence of old masters is clearly felt in their music, their rhythm is so contemporary and natural that any other genre-specific characteristics no longer matter in their music,” Mihály Rácz in his blog Lángoló Gitárok (langologitarok.blog.hu)
 
“One of the best Moldovan albums released during the last few years. I will never forget you. There’s no doubt about that,” Viktor Fehér, from the band Kerekes.
 
András Bergics – fiddle, bagpipe, kaval, flutes
Ádám Újházi –fiddle, Jew’s harp
László Szlama – koboz, kaval, vocals
Mátyás Egervári – cymbalom, bagpipe
Gergely Okos – drum



cancel

Puuluup

Estonia
at - Kaevumägi
Neozombiepostfolk duo Puuluup plays with talharpas, electronics and free associations. First we learned some old tunes from Vormsi and then let ourselves to be influenced by anything we saw on TV or read in the news. An exceptional excitement of playing together absorbs us when we can sing about peculiar trees, warm food and mysticism.
 
Ramo Teder (Pastacas) – talharpa, vocals, electronics
Marko Veisson – talarpa, vocals, electronics



cancel

RegiRAM

Estonia
at - Estonian Traditional Music Center
Celebrating its 75th birthday this year, Estonian National Male Choir (also known as RAM) was established by Estonian choral music legend, conductor and composer Gustav Ernesaks. Having sung mostly a cappella during its early years, RAM has grown into a world-famous professional choir that often performs large symphonic compositions.

Starting from the 2011 / 2012 season Estonian National Male Choir is led by chief conductor and artistic director Mikk Üleoja. In 2015 Estonian National Male Choir and Mikk Üleoja were awarded the State Cultural Award, marking the choir’s remarkable performances.

Estonian National Male Choir’s newest project “REGIRAM” is dedicated to arrangements of runo songs and features acclaimed musicians Celia Roose, Tuule Kann and Robert Jürjendal.



cancel

Stories and songs from the Ruhnu island

Estonia
at - I Kirsimägi

We’re taking a trip to the Ruhnu island and it’s beautiful nature – we’re going to a wedding, a party, the beach, cultural centre, church and we’re placed in the middle of the island’s everyday life. 

Once upon a time, the island was known not only because of its masterful seal hunters and craftsmen but also for its exquisite fiddlers. When researching the forgotten Ruhnu-Swedish traditional music, Karoliina Kreintaal, Lee Taul and Sänni Noormets came up with the idea to organise a fiddle camp on the island to breathe new life into the old songs. Today, the camp has been filling the entire island with Ruhnu-Swedish for seven years. 

Recently they recorded the songs from the island on an album which introduces the colourful heritage of Ruhnu starting from the wedding songs and ending with original songs inspired by the island. Kairi Leivo is telling colourful stories she’s heard on the island and introduces the village chronicles.

Karoliina Kreintaal - fiddle, viola, vocals
Lee Taul - fiddle, vocals
Sänni Noormets - fiddle, viola, vocals
Kairi Leivo – storytelling



cancel

Suits and Kool

Estonia
at - I Kirsimägi
We are Suits and Kool, a musical group that has played together since autumn 2014. We are inspired by playing traditional dance music: mostly pieces written for the Estonian diatonic accordion, kannel and violin. In addition, we sing some old songs about life and love. We have both graduated from the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy with a degree in folk music.

Kristi’s family has several generations of diatonic accordion players: already her grandfather August Laanesaar was a popular diatonic accordion player and Kristi’s mother Ülle Kool also plays this traditional folk instrument, which is a favourite of Estonians. During her studies in Viljandi, Janne also studied at the Eric Sahlström Institute in Sweden, where she learned to play their traditional instrument the nyckelharpa.

In 2019 we released an album titled “Kasesalu tantsud”. The title of the album has two meanings in Estonian. On the one hand, it means that we are playing songs from the repertoire of Erni Kasesalu – the kannel maestro from South Estonia. But the title (which also translates as “Dances of Birch Groves”) also hints at the dance culture of olden times: young people came together in birch groves and village swing grounds to dance, sing, play games and socialise.
cancel

Svjata Vatra and Žurba

Estonia / Ukraine
at - II Kirsimägi

The group Svjata Vatra is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Estonian-Ukrainian friendship with a CD and concert called “Maailm, sa muutud” (“World, You’re Changing”), which was released in 2020 was created in collaboration between three generations and musicians from three different countries. The aim was to hand down the important values in life from grandparents to grandchildren and highlight the connection between generations and collaboration between musicians across different countries.

