31st Annual International Sata-Häme Soi - Accordion Festival is
being held from July 1-6, 2003 amidst the beautiful parks and wooden
houses of Ikaalinen, Finland which nestled on the banks of Lake Kyrösjärvi
which is the 49th largest lake in Finland covering 96.2 square km.
'Sata-Häme' is the region of Finland in which Ikaalinen is found
and is home to the largest Spa and Indoor Swimming/Water complex in
The Sata-Häme Accordion Festival is a member of Finland Festivals
Association, and is one of the most prominent music events in Finland.
It takes place annually during the five days in the beginning of July.
The Sata-Häme Accordion Festival experience is a highlight of Finnish
summer culture. Its programme consists of genuine Finnish accordion
music as well as high-quality international light entertainment music.
Ikaalinen became an independent commune in 1641. The associated market
town was founded in 1858. The market town and the commune were united
in 1972 and Ikaalinen became a borough in 1977, a town with a rural
atmosphere. Ikaalinen has a population of approximately 8,000 people.
is an old tourist attraction in Finland. Its spa tradition dates back
to the last century and folk music, especially accordion music is one
of its traditions. Its beautiful landscape has always fascinated visitors.
During the last
decades Ikaalinen developed into a versatile service centre with good
business, educational and recreational facilities. Today about 55 %
of the population earns its living from the service sector and 15 %
from agriculture, which has always provided an important source of income.
The biggest industrial
plants are Finlayson, Upofloor, Georgia Pacific Paper, Amerplast, Honkarakenne,
Keskus-Sähkö, H&H Siporex and Katsa.
During the Sata-Häme
Accordion Festival a highly diverse program has been arranged around
the accordion and its related instruments with the variety of events
guranteeing something for everyone. Artists representing a variety of
styles will be performing at the festival including:
- Tango Nuevo - Tango
- Sakari Kuosmanen &
Petri Ikkelä - Bandoneon
- Simon Thoumire and
David Milligan - featuring Scottish Folk with a touch of Jazz
- The Jump Band - Jazz
- Trio Töykeät
- Jazz Trio
- Maria Kalaniemi - famed
Finnish Folk Artist
- Taija Maatiala and
- Joao Frade - Portuguese
World Entertainment Champion
- Pavel Zyabko and Josif
Puritz - Junior Klingenthal Champions from Moscow
- The Kazan Accordion
Orchestra from Kazan, Russia
- Crawfish Kings - Zydeco
- plus many more
newly renovated "Oma Tupa" Hall (right) will host a variety
of music including Folk Music and Dancing, Swing, Jazz, Piazzolla's
Tango Nuevo and famed Finnish Folk artist Maria Kalaniemi. Other concerts
will be held in the Ikaalinen Hall, the Ikaalinen Church (pictured left),
the Spa Open Air Theater, Festival Park, the Yellow School, the Red
School, the Accordion Pub and other venues all located within short
walking distances from each other. The outdoor venues of Festival Park
and the Accordion Pub will ensure that music is heard in every corner
The Church of Ikaalinen (pictured left) was designed by Thure G. Wennberg
and was completed in 1801. It is a wooden cruci-form church with a seating
capacity of 1,100.
During the festival, Ikaalinen will provide a rare opportunity to hear
the Scottish Concertina, the Argentine Bandoneon, the Chinese Cheng
and the Finnish two row and five row accordions, Jazz, Rock, Zydeco,
Folk, Polka and other types of music from soloists, ensembles and orchestras.
The festival tradition of musical competitions will also be continued.
There will be several competitions for Folk Music on different types
of instruments, as well as the Finals of the competition held onboard
the Silja Europa cruise from Finland to Sweden and back held in March.
These finals will be televised live during a concert where the contestants
will perform with a backing ensemble.
addition to music there will be displays of instruments, music and recordings,
accordion items and other Finnish crafts during the week long festival.
Even stores in Ikaalinen such as this Jewelry Store have an accordion
theme, featuring two antique instruments.
In addition to the Festivities, Ikaalinen also is the home of the Finnish
Accordion Association, the Finnish Accordion Institute, The Accordion
Gallery and the Accordion Museum of Musical Instruments.
Sata-Hame Soi - Festival Office
Ikaalinen City Hall
Valtakatu 7, PL 33
Telephone: +358 (0) 3 4400 224
Fax: +358 (0) 3 4501 365
large part of the accordion life in Finland is centered in Ikaalinen
and is formed into three groups, the Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival,
the Finnish Accordion Association and the Finnish Accordion Institute.
The Sata-Häme Soi Ikaalinen Accordion Festival offers performances
and concerts covering a broad range of styles as you can see from these
pages which review the 2003 Festival. The Sata-Häme Soi also has
a winter cruise which attracts thousands.
Finnish Accordion Institute caters to academic accordion activities
with the archives of accordion activities, publishing new and past accordion
works, CD's and other important accordion projects, including a museum
and offering support for the summer festival and cruise.
The third group is the Finnish Accordion Association which has
some 5,000 plus members. This gives accordionists an opportunity to
belong to a central accordion family, and an important part of this
association is the regular publication of their news, a 50 plus page
high quality magazine entitled "Hanuri."
This terrific cooperation between three major accordion groups is an
inspiration to the accordion world on the ability of groups to work
together for the common goal of promoting the accordion.
(It should also be mentioned that in addition to these three groups
promoting the accordion, many conservatories also accept the accordion
for studies, the most famous being the Sibelius
Helsinki which has both Classical and Folk departments.)
addition, there is also an Accordion Museum which houses over
100 instruments of various styles, including the 'Accordion Bench"
demonstrated here (right) by Kimmo Mattila. Having the appearance of
a piano stool, it converts into an accordion much to the amusement of
patrons who have just tested it out.