Antti Isotalus, Kokkola Mayor:
The town greeting
Soon appears the magician, in a magic helicopter.
With him, gifts, a whole load.
Congratulations to all; I have movie tickets!
And five hundred large ice cream cones!
When I play my accordion,
Few appreciate the songs I play.
But who cares if it’s raining,
When it’s somebody’s birthday!
There is something in Gena the Crocodile’s birthday song that perfectly embodies the intensity of accordion music. Generally speaking, accordion players like Gena, who was created by Eduard Uspenskij, are all anarchists in one way or another. Not even the most virtuous composition can erase the smile from the accordion player’s face or the glimmer from her eye. Even the crocodile in the animal park gets a lifestyle upgrade when she wows the crowd with her lively accordion music.
Kokkola Winter Accordion offers, like a musical magician, an experience where modern music and rock meet old dance tunes and contemporary children’s songs. And we can’t forget Winter Accordion’s traditional ingredients: skiing and karaoke! It’s a cultural experience that must be had in order to be believed.
The accordion is at the heart of this festival, pumping out warmth and energy throughout city during an intense week that unfolds against a wintry backdrop. We warmly invite everyone to celebrate a festive week filled with amazing music!
Raimo Vertainen, Artistic Director:
A festival for the fifteenth time
The world is always changing and in a state of constant upheaval. Communities come and go. The business world is awash with confusion and European decision-makers have much to consider. Things are speeding up. So, is it time to slow down? And are you able to wait for what’s next, or do you need everything to happen now?
To launch a festival takes several years and requires patience and perseverance. It also demands a vision of the future, yet a clear sense of how to connect the present with a plan for what lies ahead. As a festival grows up, people and things become a regular part of it, and traditions are born. In my opinion, a festival should offer people something meaningful – something to look forward to, but also something to take away. An annual festival becomes a presence in the community whose members come to expect it, to rely on it. This, in turn, creates a feeling of security; of community.
There is reason to be especially proud of the fifteenth Kokkola Winter Accordion festival. This year we welcome the rare and much-anticipated master from France, Richard Galliano, who will debut as a guest soloist in Finland. Galliano and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra ? Who could ask for more? The duo Mimmit will perform children’s music throughout the region. Because it is important that an event embraces all community members, at Kokkola Winter Accordion there is something for everyone: dancing, skiing, sledding, and, of course, music – all to be enjoyed together or alone. We invite you to take part in them all!
Thanks in advance to all our supporters, the association’s worker bees, and the public, from infants to parents. And thanks to everyone who together make our community a better place to live.
We warmly welcome you to Kokkola, the home of Kokkola Winter Accordion festival.