"Finlanders: Sinun Vuokses ("Because of You")
The popular band’s afternoon concert. Special price for groups.

Venue: Oma Tupa
Tickets: 20€ (adults), 15€ (seniors and students), 10€ (children)

see below
"To the Memory of My Mother"
A musical moment at Lasse Pihlajamaa's Monument in honor of his Mother 'Hilma'
, near his place of birth in Jämijärvi.

Venue: Jämijärventie Road 650
Free entrance

see below
Folk Accordionists at the Arena
A fast-paced folk music parade at the Jämi Arena. Finnish musicians and international visitors perform.

Venue: Jämi Areena, Lasse Pihlajamaa Hall,
Jämintie 659, Jämijärvi
18€, 14€, 9€

see below
The Moon Whispers
Johanna Virtanen, Susan Aho and the band

Venue: Oma Tupa
20€, 15€, 10€

The Sata-Häme Soi Festival has plenty of international color and exoticism, however, this summer, Finnish musical gems of all kinds have a particularly prominent place. Just after midsummer this year, the international Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival will take place in Ikaalinen for the 39th time, on June 28-July 3, 2011.
Sata-Häme Soi has, for years already, invited young world-class accordion soloists to perform in Finland, and offered at the same time an opportunity for them to become known to the Finnish audiences. Petar Maric, from Serbia, is a phenomenal talent and an accordion virtuoso, who in recent years has come to international attention in many competitions and festivals throughout Europe and also the U.S. and China. The Ikaalinen Church is where the 21 years old Maric plays a classical repertoire, which includes music from J. S. Bach, D. Scarlatti, Frank Angel and S. Prokofiev.
One of Russia's most famous bands is the Terem Quartet which celebrates its 25th anniversary, and makes a visit to Ikaalinen to mark the anniversary. The Quartet's repertoire includes more than 500 of their own breathtaking arrangements of classical pieces from different countries and well-known composers. The Terem Quartet's Ikaalinen concert has a soloist, namely Jonna Pirttijoki, so one can expect a touch of Finnish culture again in this concert.
In advance the most expected international visitor is the Budapest Klezmer Band, which always attracts attention wherever it plays. The band's skill and exciting, fascinating Klezmer music sound will amaze the audience in Ikaalinen this summer.
One of the newest phenomena in the Finnish accordion music culture is the National Youth Accordion Orchestra, which consists of young advanced music students. The leader is 19-year-old Janne Valkeajoki, who studies at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki on Jorma Panula's conducting class and Heidi Velamo's accordion class. At the Sata-Häme Soi Festival, the Orchestra will play in the Ikaalinen Church.
The music of the legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, and of Richard Galliano, who has visited Ikaalinen previously, will be heard at the Duo Syrius concert. Julien Gonzales is one of the charismatic representatives of French young generation accordion. He won the Primus Ikaalinen in 2007, and a couple of years earlier he had already formed the Duo Syrius together with the phenomenal clarinetist Cyril Carbonne. Both in their early 20's, the young musicians have created a great international career in just a few years.
At the Festival week of about 50 concerts and events, there are approximately 1000 Finnish and about 100 foreign performers. The festival is expecting 35 000 visitors, with 15000 purchased concert tickets. Approximately half of the concerts and events are free.
The Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival is a joint effort of the people of Ikaalinen, bringing visibility to the town on TV during the week of more than a dozen hours, including replays. The Golden and Silver Accordion and the Primus Ikaalinen finals are seen live on YLE TV2 and also on the internet http://areena.yle.fi/live
The Mayor of Ikaalinen Tero Nissinen, Sirpa Sippola (Festival Director), Kimmo Mattila (Artistic Director) and Minna Plihtari (Public Relations Manager) welcomed members of the Press and Invited Guests for an International Press Conference prior to the commencement of the Festival.

Contestants in the 7th Primus Ikaalinen enjoyed a welcome breakfast where they got to meet their fellow contestants, adjudicators, hosts and other invited guests, while being welcomed by the SHS Director Sirpa Sippola and Festival Artistic Director Kimmo Mattila.

After the breakfast, the contestants held heir first rehearsal with the backing orchestra comprising: Jari Puhakka (conductor-piano), Jarmo Nikku (guitar), Seppo Helin (keyboard), Risto Salmi (wood winds), Jari Heino (bass) and Miri Miettinen (drums).
Above left: President of the Primus Ikaalinen VII Jury, Gary Daverne talking with Artistic Director Kimmo Mattila
Above right: Kimmo Mattila welcoming guests
Above and below: Jury, Contestants, Hosts and Guests enjoying the Welcome Breakfast
Below right: President of the Primus Ikaalinen Jury, Gary Daverne with host Mirja Hanhikangas
Above: Contestants in the Primus Ikaalinen VII
Giorgio Albanese (Italy), Natanael Teizeira (Portugal), Alexander Veretennikov (Russia),
Danijel Stankovic (Austria), Julie Blocher (France), Matthias Matzke (Germany), Cory Pesaturo, USA.
Note: The Finnish candidate will be the winner of the Golden Accordion Competition.
Above Matthias Matzke (Germany) rehearsing with the Band
with Gary Daverne (President of the Jury) listening in the background
Above Matthias Matzke (Germany) rehearsing Jari Puhakka (conductor-piano), Jarmo Nikku (guitar), Seppo Helin (keyboard),
Risto Salmi (wood winds), Jari Heino (bass) and Miri Miettinen (drums)
Giorgio Albanese (Italy) rehearsing with the Band
Above left: Giorgio Albanese (Italy)
Above right: Julie Blocher (France)
Above: Cory Pesaturo, USA
President of the Primus Ikaalinen Jury Gary Daverne (New Zealand) being interviewed by Solja Virkkunen,
reporter from the Pohuois-Satakunta Newspaper
CIA Ambassador and Jury Member Kevin Friedrich pictured with Gary Daverne and his wife Sofia Daverne

