6hunesseq (which means „humidity“ in Võru language) is a band with a unique sound whose music is mainly characterised by curiosity. How do an organ and a bowed lyre fit into the placid and sensitive world of spiritual traditional music? How did traditional hymns speak to our ancestors and how did they develop them further at home?

According to the composer and traditional poetry collector Cyrillus Kreek, these songs consisted mainly of „twirls, swirls and hooks“. How does this music inspire us to use our voices and find a new and intriguing symbiosis, a sizzling humidity? At the concert at St John’s Church, all of this merges into a bright whole – we walk through the entire church year with the help of these overripe melodies, starting and ending with summer. 6hunesseq combines whistles, bows and voices in a meditative and sweet way.

Marion Selgall – vocals
Greta Liisa Grünberg – vocals, bowed lyre
Maria Mänd – vocals, bowed lyre
Kaisa Kuslapuu – organ


Ak Dan Gwang Chil


A contemporary interpretation of the sacred, shamanic and secular folk traditions of the Hwanghae-do region, nowadays a western province of North Korea.

Ak Dan Gwang Chil (ADG7) is a multi-award winning Korean traditional music group, featuring six Korean traditional musicians and three powerhouse female folk singers. ADG7 performs repertoire from the sacred, shamanic and secular gut (ritual music) and minyo (folk song) traditions of the Hwanghae-do region, nowadays a western province of North Korea. Their powerful engaging performance will immerse audiences into a spiritual experience and bring blessings of positive energy originating from gut and minyo.

ADG7 was organized in 2015, to the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule. Their music expresses the true meaning of liberation and South Korea’s desire for reunification. They recently won multiple awards including Best Group at the 2018 KBS Korean Traditional Music Award and Sori Frontier Award at the 2017 Jeongju International Sori festival. ADGC has been selected as one of the WOMEX (World Music Expo) 2019 official showcase artists.


Ando & Friends

Various countries
More info will be here soon!

Black Bread Gone Mad

Black Bread Gone Mad is a progressive rebel folk band from Estonia. They play original songs which have been influenced by Estonian traditional music, world music and 70s rock. Their concerts which burst with energy show how borderless and restrictionless music can be. Their music is born out of the wish to create freshness and intrigue on the traditional music scene. The only criterion they’ve set themselves is that what they create needs to inspire them and keep them warm.
In 2019, the band released their first album “Ayibobo” which won three awards at the Ethno Ladels gala – debut album of the year, album of the year and the new folk artist of the year. In addition to that, they also won the best folk album award at the Estonian Music Awards gala. In the summer of 2021, they released their second album “MAA” (“EARTH”) which takes the listener on a journey inside themselves. “MAA” follows their previous musical language but it’s more layered and deeper while retaining the old school rock element.

Merike Paberits – flute, vocals
Lee Taul – fiddle, vocals
Peeter Priks – guitar, vocals
Mati Tubli – bass, vocals
Martin Aulis – drums




“Breabach embarked on the journey from Astar to Frenzy of the Meeting with an open mind and a keen desire to explore, listeners who join them are sure to enjoy the results with an ever increasing sense of wonder.” 

Folk Radio UK

“This award-winning band is forging ahead into fresh pastures new with their forward-thinking musical attitude, which flies the proud banner for Gaeldom.”  

FolkWales Magazine

2020 marked a very special year in the life of Scottish folk favourites Breabach, as it was their 15th anniversary. Throughout those 15 years the band have always looked to acknowledge and respect the origins of both the music they play and the roots of the band whilst embracing the future with new ideas, energy and belief. It is these key attributes, combined with hard work and talent, that has seen them develop into one of Scotland’s most exciting and successful folk groups. With 6 albums under their belt, a multitude of awards and a consistently full touring schedule, quite literally across the world, they look perfectly set to continue to build upon their successes.  


 Megan Henderson - Fiddle, Vocals)

 James Lindsay - Double Bass, Vocals

Calum MacCrimmon - Bagpipes, Whistle, Bouzouki, Vocals

Conal McDonagh - Bagpipes, Whistle

Ewan Robertson - Guitar, Vocals, Cajon


Celia Roose, Piret Päär, Ene Salumäe

Taeva kõrge kaare peal (On the high arch in the sky)

Piret says, “I tell old stories whose roots dig deep into hundreds or maybe even thousands of years ago. Telling these stories in a church takes these straight into the high skies, maybe even within the hearing range of god himself.”
Celia explains, “The lyrics of runo songs invite you to look at trees. Even though they are all different, they all bend in a similar way. We, modern people, should bend ourselves more towards the old singing culture, because it shows us the beauty of language and poetry and gives us advice on how to live which is applicable even in this day and age.“
Ene says, “They used to make high arcs out of organ whistles under the ceiling arches and they put angels with lyres, trumpets and kettledrums on it. The immense range of the organ whistles ranges from very low to the highest notes, hundreds of whistles all together and all separately, shouting from the depth towards the high arches – the joy of playing music is immense!”

Ene Salumäe – organ

Piret Päär - storytelling

Celia Roose – vocals, bagpipe



Celia Roose, Piret Päär, Ene Salumäe “On the High Arch In the Sky”

More info will be here soon!

Estonia / Ireland

Cú is a peculiar name for a band. In Irish mythology, it is a hound that accompanies a half divine hero. Intriguing and awe-inspiring but also simple and straightforward once you get to know it. The same applies to their music. It’s wizardly traditonal island music which has been tied to the Estonian ancient woods with an invisible sailor’s knot.

