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Press release 27.8.2020

Etnosoi! Festival will be organized in November according to the guidelines set by the National Institute for Health and Welfare

The annual world music festival, Etnosoi!, will once again be organized this year in the Helsinki metropolitan area as well as in Tampere from 31 October to 8 November. The festival production team is closely monitoring the corona epidemic situation and the event will be organized according to the guidelines set by the National Institute for Health and Welfare of Finland.

This year’s  international headliners are award-winning English folk music star, Sam Lee, the acclaimed French group Lalala Napoli, and the world-charming Japanese erhu artist Kanae Nozawa. In addition, the line-up features domestic acts such as Ilkka Arola Sound Tagine, Seaside Sounds from Finland and Emmi Kuittinen & Ikuisen ikävän orkesteri.

The concert tickets are sold in accordance with current sales guidelines, up to a maximum of half of the normal capacity of concert halls.

After considering different options, the festival has decided that its premise is to provide festival programme on the festival days in one form or another, even if we are forced to make programme changes because of the corona epidemic. We are carefully following the guidelines of National Institute for Health and Welfare of Finland and the Ministry of Education and Culture to ensure that the concert experience is safe for performers, employees and the public,” says Jaana-Maria Jukkara, the director of the Global Music Center and the Etnosoi! Festival.

The Global Music Centre, the organization behind Etnosoi! Festival, is one of Finland’s leading musical institutions. Its key task is to collect, record and distribute information about musical cultures from around the world. This year, crossing borders and performing music to live audiences has been almost impossible. Therefore, the Institute considers it very important to support the industry and continue its activities in one form or another, while taking consumers and safety into account.

Etnosoi! brings colourful, heart-warming acts to Finnish audiences

Sam Lee (UK)

Sam Lee

Sam Lee & Friends performed at Etnosoi! in 2013, following the release of his debut Ground Of Its Own the previous year. At that point completely unknown to Finnish audiences, he startled and astonished listeners, moving their collective heart to the core. Since then, Lee’s career has followed an utterly distinctive natural path, always leading to new accomplishments, with positive creative surprises for his partners and audiences at every turn.

Old Wow is Lee’s third album, released in early 2020. This is how he describes the birth of this poetic, profound album, which seems to travel through celestial stardust:

A buzzard came swooping down and screeched right over my head, then circled above me for some while sounding down onto me. At that moment I felt the presence and reassurance of this magical power and suddenly at that moment the name appeared, Old Wow, and I’ve held onto it ever since.”

Lalala Napoli (FR)

Lalala Napoli

François Castiello, singer and accordionist from the acclaimed French group Bratsch, started Lalala Napoli in 2011. This group, which enraptures audiences with its intensity and stage charisma, is now touring as it launches its third album, Cavalluccio. Its music and stories move closer to and further away from Naples, as the tarantella winds layers of rhythms from Mediterranean landscapes and the heart of Europe.

Kanae Nozawa (JP)

Kanae Nozawa

Japanese erhu player Kanae Nozawa has earned devoted friends around the world, including in Finland. She has a captivating way of creating unique aural worlds and a wide-ranging repertoire. Also known as the "Chinese violin", the erhu is one of the most popular traditional Chinese instruments, and is also widely played in Japan. At Etnosoi! concert, appearing with Nozawa are pianist Maki Furugaki and keyboardist Tamiya Terashima, who is renowned as a film score composer.

Seaside sounds from Finland (FI)

Seaside sounds from Finland

Meet four versatile musicians, masters of the Finnish-Swedish music tradition and creators of new music: Maria Kalaniemi, Marianne Maans, Juulia Salonen and Désirée Saarela. During the concert the artists will perform both solo and together in various constellations.

Ilkka Arola Sound Tagine (FI)

Ilkka Arola Sound Tagine

Ilkka Arola is a jazz trumpeter and crossover artist from Finland who leads Ilkka Arola Sound Tagine. The group describes their music as cinematic adventure music.

This captivating mix of folk and jazz expression is spiced up with Middle Eastern flavours, modern beats and cinematic soundscapes. The band is known for its powerful live shows, filled with emotional expression and irresistibly catchy grooves.

Emmi Kuittinen & Ikuisen ikävän orkesteri (FI)

Emmi Kuittinen & Ikuisen ikävän orkesteri

The music of Emmi Kuittinen’s group Ikuisen ikävän orkesteri is based on the itkuvirsi or lament tradition. Singer-musician Kuittinen is deeply steeped in Karelian folk music. She specialises in itkuvirsi, one of the world’s oldest traditional forms, combining it with other genres including dance, circus and even stand-up comedy. The members of her Ikuisen ikävän orkesteri are dyed-in-the-wool folk music professionals who have been involved in many madcap projects: Heidi Haapoja-Mäkelä (vocals), Charlotta Hagfors (vocals), Amanda Kauranne (vocals and percussion), Juulia Salonen (vocals and kantele), Minsku Tammela (vocals), Mira Törmälä (vocals and accordion) and Kirsi Vinkki (violin, viola, jouhikko and vocals).

ETNOSOI! 2020 programme

31.10. Emmi Kuittinen & Ikuisen ikävän orkesteri: I cry and I sing, Kanneltalo, Helsinki
2.11. Seaside Sounds from Finland, G-18, Helsinki
3.11. Sam Lee (UK), Savoy, Helsinki
4.11. Kanae Nozawa (JP), Malmitalo, Helsinki
4.11. Sam Lee (UK), G-livelab, Tampere
5.11. Ilkka Arola Sound Tagine, Vuotalo, Helsinki
5.11. Kanae Nozawa (JP), G-livelab, Tampere
6.11. Lalala Napoli (FR), Sellosali, Espoo
8.11. Lasten Etnosoi! Malmitalo, Helsinki

Programme changes are possible.

Ticket information:

More information about the festival programme:

Press photos:

Contacts: Julia Palmu | publicist | 046 878 3723 |

Etnosoi! is organized by the Global Music Centre. Etnosoi! is a member of the Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals. The main supporters of the festival are the City of Helsinki and the Ministry of Education and Culture. Partners include the Helsinki Cultural Centre, the GLOMAS programme of the University of Arts / Sibelius Academy, Seaside Sounds, the Promotion Centre for Finnish Folk Music & Folk Dance, Lirarna Folk Music Network, Culture Cooperative Uulu, Valofirma, Trio-Offset and Yle Radio 1.