The first official function of the 39th annual Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival was a folk concert and gathering at Lasse Pihlajamaa's monument "In the Memory of My Mother" on the outskirts of Jämijärvi, some 20 km from Ikaalinen. This beautiful monument is located at the approximate site where the late Lasse Pihlajamaa's 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 had in his heart. Lasse donated the monument and the land it stands on to the Jämijärvi municipality. In addition to the monument, Lasse Pihlajamaa also composed a work "Muisto Aidille" in memory of his mother, an artistic manuscript of which is housed inside the monument.
As a sign of the tremendous respect given to this Finnish icon of the accordion world, a large gathering of people formed around the monument where official greetings were extended to attendees, followed by performances by the local Folk Musicians Accordion Orchestra,
duo Aino Ojakoski (Viola) and Kimmo Mattila (accordion) and Tuulikki Lounaskorpi, a relative of the late Lasse Lasse Pihlajamaa.
The Monument opened in 1975, and festival Founder Heikki Eränen has recounted that on June 5, 1975 when the day of the opening, it was actually snowing and it was so cold that Lasse Pihlajamaa couldn't play outdoors!

Since then, the gathering at the Monument has become the traditional opening of the Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival.
Above and below: Members of the Jämijärvi Folk Music Accordion Group
Above: Members of the Jämijärvi Folk Music Accordion Group
Above and Below: Duo of Aino Ojakoski (Viola) and Kimmo Mattila (Accordion)
Above left: Tuula and Heikki Eränen (festival Founder)
Above right: Tuulikki Lounaskorpi (Relative of the late Lasse
Lasse Pihlajamaa)
The large audience gathered at the Monument for the Ceremony

Another tradition on the evening prior to the official opening of the festival, this annual concert at the
Jämi Arena featured an array of lively Accordion music and Folk Music from the region, together with invited foreign guest performers. Pictured below are some of the performers on the Concert:
Jämijärvi Folk Music Group Opening the Concert
Eero Tuomisto: Ikaalisten Valssi and Jukka Saine: Suviy
ön Valssi
Above left: Silver Accordion Finalist Pilvi Huhta
Peter P. Nielsen: On Neidolla Punapaula and trad. Metsäkukkia
Above right: Julie Blocher (France)
Andre Astier: La Tempete and J. Strauss: Radetzky March
Maestria Accordion Group, Aili Suokas - Director (from Estonia)
Seppo Lankinen, Seppo Soittila and Matti Lepänhaara

Susan Aho and Johanna Virtanen are the cofounders and members of the duo Kuunkuiskaajat (Moon Whispers). Their album was released in December 2009. A month later their cheerful and charming performance at the Finnish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest conquered the hearts of the Finns. Kuunkuiskaajat beat the pre-contest favorites by receiving 42 per cent of the votes.
Susan (36) started playing accordion at the age of 13. She obtained a Master of Music degree at the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department. Susan is not only a professional musician, but also a puppeteer. Currently she works at the internationally renowned puppet theatre Sampo.
Johanna (33) started her musical studies at the Central Ostrobothnian Conservatory in Kokkola. She continued studying folk music and singing at the Sibelius Academy and her plan is to obtain a Master of Music degree in the near future. Johanna is a professional vocal teacher and specialising in childbirth singing. In addition she plays harmonium, kantele and 2-row accordion.

As the Finnish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, they performed a work titled Työlki Ellää which was written and composed by Timo Kiiskinen and was influenced by both old Finnish poetic Runo and Gypsy music. Susan Aho even claims to have some Romany heritage and part of the song is sung in Karelian dialect, which is spoken in Eastern Finland. The tongue-in-cheek title translates as "You can also make a living by working (but it's business that makes you rich)".
As members of Värttinä, Susan and Johanna have toured extensively in Europe and all over the world, in more than 30 countries in total. One of the group's most notable projects in recent years was composing music for The Lord Of The Rings theatrical adaptation.
Johanna Virtanen (keyboard) Susan Aho (accordion) and members of the band
Susan Aho (accordion)

Pictures of people and happenings from around Ikaalinen.
Accordions Worldwide Reporter Kevin Friedrich with Tuula and Heikki Eränen (festival Founder)
Tuulikki Lounaskorpi (Relative of the late Lasse Lasse Pihlajamaa)
Sirpa Sippola (Festival Director)
Kimmo Mattila (Festival Artistic Director)
Minna Plihtari (Festival Public Relations Manager)
Above and below: While waiting for the concert at the Jämi Arena, which sits overlooking an airfield,
viewers got to enjoy several parachutists taking advantage of the spectacular sunny weather.
Above: The beautiful Lupin flowers which adorn the Finnish countryside during the summer months
2 AM - View of Lake Kyrösjärvi which is the 49th largest lake in Finland covering 96.2 square KM



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