We describe our music using the symbol of the tree. Deep drum rhythms and sounds woven with traditional elements connect the audience to their roots and the earth and bring them closer to the present moment. The metal-like hues created by the hang that was built by an Estonian master and the harp sounds help to grow the branches to the moon and bring the entire world to the stage. The treetops and roots that bend towards each other create the circle of life, the whole.

Jaan Eerik Priks - harp, vielle
Hannelore Karmel Juurikas – vocals, shaman drum, fiddle
Brian Francis Devaney - hang, hand pan, guitar bodhrán, vocals
Rasmus Mikfelt – bass fiddle, vocals
Brita Priks - fiddle, vocals, Jew’s harp


Duo Ruut

They will play music from their short album “Kulla kerguseks” (“For the lightness of gold”) but in addition to new songs, they will also perform older hits. Who knows, they might even throw in a bonus track. But you will definitely hear smooth vocals and juicy zither sounds. From dancing and spells to the crescent moon.
Duo Ruut is a joint effort of two good friends who have different musical backgrounds and tastes. Having found a new musical breathing from their ancestor’s heritage, Katariina Kivi and Ann-Lisett Rebane sat down behind a zither 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 zither 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.

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. Last summer, Duo Ruut went on a debut tour in Italy and gave concerts in the Czech Republic. They are now looking forward to a tour in Germany and giving concerts in many other European cities.
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. It was also nominated in several categories at the Estonian Music Awards 2021. Last summer, they released their short album “Kulla kerguseks” which has been well received both in Estonia and abroad and won the Ethno-folk album of the ear award at the Estonian Music Awards 2022. Duo Ruut has also been involved in some interesting collaborations, for example with the bellowed band NOËP who released their own version of the song “Tuule sõnad” which received the remix of the year award from Radio 2.


Duo Tuus & Tradimus

Duo tuus

Once upon a time, two friends who were also traditional musicians decided to take their instruments out of the bags and make something great! The combination of vibes from Southern Estonia and elsewhere make your feet move and ears listen because they’ve gathered inspiration from here and there, from the walk to school, from travels and from friends. Everyone will find something new and something familiar in their music. When a fiddle and an accordion meet, only greatness will follow.
Marta Külaots – fiddle
Herbert Konnula - accordion


Tradimus was launched during the 2020 Children’s ETHNO tour which consisted of six brilliant musicians from the children’s ETHNO camp that took place in the summer.

The youngsters play mainly their own arrangements of Estonian traditional music but they also add variety with foreign tunes and original songs. Tradimus has performed at different festivals (Viljandi Traditional Music Festival, Mooste Elohelü, Särin, Harvest Festival) and has been acknowledged by different juries at competitions. Tradimus won the youth award and the audience award at the traditional music arrangement competition at Mooste Elohelü and they also took part in the Young People’s Traditional Band Competition where they won in the younger category and were voted the audience’s favorite.

Tradimus is bursting with energy and joy on the stage. The sensitivity to tradition and sparkling ideas of the youngsters blend together and make everyone’s feet move while providing a multifaceted experience!

Jakob Ermann (fiddle, Estonian bagpipe)
Susi Eerin Heinlo (fiddle)
Kertu-Liis Õnnis (14-string väikekannel)
Randmar Tuulemäe (mandolin)
Mihkel Sildoja (garmon, button accordion, Estonian diatonic accordion)
Katariina Nelli Tiisler (garmon, button accordion)



Created in 2022, EHALE likes to play traditional music from Estonia and abroad. They draw inspiration from old archival recordings and everything else that they see and hear - that's why they also play foreign songs and original music. The soundscape of EHALE is characterised by modern playfulness and traditional dance rhythms.

Hellika Otsar – fiddle, vocals
Aneta Ponetajev – fiddle, vocals
Aet Kubits – clarinet, vocals
Mathias Lantin – guitar, vocals

The journey of the young band has been supervised by Lee Taul and supported by the Estonian Traditional Music Center.


Estonian Voices, Sander Mölder, Jonas F.K & string quartet Four Est

This concert is a tasteful combination of the band’s original songs and traditional music which is arranged in the format of modern impro pop. The programme that has been put together by the artistic director of Estonian Voices, Kadri Voorand and Sander Mölder centres around the idea of looking at our traditional music through song which has been arranged using a diverse array of instruments. They play music which includes jazz harmonies, electronic manipulations and snippets from traditional archival recordings. All of these are tastefully spiced up with pop rhythms and an engaging sound.

ETHNO Estonia

Various countries

ETHNO Estonia 2022 is an international music collective which consists of 75 musicians from different parts of the world. Youngsters from Chile, Brazil, India, UK, Sweden, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Finland and Estonia bring diversity to the setup. The collective is made up from different musicians every summer which is why their concerts are always intriguing, surprising and unique. Their repertoire is similarly diverse – traditional tunes and songs from different countries which they learn from each other during the 9-day music camp preceding the festival. ETHNO is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and they’ve made a documentary to celebrate which opens the door to the inner workings of the camp. 

Vitality, energy and joy of playing music mix at every Estonian ETHNO concert and give the audience a massive energy boost! 


Eva Väljaots

Eva Väljaots is an Estonian folk musician, who plays various types of traditional kannel – an ancient string instrument widespread in Finno-Ugric cultures. Modern meets archaic in her music inspired by the present moment as well as her own heritage, age-old tales, and Finno-Ugric musical tradition. At this year’s Viljandi Folk Music Festival, Eva Väljaots is presenting her debut solo album Hundinuiaõis * Bulrush Bloom. It consists of her self-penned music, which she performs on several kannels, widening the playing techniques and bringing out the rich sound of her instruments. Each kannel opens up a unique world in Eva Väljaots’s picturesque soundscapes. The concert features visuals which accompany the musical journey. They are animated from Eva’s own drawings and tell a story of a bulrush bloom, a little and vigorous character, who travels around the world.


