Preparations for Kokkola Winter Accordion 2016 are in full swing as I write. Life in today’s world is full of challenges and the arts and culture community is no stranger to this truth. To produce a diverse program on a lean budget is no easy task and requires lengthy deliberations and negotiations.
The week’s program and contracts are still in the final stages. The artistic leader has put together a lineup sure to appeal to every taste, and has enjoyed widespread support from leaders and organizers alike. I would like to extend a big thanks to Kokkola Winter Accordion’s many supporters and organizers.
I have served as chairman for 18 years as a festival planner and organizer. According to experts, 5-8 years is the optimum time-length for this role. It is always wise to follow expert advice. A few weeks ago I received a promise from my successor: that he would be available as chairman at our annual missions meeting. As you read this, Pertti Kuosmanen has already been installed as the new organization chairman. I wish Pertti every success in his new role.
I’ve learned a lot during my time with Kokkola Winter Accordion. It has been an incredibly productive time of collaboration and cooperation. I have attended many wonderful meetings with other organizers, artists and performers.
I would like to extend a big thanks to the City of Kokkola for all the wonderful team work, and to all our supporters, volunteers and the festival organizers and planners. I wish the festival-goers and performers a warm welcome to our event.
Kokkola Winter Accordion is all grown up. Eighteen years is a long time. Such a large event requires vision, drive and devotion. As the world around us constantly changes, our need for culture remains the same. Right from the start, the festival has been a launching pad for many young artists. And for older audiences we’ve provided the chance to broaden one’s cultural horizons. In the process, we’ve showcased the musical culture of countless countries. It could be said that we’ve enriched our community by exposing it to foreign cultures — something that helps us better understand the world as a whole.
The French juggler’s concert will mark the first-ever mixed-medium entry in the festival lineup: Jerome Thomas, one of the world’s best-known jugglers. Thomas combines music and circus performance in a single, dazzling performance. Then there’s Bengan Janson and Janne Åström from Stockholm, who will present traditional Swedish on-stage fun. And on Saturday evening, Tallari will break out in celebration around the raspy Pirulainen. And lunch music has been a big hit everywhere.
Come, listen, be inspired – and then reflect on the richness of this remarkable festival experience.
I’d like to thank the festival organization’s many supporters and volunteers, as well as our faithful festival-goers. And special thanks go out to Teuvo Lempiälä, our longtime chairman. Thanks, Teuvo!
We wish you a warm welcome!
This extremely special event, which we are so looking forward to, is here again and has now, at 18 years old, officially entered adulthood. Yes, it’s time to let the accordions play – and this year’s event is poised to produce something as wonderful as ever. It is in this same spirit that Kokkola Winter Accordion was born and has grown and evolved into the truly captivating event it is today. The word is out and has spread over land and sea. And as is typical of this event, the passion for music has only intensified. The producers have, time and time again, fulfilled their vision of a rich and diverse festival lineup.
An eighteen-fold thanks to the people behind Kokkola Winter Accordion, which has proven itself through nothing short of hard work, trust and support among its creators. In turn, the city, its citizens and countless other individuals have joined the bandwagon in showing their undying support and encouragement. It is with best wishes that we send them off toward new conquests and adventures we shall surely enjoy this winter and during those that lie ahead.
We need not say more: Kokkola Winter Accordion speaks for itself. We can never forget the meaning of love, and that’s just what Kokkola Winter Accordion dares to do. The invitation is all yours and we would love to see you there!
Sun. 21.2.2016 at 11.00-13.00 Rastimaja
Skiing is better to music…
Music and warming juice in Rastimaja beside an open fire.
Sat. 20.2.2016 at 10.00-13.00 Kallentori
Pictures from the concert
The Market Choir, Kokkola Regional Accordion Club, The Talkoo Players and the Vörå Spelmansklubb.
Everyone is welcome and the public are also invited to sing – and dancing is allowed, too. Seppo Soittila as Master of Ceremonies will also sing a piece or two.
Sat. 20.2.2016 at 10.00-15.00 in front of Snellman’s Hall
Exhibition and sale of Lasse Pihlajamaa’s accordion.
Sat. 20.2.2016 at 17.00-21.00 Rosso’s Corner
Commerce and Culture Day. Eager singers of all ages are welcome to sing their favorite tunes.