Svjata Vatra has invited the band’s soloist Ruslan’s daughter Rute and the Ukrainian but residing in Estonia grandmothers’ folk band Žurba to join them on the stage at Viljandi Folk Music Festival. Rute Trochynskyi has grown up together with the band and performed with them since she was five years old which makes it ten years. The folk band Žurba has been active in Tallinn for 28 years and has performed at festivals in both Estonia and abroad.

When Ruslan Trochynskyi wrote the song “Maailm, sa muutud” (“World, You’re Changing”), no one could suspect how prophetic it will turn out to be. During the album release event in March 2020, the entire world was experiencing a global change which has had a great impact on the entire world of music.




cancel

Tbilisi

Georgia
at - Kaevumägi
at - II Kirsimägi
The old friends of the festival guests from Georgia are back!

The music of Tbilisi who sing traditional choir songs has everything – one moment, it’s incredibly gentle and affectionate and the next, it’s booming like a thundering cloud. The programme includes songs from various areas of Georgia including war songs, songs about being on the road, church songs, pastoral songs and wedding songs.


cancel

Thinking of Jaak

Estonia
at - St. Paul´s Church 

Jaak Johanson was a singer and artist who liked to seamlessly navigate very different worlds: metropolitan cities and isolated islands, opposing personalities, teachers and students, various artistic communities, religions, musical genres and musicians – original song, folk song, jazz, rock, etc. In his performances and concert arrangements, he was able to combine the composer's and the folk singer's songs into a natural tandem – a musician's personal way of expressing himself.

Jaak's songs, his performances, and his way of thinking were influenced by many famous predecessors, and he himself was an influence on and companion to many. His view of folk music was one of the key drivers behind the birth of the festival and its ideals. He also stated that Viljandi Folk Festival was an event conducive to falling in love.

Jaak Johanson passed away on 14 February this year.

Krista Citra Joonas, Kärt, Mart and Ants Johanson, Jaak Tuksam, Eesti Keeled, Seán Garvey, Sofia Joons Gylling, Marko Matvere, Mari Kalkun, Meelika Hainsoo, Silver Sepp, Sakarias Jaan Leppik.

Photo: Kaari Saarma
cancel

Tintura

Estonia
at - Kaevumägi
Tintura released their first album “Kaugel üksi võõra rahva hulgas” (“Far away and alone among alien people” which is based on the heritage of Estonians who were deported or immigrated to Siberia. These are folk songs which were handed down from one generation to another, which lived and developed in their new environment and which have been preserved and returned to the home land thanks to the expeditions in the 1990s and 2000s that were organised by the Estonian Folklore Archives.

The album consists of 9 songs which are based on the expedition materials which were published in 2015 in the anthology “Siberi eestlaste laulud” (“Songs by the Estonians in Siberia”, edited and collected by Any Korb). The archival materials that were published in the anthology have been used by several Estonian musicians and bands but this is the first full album of Siberian Estonian songs released in Estonia.

“The singing culture of Siberian Estonians is unique,” says Arno Tamm who is the newest member of the band. “For example, the texts in local dialects from different parts of Estonia are combined with the Slavic style of singing and there are also folk melodies from the awakening period which are given a new life.”

“It’s incredibly interesting to observe the improvisation that’s part of folk songs and how it changes in time,” explains the soloist and fiddle player Karoliina Kreintaal. “For me, it’s very inspiring to see what the traditions were among Estonians who lived in small villages and how despite the times, circumstances, political and social situation, people still thought it was important to get together and sing old songs together.”

Members:

Karoliina Kreintaal – vocals, fiddle, viola, small kantele
Taavet Niller – contrabass, vocals
Lauri Täht – backs, samples, drums, percussion instruments, vocals
Arno Tamm – vocals, guitar, keyboard instruments



cancel

Torupilli Juss 176

Estonia
at - Kaevumägi
Juhan Maaker aka Torupilli Juss – who was he? Why is he such a household name amongst bagpipe players? How did they play the bagpipe in the past? You can find out about all this and much more at the gala concert which is dedicated to the 176th anniversary of Torupilli Juss’s birth.

We play and sing songs which were part of his repertoire 100 years ago. We tell stories which have been brought to us by historical records and also make a nod to this year’s festival theme and bring together all sorts of musicians to play the 21st song by Torupilli Juss.

On the stage:

Cätlin Mägi, Liisi Koikson, Eeva Talsi, Sandra Vabarna, Karoliina Kreintaal, Silver Sepp, Marko Mägi, Marek Talts, Jaan Pehk, Piret Päär, Merike Paberits and Ulvi Võsa.



cancel

Trad.Attack!

