At the Viljandi Folk Music Festival taking place in Estonia, expected and unexpected performers will take the stage

  • 2024-02-13

The line-up of the XXXI Viljandi Folk Music Festival (25th–28th July 2024) welcomes new exciting additions. Estonian legendary and always youthful Singer Vinger will treat the audiences with a special programm blending neurorock and traditional music. Duo Ruut, who’ve won hearts near and far, present their new album. And Kumbia Boruka, a party band from Mexico, will make Viljandi vibrate with the emblematic Latin American rhythms, the cumbia.

Per Ando Kiviberg, the head of the festival, Hardi Volmer, the leader of Singer Vinger, has recently confessed at the concerts of Singer Vinger, that they are a folk music ensemble. “There's a grain of truth in every joke, as we know. Several of their well-known songs are based on folk tunes. For example, "Raha" is a Sami folk tune, while the melody of "Sängiängi öö" originates from Senegal. "Oi ma lällas" is recognizably of South Estonian origin. In December of last year, in the very successful ETV show "Suust suhu" (“From Mouth to Mouth”), the band performed a rather wild rendition of the folk song "Nuttev tamm" (“Sink-sale-proo”) and Hardi Volmer's very powerful performance style added several new and extraordinary colors to it, sometimes even altering the meaning of the song,” Kiviberg said.  Taking all that into account, the festival made a proposal to the legendary Singer Vinger to put together a programme for the XXXI Viljandi Folk Music Festival, featuring both the already known Singer Vinger songs with a folk background and new interpretations of folk songs. “I’m sure that their debut in Viljandi will be very memorable,” Kiviberg added. 

Duo Ruut is an alliance of two good friends with different musical backgrounds and tastes, drawing inspiration from their ancestors' heritage. Playing together on one zither opens new inventive ways of playing and gives life to their minimalist and fresh music. Within the last few years, they’ve played in almost twenty different countries and their music has received a lot of international media attention. By the time of the XXXI Viljandi Folk Music Festival, Duo Ruut will release their new album and they are coming to share their new music with the audiences.

The ambassadors of the lively Latin American music style cumbia are coming to the Viljandi Folk Music Festival from Mexico. The roots of Kumbia Boruka are to be found in Monterrey where Hernan Cortés, the accordion player and band leader, grew up. The band brings new flavours to their modern and lively music, mixing it with influences from reggae, dub, African music and rock, psychedelic electric guitar melodies, an extensive rhythm section and powerful and exciting brass arrangements. They combine the Peruvian cumbia, called chicha, and Mexican cumbia, resulting in fierce Latin energy that will blow everyone’s mind. 

Tarmo Noormaa, the programme manager, chose the band, because he is fascinated by the fact that cumbia, a traditional music genre, has become an integral part of today’s Latin pop music. “It’s an important source of inspiration for us in Estonian folk music as well. I personally really admire the Mexican accordion tradition which is also linked to our newer folk music, through the German immigration,” said Noormaa.With three albums and more than 400 shows, Kumbia Boruka promises to offer an authentic and compelling cure against the evils of our time. 

The XXXI Viljandi Folk Music Festival takes place on 25th–28th July 2024 in Viljandi castle hills. Pre-booking accommodation options for the caravan park, glamping, camping and comfortable camping sites are already available. More information here