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Reviewed Below
”To the Memory of my Mother” A Musical Moment
Venue: “Mother’s Monument” at Lasse Pihlajamaa’s place of birth, Jämijärvi - Tickets: - Free
Reviewed Below
Folk Accordionists on the Arena
The concert introduces Folk Accordion music from the region, as well as foreign music by international groups. After the Concert featured dancing to the Jämijärven Pelimannit Group.
Venue: Jämi-Arena, Jämijärvi - Tickets: Adult 15 € / Pensioner & Student 12 € / Child 8 €
19.00 Shirunov and Seven Young Accordionists
Primus Ikaalinen finalist Alexander Shirunov and the Silver Accordion finalists in a concert, Host: Satu Sopanen.
Venue: Puumila, Kihniö - Tickets: Adult 12 € / Pensioner&Student 10 € / Child 6 €
Reviewed Below
The Finnish group Quinteto Fuego starts the evening playing Piazzolla’s music and then French musicians Julien 'Speedy' Gonzales (accordion) and Cyril Carbonne (clarinet) take the stage.
Venue: Oma Tupa - Tickets: Adult 15 € / Pensioner & Student 12 € / Child 8 €

Traditional Map Pinning Ceremony
One of the traditions of the Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival is when festival Musical Director Kimmo Mattila conducts the traditional "map pinning' ceremony. A large map gracing the walls of the Finnish Accordion Institute is covered with pins, as visiting guest artists and VIP's locate their city and country of origin.

Pictured here is Heather Masefield (left) from the New Zealand Accordion Association (NZAA), as she pins in Auckland, New Zealand on the Sata-Häme Soi international guest map. The Map is located in the staff room adjacent to the Public Relations Manager Minna Plihtari's (right) office, where all International press and publicity is coordinated.
"To the Memory of my Mother"
The first official function of the annual Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival is a folk performance and gathering at Lasse Pihlajamaa's monument "In the Memory of my Mother" on the outskirts of Jämijärvi, some 30 km from Ikaalinen. This beautiful monument is located at the approximate site of where his boyhood home once stood.

Recalling an often difficult childhood and the profound respect he had for his widowed mother "Hilma", Lasse worked for many years planning this monument as an ongoing tribute to the special place she has in his heart. Lasse has since donated the monument and the land it stands on to the Jämijärvi municipality.

In addition to the monument, Mr. Pihlajamaa also composed a work "Muisto Aidille" in memory of his mother, an artistic manuscript of which is housed inside the monument. Several hundred people gathered around the monument as a local Folk Musicians performed. This has become an annual tradition prior to the official beginning of the annual Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival.

A highlight of the ceremony and concert was the attendance by Lasse's wife Maire, who had traveled from the Helsinki area to attend the event. Unfortunatley Mr. Pihlajamaa's health has not allowed him to attend this annual event for several years, but he is always there in spirit.

During the festivities Anneli Pitkänen read a beautiful summary of Lasse's life and the background of the building of the monument for his mother, Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival Musical Director Kimmo Mattila played one of Lasse's many works for accordion, and vocalist Anne Kasittula accompanied by Kimmo Mattila performed a moving piece in honor of this special occassion.

At the conclusion of the ceremony Maire Pihlajamaa greeted the many guests including founder of the Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival Mr. Heikki Eranen, who worked with Lasse to program the original festivals, visiting VIP guest Heather Masefield from the New Zealand Accordion Association (NZAA), and CIA President and Accordions Worldwide Representivite Kevin Friedrich, Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival Director Sirpa Sippola and Musical Director Kimmo Mattila.

