Performers at FinnFest USA 2019

Get to know some of the festival’s talented performers!

Finn Hall

Saturday, Finn Camp
Open Music Jam, 7:00 
Dance, 8:30

Based in Minneapolis, award-winning Finn Hall recreates the feel and sounds of the historic Finnish-American dance halls for local dancers offering waltz, polka, schottische, mazurka, tango, humppa and other dances. Along with dance venues, they also perform in concert settings where they add listening selections for the pleasure of the audience. Finn Hall tours throughout the mid-western United States, and occasionally to both the east and west coasts for dances and concerts. They tour internationally as well whenever possible.
Visit their site to learn more!


7:00 PM Sunday, Finnish Center

Kardemimmit are four strong, young women who play a rare gem: the Finnish national instrument kantele, an ancient stringed instrument with a silvery sound. While playing 15- and 38-string kanteles, Kardemimmit sing mesmerizing harmonies in original compositions that blend a modern approach with a deep foundation in Finnish, Eastern European, and Scandinavian traditions. Kardemimmit’s repertoire includes several styles of Finnish traditional music. There are some traditional pieces, but most of the songs are composed by members of Kardemimmit with traditional lyrics.
Visit their site to learn more!


8:30 PM Friday, Mackinac Room – Sheraton Detroit Novi

Lähtölaulu – Song of Departure takes the acoustic trio of Jimmy Träskelin (vocals, harmonica), Katri Haukilahti (fiddle, vocals) and Sampo Korva (guitar, vocals) through a musical journey into the busy years of Finnish-American immigration. Lead by the legendary song anthology Reisaavaisen laulu Ameriikkaan released in 1982, the trio’s new program studies not only the immigrants’ feelings during departure and settlement in the new country, but also gives a heartfelt voice to those who were left behind.
Visit their site to learn more!

Viola Turpeinen Tribute

5:30 PM Friday

Viola Turpeinen, accordion virtuoso, was a second-generation Finnish-American born in Iron Mountain, Michigan. She began to perform professionally in New York City and become the most well-known Finnish American musician of the 20th century. Touring annually throughout the East and Midwest, most often in the Finnish dance halls, she shared her masterful accordion skills until her untimely early death in the 1950’s. She and her husband, arranger and composer William Syrjälä, played and sang a wide repertoire of pop and folk dance music. Those who attended her concerts and danced to her music became life-long fans, making her a legend even during her lifetime. Today, she lives on through her sound recordings and her compositions, inspiring those who continue to play Finnish American music.
Music for listening and dancing by FinnFolk of the Farmington Hills, Michigan, Finnish Center Association.
Visit their site to learn more!

Järnefelt Piano Trio

7:00 PM Friday, Finnish Center

Järnefelt Piano Trio – Biography

Järnefelt Piano Trio was formed in 2017 in celebration of Finland’s 100 years of independence. The musicians are violinist Päivikki Nykter, cellist Katri Ervamaa, and pianist Ruusamari Teppo. All three are Finnish-born, and come together from California, Texas and Michigan. The trio is named after the common ancestors of Ms.Teppo and Ms. Ervamaa.
Järnefelt Piano Trio: Päivikki Nykter, viulu/violin; Katri Ervamaa, sello/cello ; Ruusamari Teppo, piano
Lukijat/Readers: Carol Gray, Graham Atkin

Visit their site to learn more!

Dawn of My Heart – Love, music, letters!
Sydämen aamu – rakkautta, musiikkia, kirjeitä!

Letters of Jean and Aino Sibelius with music: A program of Sibelius’ beloved piano pieces and compositions for violin, cello and piano, including Piano Trio No.3 “Havträsk” and the lovely Valse Triste as a trio arrangement juxtaposed with letters from the same time periods.
Jean ja Aino Sibeliuksen kirjeitä Sibeliuksen musiikin siivittämänä. Konsertissa kuullaan Sibeliuksen rakastettuja pianokappaleita sekä sävellyksiä viululle, sellolle ja pianolle mm. Havträsk trio sekä iki-ihana Valse Triste triolle sovitettuna.