The Sommelo Ethno Music Festival will resound for the ninth time in Kainuu and Viena Karelia on 2nd-6th July! Having established its unique position among Finland’s music festivals, Sommelo will again offer audiences a versatile selection of traditional and modern folk music on both sides of the eastern border. As well as concerts, the abundantly rich festival programme also promises music courses and seminars amongst other activities as during previous years
Fiddler Ruthie Dornfield (United States) is a legendary musician and teacher who has travelled around the world with her music for over 30 years. Known for her work in the American café Orchestra band, Dornfield will bring her own Ruthie Dornfield Trio to Sommelo this summer.
As well as Europe, during its 15 year career Alamaailman vasarat has performed in Japan, the United States, Mexico and Canada, amongst others and this summer the group’s musical caravan will arrive in Kuhmo for the first time. The music of this phenomenal ensemble combines different styles from tango, jazz, and klezmer to cabaret, the progressive Avant garde and heavy metal.
The much acclaimed Kaj Chydenius concert of last summer will be continued when Finnish composer legend, Kaj Chydenius and vocalist-actress Ritva Sorvali bring their
Sommelo will be a family event again this year with a programme for children both in Kainuu and across the border in Viena Karelia. Satuja soitosta live! (Stories from music live!), familiar to children from children’s television ’Pikku Kakkonen’, is a colourful story-based concert which can be seen live on the stage of Kuhmo Arts Centre.
Accordionist Markku Lepistö is one of the most internationally renowned Finnish folk musicians. New Melodeon Melodies is Lepistö’s new concert, composed for the one-row accordion. Pekko Käppi, rising musician and master of the bowed lyre, gives folk music a new harsh and rough form. In turn, Tuomas Rounakari will perform genuine Siberian shaman songs in his Shamaaniviulu (Shaman’s Violin) concert that combines with stories to create a near-hypnotic experience.
Salla Pesonen, Maija Karhinen-Ilo and Pauliina Syrjälä will represent Finnish folk music masters at this year’s Sommelo concerts and the Finnish group Shava will bring its global folk music of the new millennium mixing traditional Indian Bhangra-dance and ethno-pop to the Sommelo club stage. The Puhti-duo’s Pahan Laulu (Song of Evil) performance rings out and dances stories of inescapable and tragic destinies. In Lentiira the music of the Ê Đê people from West Vietnam can be heard and there will be a musical programme from St Yves, France (Brittany).
Sommelo’s summer themes – The bear, Kantele and outlying villages of Europe will travel through and be discussed in Sommelo’s seminars. Additionally, the Kantele has its own separate body the Kantele Forum, within Sommelo. Sommelo’s music courses will also continue this summer. The popular folk fiddling course for children and the international kantele camp will be accompanied by folk singing and dancing courses, and lamentation and runosong courses.
An important part of Sommelo takes place in the villages of Viena Karelia. Sommelo is a unique cultural journey into the lands of runosong and the Kalevala epic. A guided music festival trip to Viena Karelia will be organised to take place during the weekend on the 5th – 6th July.
The Sommelo Ethno Music Festival has taken place in Kainuu and Viena Karelia since 2006. Sommelo’s main focus is runosong and other old and new forms of folk music. Taito Hoffrén has worked as the Artistic Director of the festival since it began.