Tallinn Music Week – Hitting All the Right Notes

  • 2015-03-05
  • By TBT staff

TALLINN - During the last weekend of March, 205 artists from 26 countries will perform at the annual Tallinn Music Week.
Now in its seventh year, Tallinn Music Week has grown into a major meeting point for Eastern, Western and Central European music communities as well as an attractive travel destination for the region’s music, culture and food lovers. An ever-increasing number of foreign artists – this year there will be 84 acts from 25 countries – prove the point. This year’s international line-up includes 12 artists from Finland, nine from Denmark, Latvia and Russia, six from Poland and five from the UK, Sweden and Belarus.

The TMW also features artists from further afield, including the audiovisual artist Lafidki from Cambodia, the folk-pop duo Lola Marsh from Israel, the Armenian industrial metal group Unaesthetic, Serbian post-punk trio Repetitor and alternative hip-hop act N’toko from Slovenia. Legendary British singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan is definitely a highlight amongst the international variety in the program, along with Sweden’s finest electropop acts KateBoy and Jennie Abrahamson, Polish art pop princess Julia Marcell and nu-soul group Moonlight Breakfast from Austria.

The seventh edition of the festival features a special focus on Denmark – currently one of the most exciting places for new music in Europe. The Danish party, hosted by SPOT on Denmark by Music Export Denmark, JazzDanmark, World Music Denmark and Rosa, is also set to be the opening party of the festival on 26th March at Von Krahl theatre and will feature the finest representatives of Danish pop and rock, among them the melting pot of ethnic and modern influences called The Sexican, noise-pop warriors Lowly and the adrenaline-heavy hip-hop act Slowolf. SPOT on Denmark will also feature two of the finest jazz outfits, Emil De Waal + Spejderrobot and Rune Funch Picture Music.

To celebrate the fact that the southern Estonian village of Obinitsa in Setomaa is currently holding the status of the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture, Fenno-Ugria will present a vigorous company of male vocalists called Seto Miihi Summ along with the reconstruction of ancient ritual ceremonies of Erza and Moksha by OYME from Russia, also to be held on the opening night of TMW.

New venues this year include 16th century St. Nicholas Church, where the Glasperlenspiel Festival will present a new piece “To His Holiness” by the versatile Estonian composer Peeter Vihi. Rotermann Salt Storage Hall will host the Glasperlenspiel Festival’s “Crystallic” showcase featuring Estonian handbell ensemble ARSIS and baritone saxophone maestro Joan Mart-Frasquier from Spain amongst others. The brand new theatre hall Vaba Lava in Tallinn’s hipster hotspot Telliskivi will host the folk night, featuring the very recent winner of Estonian music awards Curly Strings and Maarja Nuut, who created quite a stir at WOMEX 2014. Philly Joe’s, an atmospheric and friendly new jazz bar, is the venue for world-class blues and rock.

Radio Uuno presents the Tuborg Green Club festival stage at Tallinn’s premier live music club Rock Cafe on Friday with new generation Estonian indie bands Frankie Animal and Daniel Levi and the Swedish pop folk sensation Hurricane Love. Radio 2 is hosting two showcases in Von Krahl and Rock Cafe introducing their current favorites from the sinister ghetto-rap trickster Tommy Cash, bluesy indie rock combo Super Hot Cosmos Blues Band and a superb mood-psychedelia by Tartu Popi ja Roki Instituut with their recent album release on the Chicago-based indie label Minty Fresh.

Hea Uus Heli continues to explore the venturous trendsetters, presenting the brave new sounds from flamboyantly deranged art-pop trio Badass Yuki to cinematic shoegazers Holy Motors. Rada7 introduces an entertaining mix from atmospheric black metal to experimental jazzist Maria Faust. Jazzkaar and Estonian Jazz Association curate the showcase at NO99 reaching from the minimal ambient soundscapes of guitarist Robert Jurjendal to the power jazz/fusion of Phlox. Indie label Eesti Pops presents a colorful mix from psycho folk to art pop in Soprus Cinema, whilst the hip-hop and dance imprint Lejal Genes will cram a huge number of hip-hop and bass music acts into the Sinilind club.

In addition to the main festival programme, Tallinn Music Week presents traditional free afternoon City Stage concerts around town, a talk show series TMW Talks and the restaurant festival TMW Tastes. As a brand new addition the festival, TMW Arts, organised by the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Centre, presents a series of exhibition openings of living classics and contemporary artists. A two-day Tallinn Craft Beer Weekend, a showcase for best international micro-breweries in Telliskivi joins great artisan beer together with a special TMW stage.