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World class musicians to offer instruction and performance at Finnish American Folk School

HANCOCK, Mich. — The members of the world-class Finnish folk music ensemble Tallari will be in the Copper Country promoting the release of their new album “Lähtölaulu–Songs of Departure” while sharing their energy and knowledge with musicians and budding traditional music players.

Tallari, created and supported by the Finnish government to promote Finnish folk music around the world, is an ensemble that has toured internationally for more than 30 years, including many performances in the United States. Joining Tallari for this special tour is well-known Finnish musician and entertainer Jimmy Träskelin, who’ll be familiar to folks who attended FinnFest USA 2013 and saw him perform with fellow folk musician Sampo Korva. Träskelin is also a staff member at the Folk Music Institute of Finland (Kansan musiikki-instituutti).

“Lähtölaulu – Song of Departure” takes the acoustic trio of Träskelin (vocals, harmonica), Korva (guitar, vocals) and Katri Haukilahti (fiddle, vocals) through a musical journey into the robust years of Finnish-American immigration. The trio’s new program examines 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.

Nearly 300,000 people immigrated from Finland to North America between the years 1881 and 1914 in search of a better life. This inspired hundreds of songs that depict the phenomenon of immigration, and created a special subgenre of Finnish folk music, with musicians mixing the tradition of the old country with what they learned in the new one.

This youthful, energetic trio hopes to generate a similar dynamic across the generations, by offering an engaging pair of music workshops through which their passion will immerse participants and encourage them to recognize and appreciate all that Finnish folk music can bring to those playing it. While each visiting musician has an instrument (or two) on which they specialize, their lifetimes of study and performance in Finnish folk music ensure that they’ll capably instruct any musician, on any instrument. Come and see for yourself!

The first session will be Thursday, September 26 at 2 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center; the second workshop will be at 7 p.m. at the Chassell Heritage Center, followed by an informal jam session.

Registration for either workshop is $10 per person.

The culmination of Tallari’s Copper Country stint is a concert at the FAHC on Friday evening, September 27; tickets are only $12 per person. Come early to get your favorite seat – these guys are sure to pack the house!

For more information about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, call (906) 487-7549.