Eva Väljaots & Robbie Sherratt

Estonia / Ireland
Eva Väljaots and Robbie Sherratt write and perform music rooted in Estonian and English folklore. Their music, both modern and tradition-sensitive, combines kannel, fiddle, and vocals in a colourful, rich and enchanting way. Sharing an affinity for improvisation and spontaneity, the duo’s communication and companionship captivates ears eager to float and toes yearning to dance.
They regularly perform in England, Estonia and Finland. They were the semi-finalists in Kaustinen Folk Music Festival’s Konsta Jylhä competition in 2021 and won the Grand Prize of the Mooste Elohelü Folk Music Competition in 2020. In Viljandi Folk Music Festival 2022 they will play music from their upcoming debut album.




Are you ready for a Norwegian folk music party? Gangar is a Norwegian folk rock band founded at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and is a cannon ball of young and wild energy you won’t forget anytime soon. Gangarstubbgutta arrange traditional norwegian instrumental tunes and songs resulting in a new sound that includes everything from
rockabilly to djentrock. With inspiration from Hoven Droven, Shining, AC/DC and Meshuggah they make the oldest Norwegian folk repertoire more accessible to a varied audience without compromising the original material. Frontman and fiddle player Mattias Thedens has a long background in folk music and dance, and with that experience combined
with the other band members’ breadth of genre including, jazz, funk, pop, soul and heavy metal, Gangar has a new and innovative sound. Combined with an electrifying stage show, Gangar deliver a musical package of high quality that will make the audience struggle to keep their feet off the dance floor.

Mattias Thedens - Fiddles
Oskar Lindberget - Saxophone
Richard Max - Electric guitar
Jonas Thrana Jensen - Electric bass
Henrik Dullum - Drums


The six-member formation was established in 2007, in Budapest, Hungary. The word “Góbé” means “a man with a twisted mind”. They have used authentic folk music in a daring and experimental way right
from the beginning. The members completed their studies at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music so their range of tools includes classical, folk and popular music alike.

Over the last 15 years the band has travelled the whole Carpathian Basin and half of Europe. At the same time, they have appeared on almost every Hungarian popular music platform during their more than 1000 concerts. They have always been keen to explore new scenes other than the world of festivals and clubs, for example theatre, circus, dance theatre and film scores. Wherever they have their concerts, eras, styles and tastes encounter while crowds immerse themselves in dance. 

Not only do folk music and contemporary music coexist but they also form the same culture and interact with each other – the Góbé has looked for these points of intersection in their first three albums. The band is continuously working on new music materials and in 2021 they are planning to release their songs one by one, which are unique and intense as far as their character, instrumentation and unexpected technical solutions are concerned.


Várai Áron – lead singer, bagpipe, whistle, percussion
Rigó Márton – violin, viola, guitar, vocals
Vizeli Máté – violas, violin, guitar, kobza, vocals
Egervári Mátyás – hammered dulcimer, viola-tambura, hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, whistle, flute, schalmei
Hegyi Zoltán – double bass, bass guitar
Czupi Áron – drums, percussion, vocals

Harri Lindmets and Henrik Hinrikus

This duo was created especially in line with this year’s festival theme roots and treetops. These two men from old Wõromaa share a passion for Teppo accordions and traditional music.
Harry Lindmets with his primeval knowledge is a real old school accordion player who is a great inspiration for your accordion players.
Henrik Hinrikus is an accordion player with a modern playing style who’s not afraid to use forbidden techniques while playing.
But what will the music played by accordion players from different eras sound like? You’ll find out at the concert!


Hecki Trio

We are a group of three called Hecki from a wine area in the south of Austria (Styria/Carinthia). The origin of the name comes from 'Heckenklescher' which is a type of wine that also marks our inception. We grew up in the folk culture at an early age that gave birth to our passion. So we decided to create a new variety of folk music which is inspired by folk tunes from the Alpine Region. Hecki music is a fusion of our own compositions along with 'Oberkrainer', traditional and new folk. As there is a diverse blend of grapes in the wine so is our traditional tunes. Wine is the main fuel that drives our spirits towards this kind of music.


Marcel Mölschl - Diatonic Harmonica, Bassclarinet, Clarinet
Nik Jam - Diatonic Harmonica, Bassclarinet, Basstrumpet
Johanna Jamnik - Guitar


Hempress Sativa


A multi-faceted and raw talent, Hempress aka The Lyrical Machine blends reggae with variants of hip hop, afrobeats and R&B. Rising to prominence  in 2013 as part of the Jah Ova Evil Movement (which also included the
likes of Chronixx and Infinite), Hempress has gone on to release a string of critically acclaimed singles, Eps and albums, including ‘Unconquerebel’ which reached No.1 in the Global Reggae Charts; ‘Scientist Meets Hempress Sativa in Dub’ – a collaboration with dub legend, Scientist; ‘Rock It Ina Dance’, ‘Boom Shakalak’ and the international smash hit, ‘Boom – Wah Da Da Deng’ with Paolo Baldini Dubfiles. Her most recent work includes ‘Wicked and Riled’ with world-renowned U.S reggae band, Tribal Seeds. Backed by her band, The Unconquerebels, this promises to be a very special night, not to be missed.

