Estonia and Finland co-host an international funk festival

The second FinEst Funk music festival will take place from 14-16 March, bringing both established funk musicians and rising stars to Estonia and Finland.

For the first time, Grammy-nominated and European big band flagship Norbotten Big Band will come to Estonia in collaboration with instrumental funk exponents Nine Sparks Riots.

Norrbotten Big Band is a professional big band led by saxophonist Joakim Milder. Over the years the band has featured many famous soloists, including Joe Lovano, Toots Thielemans, Maria Schneider, Jonas Kullhammar, Miriam Aida, Magnus Lindgren, Chris Potter, Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman and others.

The festival will also feature Italian funk sensation Giacomo Turra. Born in 1997, Giacomo Turra is an Italian musician who was inspired as a child by his father’s record collection and began playing songs by the likes of Stevie Wonder, George Benson and Herbie Hancock at the age of 13. He has worked with renowned musicians and singers from around the world, including Brandon “TAZ” Niederauer, Phoebe Katis, Jessica Burdeaux, George Collins and Augie Bello.

Giacomo Turra. Private collection.

The Estonian Funk Unit will represent Estonian funk music with the project Eesti Groove’i Radadel, performing the repertoire of the late Estonian singer Marju Kuut (1946-2022) and trumpeter Jaan Kuman.

The Finnish funk scene will be represented by We Got Soul featuring Sam Huber.

An exciting experience

“The FinEst Funk Festival offers a diverse range of artists and music for the local music lover and is sure to provide an exciting listening experience even if you have no previous knowledge of the artist. We hope that the concert-goer can trust our curated programme and take away a real experience of the funk world for a long time to come,” says Sten Valdmaa, one of the organisers of the festival.

“At the 2023 festival, for example, Philip Lassiter performed in Estonia for the first time – and was later invited back to perform at Jazzkaar’s (Estonian Jazz Festival – publisher) Christmas Jazz because the audience here had discovered a new artist they wanted to hear more from. We hope that this year’s festival will bring some of those gems as well, so that listeners can look forward to seeing him again in Estonia soon,” Valdmaa added.

The Estonian Funk Unit will perform the repertoire of the late Estonian singer Marju Kuut (1946-2022).

In Estonia, the festival will take place on 14 March in Tartu at the Alexela Creative Stage and on 15 March in Tallinn at the JAIK Theatre House (formerly Vaba Lava). In Finland, the festival will take place on 16 March at the Töölö restaurant and the Storyville jazz club, both in Helsinki.

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