Mother’s Monument by Lasse Pihlajamaa
Jämijärvi, Finland
Kevin Friedrich (USA), Heather Masefield (New Zealand)
Festival Musical Director Kimmo Mattila
Festival Director Sirpa Sippola
Kevin Friedrich and Kimmo Mattila
Public Relations Manager Minna Plihtari capturing the Opening Performance
Musical Director Kimmo Mattila Performing a work by Lasse Pihlajamaa
Anneli Pitkanen telling about Lasse Pihlajamaa's life
Crowd gathered at the Monument near Jämijärvi
Rolf Björkman (the director of education in Jämijärvi
Wording on the Monument
Kimmo Mattila and Anne Kasittula
Sirpa Sippola and Kimmo Mattila talking with Lasse's wife Maire
Maire greeting the audience
Mrs. Pihlajamaa talking with Sata-Hame Soi founder Heikki Eränen
NB: In the early 1970's Heikki Eränen twice organized a local concert in Ikaalinen, where amateur accordionists from Ikaalinen played. Heikki asked Lasse to come from Helsinki to play there as well. Lasse was very busy with his business and his teaching institute but Heikki Eränen managed to get him to Ikaalinen, because he originated from the Jämijärvi area (close by) and had many old friends and other people that would like to see him back in the area performing again. Lasse came and played in the concert with a great success, and after that Eränen and Pihlajamaa decided to found the Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival. The first festival was next year, in June 1972. (Heikki Eränen continues to live in the very center of Ikaalinen.)
Kimmo Mattila, Maire Pihlajamaa and Sirpa Sippola
Heather Masefield (New Zealand) meeting Mrs. Pihlajamaa
Kevin Friedrich and Maire Pihlajamaa
Folk Accordionists on the Arena
After the ceremony at the Pihlajamaa monument, a concert was held in the Jämi Arena where many of the guest artists for the festival previewed their programs. Approximately 700 people filled the arena to capacity while being entertained by some of the worlds finest accordionists including Russian concertina and xylophone artist Valentin Osipov, and other artists from Spain, Finland and Macedonia.
Valentin Osipov
Spanish Group 'Garúa'
Shirunov and Seven Young Accordionists
Young Russian accordionist and first runner up in the 2005 Primus Ikaalinen Competition Alexander Shirunov along with the Silver Accordion finalists appeared in Concert at Puumila in Kihnio.
Tulenkantajat featuring Quinteto Fuego and Julien 'Speedy' Gonzales and Cyril Carbonne
The quintet of Heli Siekkinen (accordion), Elina Mero (Violin), Outi Jussila (Piano), Joona Hasan (Guitar) and Petri Jaakonaho (Bass) performing as Quinteto Fuego delighted the audience at the popular Oma Tupa with a program of Pizzolla music. All professional musicians, the group is based in Jyväskylä. Accordoinist Heli Siekkinen is a former student of Mr. Dogopolov and has also studied in masterclasses with Matti Rantanen. She performs regularly as a classical and folk artist.

The second half of the concert belonged to the outstanding French duo of Julian 'Speedy' Gonzales (accordion) and Cyril Carbonne (clarinet) who provided a spectacular performance pushing the boundaires of ensemble playing towards new limits.

Cyril's playing, which could be described as an extension of his soul.... combined with the flawless rhythmic and techincal expertise of Julian, intertwined to combine the two artists and their instruments into a one magical musical moment after another.

Utilizing continuous breathing in his clarient playing, Cyril's melodic lines took the audience on a seemingly endless exciting journey, while Speedy's charming, sensitive and sometimes almost mischievious personality, combined together to take the audience on an incredible musical journey.
Quinteto Fuego - Heli Siekkinen (accordion), Petri Jaakonaho (Bass), Outi Jussila (Piano), Joona Hasan (Guitar) and Elina Mero (Violin)
Julian 'Speedy' Gonzales (accordion) and Cyril Carbonne (Clarinet)
Julian and Cyril after the concert
Julian and Cyril with members of the Quinteto Fuego
In and Around Ikaalinen
Typical Farm House found near the Lasse Pihlajamaa Monument
Tri-colored Lupin Flowers adorn the roads
Many goodies tempt the visitors!!!!
Official Sata-Häme Soi Festival Website




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