Hypnosis Negative

Estonia / Canada
This band plays dance music! “Hypnosis” – going into a trance by dancing and playing music, “Negative” – a photo negative which swaps out the colours but lets the crux of the photo shine even brighter. The music by the traditional flutist Katriina Tirmaste and the Canadian violinist Robert Alan Mackie is trying to capture the roots of dance, the primal impulse of moving.
This message is communicated through strangely similar melodies which have been popular for a reason on both sides of the Atlantic. Endless repetitions shake you out of your routine sense of time and create a space for creative spontaneity for both dancers and musicians. Together, we climb on the family tree of dance until the wish to move overshadows the choreography. This is the way to hypnosis through dance.
Hypnosis Negative is introducing its sizzling debut album “Three Corners” at Viljandi Folk Festival. Tõnis Kirsipu joins the band on the stage as a guest.
Robert Alan Mackie – fiddle, Canadian foot percussion
Katariina Tirmaste – flute, Jew’s harp
Tõnis Kirsipu – percussion instruments


Jaan Palu 140

This year marks the 140th anniversary of the birth of the legendary Kihnu fiddler Jaan Palu. He is known for his rhythmic and unique filddling style and a wide repertoire of traditional Estonian labajala ("foot" in Estonian) waltzes. Why did he play labajala waltzes in 1937 when the world around him had forgotten about this dance? Why and how would you play these today? Who was Jaan Palu as a person, what kind of people and music was he surrounded by? When, where and why did he play the fiddle and what did it all look like? In addition to a homage, this concert is also a way of introducing and performing Jaan Palu's music as a whole and exploring its context.

On the stage:

Maarja Nuut
Regina Mänd


Jaan Sööt, Andre Maaker


These two first met on the stage at the end of 2016 right here in Viljandi. They left with a very good feeling, so they started meeting more often on the stage and they collected a number of songs that spoke to both of them which were then recorded on the album "Armastusfilm" ("Love film"). And afher that, they've been giving more and more concerts together at both fishermen's fairs and weddings, on green fields and in fancy castles. This time, they sing and talk about everything again to find out how it used to be!


Kärt Johanson and Elina Reinold

Life is a rhythm. Rhythm is a song. Song is a poetry. Poetry is life.

Folk song and author's song. Folklore and author's poetry. Who is this nation and who is the author whose poetry we read and sing?

Kärt Johanson - sings the songs (mandolin, guitar)

Elina Reinold - reads the poetry


Katariin Raska, Ulvi Võsa, Sanskriti Shrestha

More info will be here soon!

Kids ETHNO 2022


ETHNO 2022 is a traditional music collective which consists of 35 talented young musicians. Children aged 12-16 learn traditional tunes and songs from the Estonian traditional music treasure trove during the week-long music camp and they perform these songs on the stage at the festival.

Youthful energy and the joy of playing music are integral parts of every children’s ETHNO concert and they fill the audience with joy!


Kihnu Mare’s Kids Group


This children’s group of instrument players from Kihnu is a collective that has been active for 16 years. The group consist mainly of the students of Kihnu School who are accompanied by alumni, village musicians and their friends, teachers and supporters. The group introduces mainly the rich heritage of their home island but they also organise dance workshops and put up performances which introduce runo songs. They provide a cross-section of the traditional music of a small island in the middle of the Gulf of Livonia.



Various countries
Description about the artist will be here soon.

Kuula Hetke


Kuula Hetke (Listen the Moment) is an improvisational flute duo of Kärt Pihlap and Katariina Tirmaste. Specially for this year’s Viljandi Folk Music Festival, the duo has picked tunes and motives from the birthplaces of their great-grandparents, playing them in the most relevant way to the present moment and space.

“Their musical “presence” is a one of a kind delicate virtue, stemming from attentive listening and a sense of ensemble close to perfection. [...] The sound fabric woven by two flutes seems timeless and honest and has a hypnotic quality to it – whether the music is based on their own compositions or the vast expanse of oral tradition.”

Robert Jürjendal 2022


Lauri Saatpalu & Peeter Rebane

More info will be here soon!



Leik is a violin and vocals duo which consists of Kelly Veinber and Elina Kasesalu. They take the elements which have been derived from Estonian traditional music and direct them to new paths. Their music is characterised by tenderness, fluidity and feminine and courageous energy. Leik’s music features diverse and harmonious rhythm patterns which are woven together with soft vocals and fiddle sounds. Leik means “playing together” in Scandinavian languages and the word is made up from the letters of the names of the people in the duo.


Leo Bianchini

Leo Bianchini is part of a generation of Brazilian artists born from the crossing of multiple references from MPB (música popular brasileira) with international music.

Naturally based on the extraordinary Brazilian musical tradition (Tom Jobim, João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, among others), Leo's creations gain strength and new colours with the cultural exchanges he makes with traditional Arab and African musicality. Leo Bianchini holds a bachelor's degree in classical guitar and has developed an authorial way of celebrating this instrument, bringing to the song's world an exquisite rhythmic-harmonic accompaniment — sambas in 7/4, Afro-Brazilian grooves, arpeggios and complex fingerings — creatively inventing a new style.

With a career consolidated playing for more than 15 years around the world, currently, he presents a unique show, 100% authorial, with his newest songs together with songs that marked his musical trajectory.

Voice, guitar, rhythms, words and colours: Leo Bianchini makes these elements sound like an authentic one-man orchestra!



