Program 2017

Eläköön Suomi!

9_nFgti0RfmJ54L3_l_4do1TfBTv-OErsQPQUCyk7XI,wNtxh3F6uGMM_CM0uxDQkltispv-zhKT9iXla6Jn8RsFinland is the theme for the XIX Kokkola Winter Accordion festival – the same year we celebrate our fine nation’s 100th year of independence. This year, you can see this theme throughout our program, and really get a sense of how we’ve made a diligent effort to recognize this very special anniversary in as many events as possible.

I want to especially emphasize a very special listing in this year’s program, “A night in the company of Mannerheim.” This event will find theater, music and food culminating in a single and extremely special evening. Mannerheim is of central importance to our Finnish history. It’s no wonder that no one has made a proper movie about him: to profile Mannerheim would require at least a ten-hour series.

The premier performance of Kalevi Aho´s accordion concert is going to be a special event. The same can be said about our seminar, where our experts will discuss with the public what the accordion means both today and during our one hundred years of independence. Veli Kujala´s new work for accordion and string quintet is another much-awaited debut, while Digi and Beat will open the door to an electronic world.

In what way is the accordion, our national instrument, connected to the independence-era? It is very much so – and in many surprising ways. During the 1930s, musicians were the kings of their time. You heard music everywhere. There wasn’t another instrument during the war that had the same importance as the accordion, both at the front and in general entertainment. The accordion and opera music together provided consolation to us. The soprano Aulikki Rautawaara and Esa Pakarinen brought this music to the hospitals.

The only Scandinavian accordion manufacturer has been situated in Kouvola.The mighty Kouvola accordion was a breakthrough concept and because of it the Finnish accordion evolved through the years. The accordion went on to gain significance as an art-form in the 1970s. During this time, the education, the development of the instrument, and the versatility and knowledge of the musicians grew to a whole new level. As a result, the accordion works composed by Finns are countless. The accordion has been like a field from where we have been able to sow seeds for a distinctive harvest. The same goes for our rich folk and jazz heritage.

Finland may be a small country, but it is the best in the world. The theme for the jubilee year Together (Yhdessä/tilsammans) is accurate. The strength of this country is unity – you pull together.

Thanks to our sponsors, to our worker-ants and to our loyal public. The upcoming festival is to celebrate Finland. And then next comes another important year: the 20th anniversary of Winter Accordion.

Raimo Vertainen

Art director


Yhdessä olemme enemmän

Sorry, this entry is only available in Finnish and Swedish.

Hyvä festivaaliyleisö ja harmonikkamusiikin ystävät!

Sorry, this entry is only available in Finnish and Swedish.

Fri. 17.2. Tones for Seniors

10.00 Emeliehemmet, Sairaalakatu 11
13.00 Pettersborg, Kansakoulukatu 17











Julia Hansson is singing and playing accordion.

Free admission.

Wed. 15.2. Children’s concert Henxelit

Concert Photos


Hollihaan koulu sport hall, 9.00
Pikiruukintie 4

Isokylän koulu, 12.00
Kallisentie 10

henxelit-2016-pystykuvaTomi Nurmi, guitar, violin, banjo, bouzouki, mandolin, song
Matti Hakamäki, song, mandolin, tin whistle, guitar
Juha Virtanen, accordion, accordina, song
Juha-Matti Rautiainen, contrabass

The Henxilit Children’s Concert was founded in 2007 in Kokkola. Their performances include captivating stories, upbeat jingles and an arsenal of acoustics that promise moving interpretations of life’s great wonders.

The orchestra performs at daycare centers, in schools, at nursing homes and at different events throughout Finland. Henxelit plays extremely heartfelt and entertaining music and features in their performances music from around the world. The listener is invited to enjoy tastes of everything from polka to delta blues, and from swing to Finnish jenkka. The playing is strong, the songs are uplifting and the instruments sparkling – but most importantly is the joy this orchestra immediately brings to its listeners.

School concerts are sold out.

Fri. 17.2. Songs for Seniors

10.00 Kokkola, Kuusikummun palvelutalo, Kuusitie 20
12.00 Kokkola, Tervakartano,
Tehtaankatu 27
13.15 Kokkola, Honkaharjun palvelutalo,
Sairaalankatu 2C
CANCELED: 14.45 Sandbacka vårdcenter, Kronoby

Seppo Lankinen plays and sings in elderly homes. Expect waltzes, tangos, schlager and many favorite songs, along with a few anecdotes.

Free admission.


Fri. 17.2. Lunchmusic

Kokkola City Hall at 11.00
Salutorget 5

Students perform music during lunchtime.

Free admission.

Fri. 17.2. “Accordion and the independent Finland”

Minna Sirnö

Minna Sirnö


Pictures from the seminar


Central Ostrobothnia Conservatory (Little Hall) 15.00-18.00
Pitkänsillankatu 16

Accordion has had a special place in the Finnish soul ever since we gained independence. It has served as a form of self-expression for Finnish emigrants and Mannerheim used it during wartime to unite the people – and its diversity of sound is unique to our land. It is our national instrument and over the years has remained an important and meaningful instrument even in classical and artistic music circles. And of course it has also played an important role in the dance orchestra.

What has 100 years in Finland meant for the accordion? And what has the accordion meant for Finland? Is the accordion part of our cultural identity in the same way as Lönnrot, Snellman, Sibeliu and Väinö? Or is it meaningless, something that solely gets in the way of ”higher” music?

