Tag Archives: Estonian music

Artist Profiles: Trad.Attack!


Trad.Attack! members, Sandra Vabarna, Jalmar Vabarna and Tõnu Tubli have been good friends for a long time, and have been involved in the Estonian music scene since the early 2000s.

Sandra started playing the Estonian bagpipe when she was thirteen. She has been disseminating folk music by being role model as a female bagpiper and band leader.

Jalmar is a Seto: a member of a small ethnic community in southeastern Estonia. Setos have their own kingdom and king and a unique culture, which is predominantly known for its traditional singing called leelo. Jalmar’s great grandmother, Anne Vabarna, was one of the most famous folk singers in Estonia. Jalmar’s mother and sister preserved the family singing tradition, so he has grown up in this tradition as well.

Tõnu’s father was the conductor of a brass orchestra so Tõnu played brass at a early age. He learned classical trombone and drums, and is now one of the most in-demand drummers in Estonia.

In 2014, Sandra, Jalmar and Tõnu decided to play together just for fun and to do something different with folk music. When they applied to play at Tallinn Music Week 2014 they didn’t even have a band name; they only had five musical pieces, but it was just enough for the short showcase.



After a great reaction from audience and critics, the trio decided to take things more seriously. They named their act Trad.Attack!




Trad.Attack!, EP (2014)
Ah! (Nordic Notes, 2015)
Kullakarva Shimmer Gold (2017)


Estonian Act Trad.Attack! On Tour in the United States


Estonian Neo-Folk Trio Trad.Attack! is currently touring the United States. Trad.Attack! includes Sandra Vabarna, Jalmar Vabarna and Tõnu Tubli, musicians dedicated to carrying the folk traditions of Estonia forward into the 21st century.

Trad.Attack! draw inspiration from archive recordings of the great Estonian folk singers and instrumentalists who created and performed music for work, leisure and festivities in the old times. The musicians build a modern sound and pulsating rhythmic structures around old recordings, using acoustic 12-string guitar, drums, an array of whistles, bagpipes and mouth harps.

Since their 2014 debut Trad.Attack! has released two internationally acclaimed albums, won 14 music prizes, and played in over thirty countries from Chile to Malaysia — including such festivals as WOMEX, WOMAD, Eurosonic, Transmusicales, and Mundial Montreal.

Trad.Attack! 2017 U.S. Tour Dates:

10/10: Joe’s Pub, New York, NY

10/13: Estonian House, Lakewood, NJ

10/14: Latvian House, Washington, DC

10/15: Crossroads Concert, Philadelphia, PA

10/17: Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Washington, DC

10/20: LEAF Festival, Black Mountain, NC


Transfixing Estonian Fiddler Maarja Nuut to Perform at Play Circle in Madison

Maarja Nuut
Maarja Nuut

Fiddler Maarja Nuut is set to perform at Fredric March Play Circle Theater in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday February 4, 2016.

Maarja Nuut is a fiddler, vocalist and composer and singer from northern Estonia, who combines traditional folk music influences with electronics.

Her first solo album, “Soolo,” was released in 2013 and put her on the world music map in Europe. Since then, she has performed at numerous events and festivals across Europe, including the influential WOMEX international world music showcase and conference in Spain and Eurosonic Noordeslag.

Her second album was released on June 3rd 2016, titled “Une meeles.”

Maarja Nuut - Une Meeles
Maarja Nuut – Une Meeles

Tickets are available online, by phone at 608-265-ARTS (2787) or in person.


Maarja Nuut & Special Guest to perform in London

Estonian fiddler and singer Maarja Nuut & Special Guest are set to perform in London on July 20th July, 2016.

Maarja Nuut’s music combines traditional dance tunes, songs, and stories with live electronics to create an intricate and layered soundscape where minimalism and experimental sounds meet the village musical traditions of pre-war Europe.

In the spring of 2013, Nuut released her debut album Soolo that generated buzz in Europe, including glowing reviews and favourable comparisons to Czech avant garde violinist Iva Bittová. Her second album Une meeles was released in spring 2016.

Venue: Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden


Estonian Trance Folk

Maarja Nuut – Une Meeles (Maarja Nuut, 2016)

Une Meeles dwells in the zone between Estonian contemporary folk music, the experimental and ambient-trance music.

Fiddler, composer, vocalist and producer Maarja Nuut uses a mix of bowed and plucked fiddles, vocal harmonies, and electronic looping techniques to deliver a musical dreamworld that occupies the nebulous area between reality and dreams.

Une Meeles is a transfixing recording that allows the listener to travel across Maarja Nuut’s multiple realities. A fascinating album.




Buy Une Meeles in North America

Buy Une Meeles in Europe