The band was launched in December, 2013 when Margus Põldsepp put together a group of students who had studied accordion in his class (Andres Eelmaa, Rasmus Kadaja and Tobias Tae). He wanted the students to get some experience and get to know what it feels like playing in band. After that, the band started developing very quickly so what started out as a small project became something a lot bigger. In January 2014, Lõõtsavägilased held their first rehearsal in the music school in Karksi-Nuia. For the first year, the band was called the Accordion Band from Karksi-Nuia Music School but they soon changed their name to Lõõtsavägilased (“Accordion heroes” in Estonian).

During the first six months, they only learnt instrumental tunes but after that, they started focusing on singing as well. During the first few years, they had four accordions on the stage but in 2017, the soloist Andres Eelmaa swapped his main instrument to a bass guitar to add a different hue to their music. In January 2019, Ott-Mait Põldsepp who plays the guitar and the mandolin joined the band. Lõõtsavägilased play mainly traditional music but they don’t shy away from other genres as well.

They have performed at all the larger folk festivals in Estonia and collaborated, for example, with Untsakad, Zetod, Jaan Pehk, Hardi Volmer and Metsatöll. Lõõtsavägilased won the Ethno Ladle award in 2015 for the best newcomer in traditional music, the cultural endowment of Viljandimaa award in 2015, ERRS Lokulaud in 2015 and the song of the year award from Radio Elmar in 2018 with the song “Kui laubä õhta jõudis” (“When the Saturday night arrived”).


Lüü Türr 10


Lüü Türr is an archaic male singing group that was established in June, 2012. This means that Lüü Türr is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022. 

Runo song is closest to the band members’ hearts. They sing mainly runo songs from Northern, Western and Southern Estonia but also newer traditional songs from around Estonia. 

In the autumn of 2011, Tiit Saar and Jako Reinaste, who are the founding members of the Archaic Male Singing Association, had an idea to start holding male singing workshops in Aruküla village hall. At first, two men showed up but the word spread and soon they had around ten attendees. When looking for a name for a male singing group, they found a list of traditional bird names. The most interesting of those was Lüü-Türr which is a slang name for the nightjar from Lüganuse. 

The joy of singing is what brings men together during the evenings and inspires them to sing together. It’s a powerful feeling to sing old songs together and it’s always a pleasure to share the joy with others.

Members: Tiit Saare, Jako Reinaste, Kalmer Kaasiku, Jaan Palu, Alari Kruusvall, Andrus Rähni, Olev Rähni, Jürnas Rähni, Guido Liiskmann, Tiit Reeder, Tauno Nava and Erik Sikk.


Mäeotsa kapell & Ülemakstud rentslihärrad

Mäeotsa kapell and Ülemakstud rentslihärrad
Mäeotsa kapell:
Martin Arak - zither
Ragnar Toompuu - guitar
Kulno Malva - accordion, bagpipe
Andres Lääne – bass guitar

These four utmost polite gentlemen with their melodies have entertained the men and made the ladies dance for a good few years. When they start up the zither they lent from Vanemuine and fold out the accordion, then the bass and guitar won’t be far behind and their music will be heard from far away. And then the men from Mäeotsa will play until everyone has had a chance to dance!

Ülemakstud rentslihärrad:
Tarmo Noormaa - Teppo-type accordion, diatonic accordion, vocals
Lauri Õunapuu – vocals

These two decent gentlemen with their village melodies have made the young ladies dance and entertained the young men. When they open up the Estonian accordion like a bookshelf and unleash the vocals, no one in the audience will be able to stay still. And then they will sing until the youngsters have been married and all the dancing couples have a had a chance to dance!


Maimu Jõgeda


Maimu Jõgeda is an accordion player whose music takes the listeners to places where they want to stay for a long time to admire the surrounding beauty. She has Võru roots and comes from Rõuge and her main interest and source of inspiration is traditional music. At one point in her life, her own heritage started ringing inside her and she has poured this sound out into two albums. She is a cheerful musician with a broad mind who doesn’t restrict herself with genre boundaries – there are hints of traditional, jazz, classic and soul music in her songs. Her debut album “Pühendus” (“Dedication”) was released in 2017 and in 2020, she recorded her second album “Millestki, mis…” (“The one about…”) where her original music is molded together with Estonian bagpipe tunes. She was a nominee for the best new folk artist award in 2017 and 2020 at the Estonian traditional music awards gala Ethno Ladels. She pours her whole heart into her music and you can feel that at her concerts.

This year’s concert is bound together by Maimu’s arrangements of Estonian traditional music. These songs all happen to be directly or indirectly related to weddings. The audience will hear bagpipe tunes which she has arranged for her instrument – three of these were included on her last album. In addition to instrumental tunes, she will also sing songs which were inspired by the fascinating simplicity of the act of fiddlers singing and accompanying themselves at the same time.


Mari Jürjens


Mari Jürjens is a freelance actress, singer and songwriter. Mari has released four solo albums with original music – “22” (2010), “Maa saab taevani” (“The earth reaches the sky”, 2013), “27” (2016) and “Omaenese ilus ja veas” (“With my own beauty and flaws”, 2020). Mari received the Estonian Music Award in the original song/traditional song category and the golden record for the female artist for the year in 2021. She has collaborated and given concerts together with many established Estonian musicians (Riho Sibul, Tõnis Mägi, Vaiko Eplik, Mari Kalkun, Curly Strings, Liisi Koikson and many others). Mari’s music has been inspired by the irreversible flow of time, being human, growing up and Estonian nature.



OOPUS is folk on acid!

OOPUS is an audiovisual folktronica group based in Tallinn, Estonia. Its four members mix Estonian traditional music with analog synths and make their live movement triggered visuals pulsate as one with music. The band members love traditional and electronic dance music. They combine Estonian bagpipes and runo songs with classic acid synths TR-06, TR-09 and TB-03 that will take you from techno to acid, from 120bpm to 150bpm and beyond.