Estonia
at - II Kirsimägi
Created in 2013 Trad.Attack! is an Estonian band who has turned Estonian music market upside down by bringing traditional music and long vanished village voices to big stages, first covers of the magazines and becoming a source of inspiration for the young generation in Estonia. They are building a modern world and an impressively big sound around archaic sounds. While realising their huge musical ambition, Trad.Attack! also pursues a bigger masterplan – to play live in every country of the world.


cancel

Traditional musicians from Virumaa

Estonia
at - Kaevumägi
The idea to make an album started from researching the heritage of the accordion player Martin Müller’s grandmother Hella Tõevere (1912) and her sister Julie Lipstok (1914). From the archive of the Estonian Literary Museum, we acquired Anu Korb’s recorded material with their songs and stories which were recorded in the beginning of the 90s. Tiny Martin had also recorded some songs with her grandmother. Martin’s grandmother’s thick copybook with lyrics was of great help. When we were researching in the archive, we discovered the accordion songs by August Ehasalu from Tapa which also piqued our interest. His songs “Padikaater” and “Kirumanni polka” were included on the album and recorded by the students and teachers of Tapa Music and Art School.

The idea of an album was attractive to a number of traditional musicians who have a connection to Virumaa like Villu Talsi, Ilmar Kald, Taavet Niller, Asso Int, Jaanus Põlder, Enver Lani and many others who formed different bands when playing music together. For the album, the musicians also played songs from the areas of Kiviõli, Jõhvi, Püssi and Rakvere which are connected to our traditional musicians.

The music on this album is our musicians’’ vision of the traditional music culture of Virumaa throughout time and space.

With our team, we have made a start to find and preserve our local traditional culture.

And we can’t forget that it’s the people of Virumaa who have to protect Virumaa!

Martin Müller – accordion, vocals
Asso Int – Estonian diatonic accordion, vocals
Villu Talsi – mandolin, guitar, vocals
Taavet Niller – contrabass, vocals
Ilmar Kald – fiddle, saw instrument, vocals
Jaanus Põlder – guitar, mandolin, vcoals
Enver Lani – bass guitar, vocals
Tanel Sakrits – mandolin, vocals
Kaarin Aamer – guitar, vocals
Sten Aamer – mandolin, vocals
Tõnis Kirsipu – drums
Karoliina Alla – garmon, vocals
Mariliina Alla – mandolin, vocals
Randmar Tuulemäe – mandolin, vocals
Mattias Kaasik – bass guitar, guitar
Mariel Ahven – mandolin
Kirke Veiser – garmon
Adeele Aamer – fiddle
Lisete Ivask - fiddle



cancel

Trio Dhoore

Flanders
at - I Kirsimägi
at - I Kirsimägi
"Their stage performance is top-notch on all levels – from the humor to the music"

Alex Gallacher - Folk Radio UK

"Those lucky enough to have caught the Dhoore brothers on the festival circuit raved about their freshness and verve!"  

Dave Hadfield - The Living Tradition UK

This album strengthens the theory that something special happens when families perform together. An atmospheric and moving collection of instrumentals inspired by the Flemish tradition.  

Rock’n Reel Magazine (Ireland)

Trio Dhoore, is a band existing out of three brothers from Flanders found in 2010. Known for its innovative instrumental compositions rooted in the Flemish traditional music.  

Growing up in a family where making music was encouraged and folk music was never far away Ward, Hartwin & Koen started playing their first traditional tunes together around the kitchen table at the age of ten. The seed was planted.  

Through the years the brothers managed to create their own musical identity that attracted many listeners far across the Flemish borders.  

Diatonic accordion, hurdy-gurdy, guitar, and electronic effects complement each other seamlessly in a musical adventure where you sit on the edge of your chair.
cancel

Tuulelõõtsutajad

Estonia
at - II Kirsimägi
Tuulelõõtsutajad is like a simple and sea-ready fishing boat which is bobbing to its own jolly rhythm despite the moody weather or any trends.
Tuulelõõtsutajad was born to perform at Viljandi Folk Music Festival in 2000. During the first decade of the new millennium, they took the stage of the festival quite often. The last time they performed at the festival was in 2012 together with the male engineers choir. As a lot of water has flown into the sea since then, Tuulelõõtsutajad are back! As before, they play music for the joy of listeners to accompany dancing and they’re presenting their third album “Elumere lained” (“The Waves of the Sea of Life”) they released to celebrate their 20th jubilee.