Presenters will include composer Kalevi Aho, M.Sc. Marko Tikka, professor Matti Rantanen and Minna Sirnö, director of the center for the promotion of the arts.

All are welcome to come, question and comment!

Seminar leader is master of music Kimmo Mattila.

Free admission.




Fri. 17.2. Through the Times

Central Ostrobothnia Conservatory at 19.00
Pitkäsillankatu 16

Central Ostrobothnia Chamber Orchestra
Conductor Juha Kangas
Soloist Saila Korhonen, accordion




















The Central Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra’s intensive interpretations have over and over again captured the heart of the public as well as that of musicians. A strong performance dynamic coupled with a musical camaraderie that brings joy to the listener yet also gives rise to personal reflection – whether the venue is a concert hall, a nursing home or a local festival.

The concert program will offer the works of Finnish composers, among them a debut performance of Kalevi Aho’s “Concert for Accordion” with Saila Korhonen as soloist. The concert is a tribute to the Finnish musician.

– Aho, Klami, Johansson, Rydman –

Tickets 25€/20€/10€

Fri. 17.2. Rautawaara Club

Seurahuone, Corner’s Pub 22.00
Torikatu 4









A pub concert that crosses borders, from folk music to rhythm music via classical. On the stage, professional musicals will unit with students from Central Ostrobothnia Conservatory and Centria university.

Harri Kuusijärvi and Koutus blow new life in to accordion music. The group gets its inspiration from Nordic sources and performs instrumental music that moves among the borders of experimental, jazz and rock. The group’s debut album from 2014 met wide international acclaim and received five-star reviews from critics within the world of jazz, rock and world music.

Harri Kuusijärvi, accordion
Veikki Virkajärvi, electric guitar
Mikael Myrskog, synthesizer
Jesse Ojajärvi, drums

Accordion Rave
Seurahuone’s Corner’s Pub will transform in to a dance club with help of the accordion. Dance shoes, neon colors, blacked-out windows and light shows will get the party started. Will feature Tapio Miettinen, among others.

With double-rowed accordion as his lead instrument, Tapio Miettinen has found his own style and his own way to master the instrument. Through his playing we hear both beauty but also shamanistic influences, and everything in between. Out of his little box comes a diverse world of sound that includes credible dance music.

Tickets 5 €

Kulmalla logo2(1)

Centria_amk_suomiTruba logo


Thurs. 16.2. Lunch Music

Campus Allegro, Pietarsaari 11.00
Köpmansgatan 10

Student musicians featured in a lunchtime performance.

Free admission.

Thurs. 16.2. Songs for Seniors

12.30 Lohtaja, Palvelukeskus Lepola, Lepolantie 4
14.00 Kälviä, Palvelukeskus Leporanta, Kumpulantie 7
15.30 Ullava, Hopijakummun Palvelukeskus, Vanhanorpantie 4

Seppo Lankinen plays and sings in elderly homes. Expect waltzes, tangos, schlager and many favorite songs, along with a few anecdotes.

Free admission.


Thurs. 16.2. Bester Quartet

Central Ostrobothnia Conservatory at 19.00
Pitkänsillankatu 16


The Bester Quartet is a true phenomenon within the music world. The four classically trained musicians have a musical style that stretches from klezmer to jazz, popular to classical, with an exceptional accent.

Belonging to the quartet’s musical ideology is a combination of influences from just about every conceivable style. They will join us from their home in the acclaimed cultural city of Krakow, Poland.

The quartet has made countless television and radio recordings and performed with many acclaimed musicians, among them John Zorn, Tomasz Stanko, John McClean, Don Byron and Frank London. In addition to European countries, they’ve toured in the United States, Tawain and Canada. They have released a CD on John Zorn’s record label Tzadik in New York.

Given the 100th anniversary of our country, we’ve requested some interpretations of Finnish works.

Jaroslaw Bester, accordion
David Lubowicz, violin
Oleg Dyyak, clarinet, percussion, duduk
Maciej Adamczak, contrabass

Tickets 20€/10€

With Keskipohjanmaas benefits card 17€ (norm. 20€, barn 7€ (norm. 10€)


Thurs. 16.2. Vestersundsby Players and Pedersöre MI’s Accordion Club

Concert Photos

Schauman Hall, Pietarsaari at 19.00
Kauppiaskatu 10



The energetic Vestersundsby Players and Pedersöre MI’s Accordion Club invite you to an evening filled with dance and folk music. Mia Willnäs is the group’s leader. Instrumental ensembles for violin, accordion, guitar, bass and percussion will make for musical variation. To that, add charming singing solos from members of the group, and even a chance for the public to join in. We look forward to an evening filled with humor and music in an uplifting atmosphere.

Tickets 5 €

To 16.2. Thursday Jazz

Pictures from the gig

O’Learys Pub, Jakobstad, at 21.00
Ahlholmsgatan 2          










Harri Kuusijärvi, accordion
Veikki Virkajärvi, electric guitar
Eero Tikkanen, contra bass
Jesse Ojajärvi, drums
Teho Majamäki, percussion

Harri Kuusijärvi and Koutus is breathing new life in to accordion music. The group gets its inspiration from the nothern influences and plays intrumental music that ranges in style from experimental and jazz to rock. The group’s debut album from 2014 met wide international acclaim and got a five-star review from critics.

Tickets 12€/8€

(Members with green card free admission.)

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