Mari Meentalo - Estonian bagpipes, jew’s harp, vocals and loopers
Johannes Ahun - analog synthesizers, live sound engineer
Aleksander Sprohgis - lights and visuals, installations
Raho Aadla - dance



Estonian folk songs inspired by the Nordic sounds, straight from the heart of Viljandi.

ÖÖT is a fresh folk band from the heart of Viljandi, who play scandinavian-inspired estonian folk song arrangements with some self-made tunes. ÖÖT wishes to show their sincerity and friendship through their music.

When making their programme, they discovered an important link between all the folk songs - in one way or the other, they mention birds.
In Estonian folklore, a singer learns her songs from birds. The chicks of the mother bird became the sun, moon and the stars. Crows take away pain, magpies take away sickness and so on. Therefore, in addition to enjoyable music, ÖÖT will also bring a fragment of bird folklore in Estonian culture onto the stage.


Fresh and flashy Finnish folk music! Polenta, a wholehearted ensemble of three fiddles and one guitar, will knock your socks off with it’s thrilling and soulful renditions of both original and traditional nordic tunes. The band’s debut album Kaustinen Turbo (released in August 2021) consists of music from the Kaustinen area, strikingly reworked and renewed. The light-footed live performances of Polenta give out instantaneous energy, radiating the joy of music and togetherness!



Puuluup sprouted from the roots of the talharpa tradition on Vormsi island and shakes its treetop with carefree glee in the streams of zombie folk and punk, trad-hop chi kung, Vivaldi and Jung and the band’s neverending urge to bow. Puuluup’s lyrics mostly discuss topics concerning cross country skiing and energy politics, with some sudden digressions to hygiene and love. They are known for their detailed descriptions of various important objects of nature and culture, pensive humor and choreographies suitable for all age groups. If you come to enjoy the concert right in front of the stage, keep yourself rooted in the ground and your hands up, as you may have to carry the gliding weight of some 100-kilo talharpa surfers.

Ramo Teder: talharpa, vocal, looper, effects
Marko Veisson: talharpa, vocal, effects


QiQi Shi


Qiqi Shi - Guzheng Artist from China. In December 2020, she released her first solo Guzheng album "Joy of Letting Go". The music in this album is an exploration of the self. A journey towards finding the right place and being the right person at the right time. Guzheng(古筝) is an ancient instrument with more than 2000 years old of history. It used to be a weapon to hurt people but because of its wonderful sound, people developed its use as an instrument to bring harmony and peace to the world. And the various playing techniques of Guzheng bring its creation of sounds of nature such as the sense of cascading waterfall, flow of the river and thunder.


Radim Zenkl ja Villu Talsi

Villu Talsi and Radim Zenkl met at a festival in the Czech Republic last summer, where they both performed with their bands during the same evenings program. The next day Villu joined Radim at a mandolin workshop. They jammed on several tunes together to everybody's delight. Later they decided to bring the fresh energy of their collaboration also to Estonia. They have prepared a special program for the Viljandi Folk Festival, featuring the traditional music of their roots - Estonia and Czechia, with a few tunes in other styles that have influenced them both, such as bluegrass, Celtic and a few surprises.

Radim Zenkl - mandolin player, composer and instructor. Born in the former Czechoslovakia, he began playing the mandolin at thirteen. The sound of a mandolin was the spark that launched a decision at the age of seventeen to play music as a career and subsequently led Radim to escaping from Czechoslovakia in the summer of 1989 (three months before the fall of communism) and settling in the San Francisco, USA. In 1992, he won the US National Mandolin Championship in Winfield, KS. He invented a masterful technique, the “Zenkl style,” in which a single mandolin sounds like two. Besides his solo performances, Radim has been collaborating with the top musicians of the US acoustic music scene and played in a duo setting with artists such as David Grisman, Tim O'Brien, Peter Rowan, Tony Trischka, Chris Thile (in a quartet), Scott Nygaard and others. He has recorded nine CDs, including a CD of improvised duets with Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Mike Marshall and others (Strings & Wings, Shanachie, 1996), and appeared on more than eighty other recordings. His instructional DVD 'Mandolin Primer' was released on Homespun in 2015. Presently, he devides his time between the United States and Czechia. Besides his original music he focuses on the music of his roots - traditional music of Czechia and Slovakia, where he uses (besides the mandolin) several unique folk wind instruments such as fujara (a 170 cm tall overtone flute), shepherd's 6-hole whistle, koncovka, dvojacka and more.


Raske Drenge

Belgium / Faroe Islands
Sometimes, two artists on a shared mission can summon
the voices of many. Such is the case with Ragnar Finsson (FO)
and Oscar Beerten (BE), who perform as a Faroese/Belgian folk
duo Raske Drenge. Finsson and Beerten not only draw deeply on
Transatlantic folk traditions, channeling the voices of bygone
explorers in song and style. With these deep roots as grounding,
Raske Drenge also punch their story-songs across with the
modern, expansive forces of indie folk-pop and punk-rock. To
listen to their music is to enter a living communion with multi-
stranded tradition. Close your eyes and it’s hard to believe there are only two people in the room.