Members:

Juhan Uppin – diatonic accordion, vocals
Siim Rikker – diatonic accordion, octave mandolin, vocals
Priit Rikker – bass, vocals
Enrik Visla – fiddle, vocals
Toomas Oks – guitar, vocals









cancel

Ülemakstud rentslihärrad

Estonia
Two well-known traditional musicians from two different bands bring manly songs and stories from the end of XIX and the first years of XX century.

Tarmo Noormaa - Estonian diatonic accordions and vocal
Lauri Õunapuu - songs and stories
cancel

Untsakad

Estonia
at - II Kirsimägi
Untsakad is an Estonian folk band which was established in the second half of the previous century. All of this means that it’s an established band that doesn’t need a thorough introduction.

At the concert you will hear the following music:

·       Runo songs (these were invented a few years before the band was started, straight after the world was created)

·       Derisive songs (in the past, they sang about everything, even about vodka and women)

·       Modern songs and war songs (NB! these songs will require parental guidance)

·       Songs by the forest brothers (it’s getting worse and worse)

·       Songs by the Pogues in Estonian (this is a band that’s even older that Untsakad from abroad, they’re older than bread)

That’s a summary of our music. In addition, it’s worth pointing out that the members might be elderly but they are very clean. At least for the moment. All vaccinated and chipped.



cancel

VIIK

Estonia
at - Estonian Traditional Music Center

Instrumental group VIIK connects two musicians who have been active on the Estonian traditional music scene for a long time and who have now decided to join their creative forces and instruments. The 12-string kantele and the guitar are looking for harmonies and self-expression through the means of original songs.

The duo’s music is personal and carries the face of the authors by giving the listeners the chance to take part of the authors’ journeys, their celebrations and every day routine and the emotions that accompany both.

The kantele and the guitar don’t often play together on the stage which is why it’s enjoyable to see how the sounds of these two instruments are melded into one in VIIK’s music.

“VIIK is like an ancient weighted swing where the people on opposite ends have to observe each other to keep the balance and make sure they don’t fall over. When Kadri and Ott play their instruments, the swing is constantly moving and it makes for a great spectacle to see how the melodies and phrases land or where they end up. You won’t find any comfortable stagnation here, or if so, it’s deceptive and is preparing you for a new surprise. The strings on the two instruments paint a picture in the listener’s ear where the players are everywhere around you and create a bright and airy playing ground where everything is possible.”

Kristjan Priks, musician (DAGÖ, Riffarrica)


Members:

Kadri Lepasson – 12-string kantele

Ott Kaasik – guitar (Swedish lauto)




cancel

ZeMe

Latvia
at - Kaevumägi
ZeMe is a personal story made by two exciting artists – the queen of the kokle, Laima Jansone, and Monsta, master of the turntables and electronica.

Both were born in Riga, Latvia, as was ZeMe, however, it was polished and presented in Japan in 2015 and 2016 while both artists where
touring and learning the art of observation.

Their melodies come from their heritage of Latvian roots music in combination with cutting-edge technologies and the competition between free improvisation and live looping. The inner meditative sounds of the kokle interacting with expressive scratching makes this duo special.

It is that moment, when a breezily flowing stream comes together with a groove as heavy as clay; that moment when two different spirits come together to express the instinct of being a part of this earth.

Zeme in Latvian mythology literally signifies Mother Earth. The kokle is a traditional Latvian stringed instrument whose 2000 year history is still a topic of discussion among philologists. Laima plays a replica of a 19th century kokle. Latvia is the heart of the Baltic states. A country with beautiful landscapes and a complex history. A treasure trove of traditional music and ancient myths.
cancel

Zetod

Estonia
at - II Kirsimägi
Zetod – a folk rock legend of 17 years

When this band of young Seto boys was created in 2003, no one knew that Seto leelo songs could play in mainstream radio stations, on TV and at music festivals. Zetod mix together folk, rock, punk and metal music and it creates an energy that is rarely seen elsewhere. They have released six albums, the latest of which is “Traadilda” in the a cappella style. In addition to different Estonian folk festivals, the band has also performed in Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Belgium, France and the USA. Their music plays an enormous role in introducing Seto leelo singing around the world.
 
Zetod have created a lot of new music during the pandemic and it’s now time to play it on the stage! Viljandi Folk Music Festival without Zetod would definitely not be a real Viljandi Folk Music Festival and that’s just how it is. Are you ready?
 
Artur Linnus – accordion and vocals
Matis Leima – fiddle, garmon and vocals
Jalmar Vabarna – guitars and vocals
Jaanus Viskar – bass guitar and vocals
Martin Kütt – drums



Match not found