Peter: That sounds very exciting Tom, and I must say that you have whet our appetites for more. Can you highlight some of the music and cultural values that exist in Estonia and if you can, offer us some insight as to what to expect at some of these concerts?
Tom: Having made my career in music, exploring new sounds from around the world has always been important to me. That interest, combined with my heritage has meant Estonian artists have always been on my radar. I believe what's happened to Iceland’s surging popularity (with artists like Bjork, Sigur Ros and others) is also possible for Estonia as we certainly have our share of quirky, highly innovative artists that are now on the world stage for everyone to enjoy.
Estonian cultural values I believe are really inherent in our artists as the lyrics and music come straight from the heart and are a deep reflection of the turbulent history the country has gone through in the last 100 years and more. Voices in particular like those of Grammy award winning choir Vox Clamantis and Estonian Voices (both of whom are playing EMW) always seem to resonate with everyone with their at times ghostly qualities that are hauntingly beautiful - a magical sound for listening audiences. Estonian harmonies just seem to always sound unique and therefore distinctive resulting in either an exhilarating and or emotional concert experience.
EMW will feature remarkable jazz from newly signed ECM artist Kristjan Randalu, truly one of the world's most compelling pianists of his generation, as well as a classical/jazz concert by the Avarus Ensemble (festival openers), who are remarkable in that they defy categorization. Rounding out our visiting Estonian program are Kadri Voorand a truly stunning singer/composer who has won many awards including best jazz vocalist and best jazz album of the year, Maarja Nuut, an eclectic violinist/electronic singer songwriter, and bassoonist Martin Kuuskman who is also Grammy nominated.
We also have some adventurous rock-oriented acts featured on our ESTONIANS ROCK evening: Pia Fraus and Eriki Parnoja. And as a bonus everyone will be entertained in between sets by the very cool DJ Sander Molder.
On the local Estonian platform, we have the amazing duo of Tiina Kiik and Rosie Lindau, the mesmerizing vocals and haunting compositions of Kaili Kinnon, the electronic futuristic sounds of Kara Lis Coverdale and the hard rocking sounds of The Leslie Spits.
And we just recently secured singer songwriter Kerli for our event. She is the most successful Estonian pop artist in the world, with 600,000 Facebook, 80,000 Twitter and 40,000 Instagram followers. She will not be performing but we are very excited that she will take part in a music panel and attend our concerts and receptions.
AND that's not all!
I have also invited a select few Canadian artists to join the roster:
An amazing classical quartet of very talented musicians with a fun fact that founding member Peter’s mom is Estonian! This is classical music performed with an added emphasis of FUN and they are paired with Estonian Voices on our last evening at Lula Lounge.