As students at Sweden’s Malmö Academy of Music in 2017,
Finsson and Beerten forged a kinship swiftly. As Finsson explains,
“we soon found out that our musical chemistry was electric, and
we had unspoken, mutual ideas about feel, groove, and taste.
Those ideas stretch back to a shared young love of punk-rock, which manifests in Raske Drenge’s attack-mode delivery and stage presence. The measured influences of modern indie-folk are also audible; Sigur Rós, Ásgeir Trausti and Bon Iver number among points of reference. With these
influences in mind, Raske Drenge’s music takes richly coloured shape as a hearty hybrid of, “Faroese traditional ballads, Nordic fiddle music and Celtic traditional guitar, with some distinctive Appalachian trad.

Raxtu Raxti


Contemporary folk music band “Raxtu Raxti” began their artistic journey together back in summer of 2012. It brought together a number of musicians from another band – “Autobuss debesīs” -, as well as present group’s lead vocal Kristīne Kārkle – Kalniņa and her brother Edgars Kārklis. At the beginning of their career, their repertoire was based on the music of Latvian composer Imants Kalniņš, which was brought closer to the sound of folk music. Over time the repoertoire has been complemented by original compositions and folk song arrangements by other composers, as well as by the band’s own members. “Raxtu Raxti” uses both – traditional and academic – Latvian musical instruments and also world music ethno-instruments in their music, creating a distinct and well defined sound that is solely unique to themselves.

Up till this point “Raxtu Raxti” has performed vigorously not only in Latvia, but also abroad. The main event for the group each year is the concert dedicated to the proclamation day of the Republic of Latvia performed in Riga, where the band collaborates with the bagpipe and drum group “Auļi” and several other well known Latvian musicians creating their very own folk music orchestra. In honour of the 100th anniversary of Latvia, a dance performance “Vēstījums rakstos” was created in collaboration with recognized and experienced choreographers and received the Dance award, which is the highest award in Latvia for professional dance art.


Roots and treetops, mothers and daughters


Is there anything that would feel out of place between mothers and daughters? There’s love and defiance, competition and collaboration, intimacy and alienation. All mothers and all daughters have felt these and this not by accident. We sing runo songs from Southern Estonia and Saaremaa which talk about what goes on between mothers and daughters. We sing and try to find answers. Can the bride sing “Memme tänu” (“Mother’s gratitude”) if they don’t have children themselves? If a young shepherd loses their geese, who will help them find them? Does the song “Tütarde tapja” (“The killer of daughters”) awaken the fears of mothers or daughters? Is a beautiful woman worth more than her jewellery? 

What happens if modern runo song singers sing these ancients songs together with their teenage daughters? The mothers sing to their daughters and the daughters sing to their mothers. 

Under the watchful eyes of the singers and the audience, mother and daughter Epp Margna and Kadri Kalve create paintings based on the songs.

Meelika Hainsoo and Lee Õunapuu
Tammeougu Mari, Triin and Liisi    
Kati and Madli Soon
Epp Margna and Kadri Kalve

Illustration: Epp Margna "Wisdom from Mother"


Rosa Cruz

Singer and songwriter, was born in Havana, Cuba, is characterized by the strength of her voice and the positive energy she gives of life.
The singer fuses several styles and she has let us see in her albums “Cosas del arte” and “Abanece”. Her experience as a singer is extensive; she worked as a vocalist and minor percussionist in Obini Bata, an emblematic female group in Cuba.
In 2010 she was selected by the Organization of Ibero-American States of Education, Science and Culture (OEI), where she developed a cultural agenda in Columbia, in the “Immigration and Culture in Globalized World” contest, where she was evaluated by a jury internationally and is currently part of a catalog of Ibero-American artists called “Artists in movement” with one of her works “Andando a largo camino”.

Rosa Cruz is accompanied by Yosney Linares. He was born in Artemisa Havana, Cuba. He began his career as a professional percussionist at the age of 17. He is characterized by his mastery of all Latin and Afro-Cuban percussion, where his great influence on the genres of Guaguanko, Rumba, Columbia and the ability to play the three Bata drums stand out; he has studied flamenco box drum and Brazilian percussion, where he has known how to fuse the rhythms.


Samba Touré


Born on 15 June 1968, Samba grew up in Dabi, a small village in the Tombouctou region of Mali. Samba’s father passed away just before his birth, leaving his mother to raise him alone. Although they could not afford formal education, he was surrounded by music from an early age and his mother was one of the first women to sing with the young Ali Farka Touré at the Biennale Festival in Mali.

When he was old enough, Samba left for the Malian capital, Bamako, in the hopes of finding a job. There, he heard the popular guitar-driven dance music of Zaire for the first time and, inspired, began singing and playing guitar in a band called Farafina Lolo (Africa Star).

During that time, he fell in love with the music of Ali Farka Touré, a true original who was transposing the traditional music of his native north Mali and single-handedly bringing the style known as desert blues to an international audience. Samba was entranced by this master from Niafunké and began to play the guitar in the same style, adapting his playing from traditional string instruments on to an electric guitar.

When Farafina Lolo split up in the mid-1990s, Samba concentrated on composing on his own. In 1997, Farka Touré offered him the unique opportunity to tour with him as part of his band. Delighted, Samba accepted and, while touring across Europe and the USA, his mentor opened his eyes to a variety of new influences. Farka Touré inspired him to create his own blues style and, on his return to Mali, formed Fondo. He recorded then his first solo effort “Fondo” which was a huge success in Mali.

Samba Touré creates a harmonious blend of River Niger blues, traditional Songhai themes and Western influences. Like most Malian songs, Samba’s lyrics convey moral messages as well as introducing us to different elements of Malian culture, such as the importance of family. Bursting with energy, Samba Touré’s music continues the blues legacy of the late, great Ali Farka Touré.



