The lively Finnish world music group Värttinä will be in the United states in January for a brief tour.
Värttinä (meaning spindle) is touted as an early progenitor of “New Finnish Folk.” Värttinä’s origins go back to 1983 in the village of Rääkkylä, in Karelia, the southeastern region of Finland, as the project of singers and kantele players Sari and Mari Kaasinen. The concept was to form a youth group to recite Karelian poetry, sing and play kantele. Interest and appreciation in the group grew to such a degree that many more youngsters wanted to join, and they did! The result was a group of 21 members, playing and singing traditional Karelian folk song. Later, a common goal emerged: to explore and revive Karelian / Finno-Ugric musical tradition and to discover new, more exciting ways of arranging and performing.
Since then, Värttinä has become one of the best known Finnish acts outside of Finland.
USA tour dates:
Jan 13: Chicago, IL – Old Town School of Folk Music
Jan 14: Minneapolis, Minn. – Cedar Cultural Center
Jan 16: Washington, DC – Finnish Embassy (private function)
Jan 17: Alexandria, VA – Birchmere
Jan 18: Philadelphia, PA – Kimmel Center
Jan 19: Somerville, MA – Somerville Theatre
Jan 25 Tromso, Norway – Nordlys Festival
Värttinä by Philip Ryalls / Redferns.