Northern Connections to showcase Finnish and neighboring countries’ music at WOMEX

WOMEX World Music Expo has announced this year’s Regional Stage, the Northern Connections, coordinated by Music Finland. On stage will be three Finnish top notch acts: MA Rouf, Tuuletar, and Wimme & Rinne. Also the Conference and the Network Meetings will feature more Finnish knowhow than ever.

The Northern Connections showcase stage is a joint effort coordinated by Music Finland in collaboration with Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian and Lithuanian music export organisations. Showcasing top-notch talent from the host country and the region, it’s a new edition in the series of Regional Stages, which started with the Nordic Club stage back in Copenhagen in 2009. The line-up of nine artists will offer a comprehensive musical journey to the music of North: from the musical tradition of the Sámi, the Northern European indigenous people, to contemporary cross-cultural interpretations reflecting music heritage around the Baltic Sea area. 

The host country Finland will feature three top notch acts. MA Rouf's music is a unique combination of Middle Eastern rhythmic traditions, Scandinavian jazz and Finnish folk music. Drawing on ancient tradition in their own innovative way, Tuuletar is a four-piece a cappella act that has aroused significant interest abroad. Wimme Saari is celebrated as a master of joik – the Sámi’s unique vocal tradition – and as Wimme & Rinne duo together with musician-producer Tapani Rinne, they create unparalleled combination of joik, contemporary improvisation, and ambient sound. Read more on the whole line-up of Northern Connections here.

WOMEX conference programme to include several Finnish speakers

The Finnish knowhow will be present also in several Conference sessions and Network meetings at WOMEX 2019. One of the most renowned Finnish academics of the field, Professor Kristiina Ilmonen from Sibelius Academy, will participate in a session discussing the higher education of the folk music in the North, as well as coordinate a network meeting focusing on education.

Another session already announced is a panel discussion about music in TV and film with Virpi Immonen, CEO of Fullsteam Management and Music Supervisor for the new TV animation Moominvalley, and Paulina Ahokas, CEO of Tampere-talo. 

Other local panelists and speakers recently added to the conference programme include Kimmo Aulake (on the Music, Global Policy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals panel), Sanni Kahilainen (on a panel about the world music community helping displaced musicians reboot their careers), along with Risto Blomster, Salla Korja-Paloniemi, Alfonso Padilla and Elina Seye giving presentations at the Discovery Sessions.

Another session which will sure spark interest among WOMEX participants is The Nordic Lessons on the Foundations of Gender Balance with Helen Sildna (Estonia)Lena Willemark (Sweden), Alexandra Archetti Stølen (Norway), alongside Music Finland's Henna SaloAndreas Fliflet (Finland/Norway) will speak on a panel entitled The language of the heart – Joik.

Find the entire conference content announced so far hereMore Finnish conference speakers and Finland-related topics will be announced later on.

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