Sat. 20.2.2016 at 15.00 and 19.00 Snellman’s Hall
Guardia Nueva led by Raimo Vertainen
Soloists Saara Aalto and Teemu Roivainen
Saar Aalto is an acclaimed soloist and musical star and Teemu Roivainen is known for his passionate renditions of classic tango tunes. Together they make an audience-captivating pair. The evening will feature classic tango merging with popular music in a powerful and captivating performance.
Raimo Vertainen to conduct.
Tickets 30€, 27€ with S-Card
Sat. 20.2.2016 at 23.00 Calle Night Club
Pirulainen isa five-piece band offering nimble folk rock. The music is soul-full and the acoustics raspy and raw. This excellent live band is known for its ability to reach audiences, whether at a festival, club or private party. The band plays in suomiroots style when they break genre boundaries. The band picks up new fans wherever it goes. Stick around!
Tickets 8€/6€ with S-Card.
Fri 19.2.2016 at 11.00 Kokkola City Hall
Student musicians bring on the atmosphere at lunch.
Fri 19.2.2016 at 19.00 Conservatory
Jérôme Thomas, juggler
Jean-Francois Baez, accordion
A juggler’s concert is an exceptional experience that promises surprises every time. This duo is made up of two virtuosos. Jerome manipulates whatever object he happens to have on him at the time while Jean-Francois plays music that lies somewhere on the border of jazz, tango and chanson. For an hour, the two engage in a dialogue that meanders through passion, humor and the artistry the two possess. Jerome Thomas is a juggler’s ambassador who also enjoys pantomime and clowning. He has performed throughout Europe as well as in Moscow’s major circuses and at various festivals in Asia and Africa. Audiences can expect a phenomenal evening in the true spirit of French circus art and music. Messieurs Dames, s’il vous plait.
Fr 19.2.2016 at 21.00 Conservatory
Accordion artist and composer Kimmo Pohjonen has become one of Finland’s most internationally performing artists. His performances take place abroad 90 percent of the time.
During his career, he’s performed in over 500 musical festivals and in the world’s most known concert houses.
Pohjonen owes his large, international following to his ability to bravely reinterpret the familiar without disrespecting the original composition. His goal is to perform little-known works, while respecting them in their original form. He has a particular talent for using the accordion as an improvisation tool to play in rock, folk, and avant-garde.
He has often been described as “shaman,” “mystic” and Jimmy Hendrix.
Tickets 20 €/ 10 €
Fri. 19.2.2016 at 22.00 Corner’s Pub, Hotel Seurahuone
Kaustinen’s Tallari is a music group within folk music with a long and distinguished history. In 2016, the group will celebrate its 30-year anniversary. The current lineup features Katri Haukilahti, Sampo Korvatunturi and Ritva Talvitie. Its main focus is traditional folk as well as boundary-crossing, innovative sounds.
The accordion has played a major role in Tallari’s music from the start and continues to do so. The evening’s performance will find the sweet clang of the two row diatonic accordion paired with strong rhythms. Expect to hear – in addition to enjoyable polkas – waltzes, jenkkor and heartfelt compositions from France, England and Sweden. An emotional experience is guaranteed.
MäSä duo emerged from the termination chaos of the Kaustinen Folk Festival. It wasn’t long before their Southern Ostrobothnian charms had audiences up on their feet, something easily accomplished with their rich and joyful music. (If the atmosphere is just right, the boys might even start singing.) A performance is peppered with banter as well as jokes and stories from real life.
MäSä Duo consists of Lauri Kotamäki on the 2.5 row accordion (Pirulainen, 5/5, Haka) and Kyösti Järvela on violin. (Pirulainen, Bill Hota & Pulver).
Thurs. 18.2.2016 at 11.00 Campus Allegro, Pietarsaari Köpmansgatan 10
Student musicians bring on the cozy atmosphere at lunch.
Photos from consert:
12.30 Lohtaja, Palvelukeskus Lepola
14.00 Kelviå, Palvelukeskus Leporanta
15.30 Ullava, Hopijakummun Palvelukeskus
10.00 Kokkola, Kuusikummun palvelutalo
13.15 Kokkola, Honkaharjun palvelutalo
14.45 Kruunupyy, Sandbacka vårdcenter
Waltzes, tango and man beloved songs will be performed. Seppo Soitila to play and sing in homes for the elderly.