Värttinä and Tsuumi Sound System play at WOMEX

The major annual gathering for folk and world music professionals, WOMEX World Music Expo will again feature a strong Finnish presence. This year’s Womex will take place 17-21 October in Thessaloniki, Greece.

One of the highlights of this busy event is the Award Ceremony, with a significant Finnish act on spotlight this year. The 30-year old Värttinä hardly need introduction: these sovereign musicians and songwriters but also brilliant performers have certainly done more than their share in publicizing the Finnish music scene worldwide and making their own inventive version of the Carelian singing tradition. Värttinä will receive the WOMEX Artist Award and give a concert at the ceremony taking place on Sunday 21 October.

The very popular co-Nordic showcase concept Nordic Club is back again this year: Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark bring in one performer each. The 2012 Finnish choice for this highly competed series is Tsuumi Sound System, an energetic eight-piece ensemble with lots of live energy. They play recognizably Finnish music, the base lying on strong fiddling and the fierce accordion, yet they also draw strength from an exceptionally wide range of influences – their music is ‘world music’ in essence. Nordic Club is on stage at the venue named Vellidis on Thursday 18 October.

There is Finnish colour also in this year’s Film Screenings. WOMEX’s own film series features a documentary film about the renowned accordion artist Kimmo Pohjonen, titled Soundbreaker. The screening will be on Thursday 18 October.

The Finnish umbrella stand at the WOMEX trade fair is coordinated and hosted by Music Finland. The Finnish stand, together with the stands of the neighbouring countries form the busy and sought-after Nordic Area. Present at the stand will be twelve Finnish folk music companies – labels, managements, festivals and non-profit organizations.