Stringflip plays contemporary folk music inspired by the Nordic and Celtic tradition. They released their self-titled debut album in April 2021 and have earned reviews from acclaimed magazines such as British “Living Tradition”, Danish “Rootszone”, Belgian “Tradcan” and Swedish “Lira magazine”.

The album has been called an impressive debut and the band is praised for their crispy, precise and playful performances, as well as captivating arrangements that let each instrument take its place. In addition, the band has been nominated for a DMA Roots 2021 (Danish Music Awards) in the category: New Roots Name of the Year. On the debut album, the band's four members have each contributed with two original compositions which draw inspiration from very different places and thus give the
album a versatile expression. The Swedish melancholy and distinctive rhythm, the Irish infectious groove, the Danish dance music and elements from chamber music are all present.

Two traditional melodies in new arrangements from Denmark and Sweden frame the album as a tribute to the Nordic folk music tradition, which is the basis for the album's creation. Everything is held together solidly by
the sound and vibe that characterizes Stringflip - energetic, simple and uplifting.



Tammele is a group of six who got together at Viljandi Culture Academy with the aim of making music that is close to their hearts. It all started with Ulla Mängli, who is the singer and song writer, who has said, "I'm someone who's passionate about enjoyment! While studying traditional music, I've learnt to enjoy every nuance, word and note." The other band members – the saxophone player Helery Kõrvemaa, fiddler Brett Hiiob and contrabass player Karl-August Soonberg - also study at the Academy. The soprano saxophone is the merry dancer and the fiddle adds a touch of tradition. The contrabass, however, provides the strings and notes. Their music is given a different hue by the percussion students from the Academy, Reimo Namm on the guitar and Hans K. Pikani on percussion instruments. Their knowledge of harmonies and their colourful techniques help the band grow. They've got oodles of creativity and that's why they don't call themselves a traditional music band but describe themselves as floating somewhere between the Earth and cosmos. The traditions keep them rooted and their words are connected to the indescribable primal core.



The diverse young musicans who make up Triuka met through traditional music which they try to experiment with to create a unique sound. Their repertoire consists of mainly Estonian traditional music songs and tunes but they also play some intricate songs from around the world. The youngsters say that their soundscape is diverse, colourful and rhythmic – to sum it up in one word, it’s unique!

It’s important to them that the music speaks to them and that experimenting with different grooves and rhythms inspires them from their roots to their treetops.

They arrange their music themselves with the help of their instructor
Johan Kristjan Aimla.

Aino Rahel Aimla - cello, vocals
Triin Pihlap - fiddle, vocals
Uku Zolgo – accordion, vocals
The band is supported by the Estonian Traditional Music Center.


Tunes and songs by the women from Sõrve

Women from Sõrve and Saaremaa, girls and their female ancestors. For some of them, Sõrve language is their mother tongue and others learn it diligently. Runo songs and everything that goes with them – stories, women’s work, traditional clothing, wisdom from the fields, the art of raising children, female support when the sea of troubles grows deep. Toes in the mud, shawl in the wind. Runo singers born and made.

Untsakad & friends


On July 30 at 24:30 Untsakad 30!

The band Untsakad will turn 30 years old this year on 15th of October. The first big celebration will take place, of course, at Viljandi Folk Music Festival.

We invite all our friends to a big birthday concert in Kirsimäe stage on Saturday night. Our good friends will join the stage with us: Alleaa, VLÜ, Ilona Aasvere, Airi Allvee and others.


Uurikad & Trad.Kvintessents

More info will be here soon!



Väikeste Lõõtspillide Ühing was formed in June of 1989, when a group of youngsters could not tame their need to play accordions. Decent instruments were nowhere to be bought in our homeland during that terrible time.

Once, the founding members found themselves in a local shop in the countryside and their attention was driven to the shelf where the small Russian garmoshkas meant for children were situated.

The price was cheap and the voluntary civic association got itself registered at the administration of Pärnu county. From the ceaseless passion towards the sexy buzz of this instrument, a dance orchestra of national folk music was formed.

The association's current members are Marko Matvere, Raido Koppel, Joel Sarv, Erkki-Kalle Esop, Aivar Vassiljev and Sander Udikas.



WoWaKin are three young people who live in a city but fell in love with rough villagers music and became masters of an old style music. WWK is a musical triangle. Paula Kinaszewska, Bartłomiej Woźniak and Mateusz Wachowiak carry on instrumental-vocal flirt full of passion, improvisation and surprising ideas. Chemistry between artists turns into an energetic dialogue between banjolele, violin and polish three-row accordion. Wowakin will take you on a journey to country weddings, crazy
suburban dances full of spontaneous, hot energy, night entertainment, vortex of fun and drunken nights.

All this is interwoven with bitter songs about passing away, loss and yearning for youth. The sound of the Wowakin trio is at times raw, rough and dirty, and at times full of sweetness and delicacy imitating the singing of birds.

Yamma Ensemble

Yamma’s music is rare, esoteric, niche and played with ancient instruments (duduk, ney, kopuz, oud,shofar). it creates the feeling of ancient times, strong sense of spiritualism, heritage & tradition although the materials are sometimes original and contemporary.

The sound, the performance, the selection of the materials and the moving arrangements took this music far beyond any expectation of the ensemble members. Without special plans, the ensemble became global and international, yet managed to remain authentic, local and loyal to the region in which it developed and was born.


Zetod is a band of young Seto boys was created in 2003, no one knew that Seto leelo songs could be played 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.
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! This summer they are releasing their new album “Lätsi pitto” which is an album you simply have to listen to and the festival is just the right place to hear it.
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

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