Cat Power, Carla Bruni, Giant Robot at Helsinki Festival’s Huvila

Several interesting international artists have been confirmed as part of Helsinki Festival’s Huvila programme, including Brandee Younger, Hermanos Gutiérrez, Ride and Markus Krunegård. Finnish artists set to perform special concerts tailored for Huvila include Anna Puu, Antti Autio and Kimmo Pohjonen.
 Vesta and Arppa perform for the public at Huvila.
Several interesting artists have been confirmed as part of Helsinki Festival’s Huvila programme. Photo: Petri Anttila

Helsinki Festival will be celebrated at Huvila for two and a half weeks, starting on 15 August.

“This year’s Helsinki Festival will feature several unique international female artists, like Cat Power, Carla Bruni and Brandee Younger – all for the first time at Huvila. We managed to create the strongest Huvila programme of my term”, says Marko Ahtisaari, who is serving his final year as the Artistic Director of Helsinki Festival.

Cat Power interprets Bob Dylan

One of the highlights of this year’s international artist visits is the American singer-songwriter Cat Power’s concert, in which she performs her own version of Bob Dylan’s iconic 1966 Manchester Free Trade Hall concert. The warm-up act to the internationally-praised Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall concert is Construction, a band led by Marko Ahtisaari.

Carla Bruni, one of the most famous artists in France, makes her first appearance in Finland at Huvila. The singer-songwriter will perform a comprehensive selection of the finest songs of her career. The concert begins with ethno-pop artist Vilma Jää, a protégé of Kaija Saariaho, who appeared in one of Saariaho’s final works, the opera Innocence.

Helsinki Festival’s international jazz music guest is Brandee Younger, who has managed to significantly elevate the role of the harp in contemporary jazz. The American harpist, composer, teacher and concert curator will perform with the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra. The opening act is folk musician and kantele virtuoso Maija Kauhanen, the first Finn to win the Nordic Council Music Prize.

The Ecuadorian-Swiss brother duo Hermanos Gutiérrez brings to Huvila an intriguing mix of Latin American traditional music of the 1950s, Tex-Mex desert blues and guitar-driven instrumental music based on Ennio Morricone’s cinematic scenery.

The guitar-driven music catalogue at Huvila is further bolstered by the British band Ride, who have played their way into alternative music history. The quartet comes to Huvila with their original line-up to play their first two albums in their entirety. The evening begins with Finnish instrumental band Tinyhawk & Bizzarro.

Huvila’s varied international artist selection also includes Angélique Kidjo, who celebrates her 40-year career, with opening act F, who performed at Huvila last year as well.

Two nights of love between Finland and Sweden

Helsinki Festival’s Huvila programme contains two special nights when Finnish and Swedish singer-songwriters take to the stage. One of the most beloved artists in Sweden, the Finnish Swede Markus Krunegård, whose first Finnish-language solo album Nokia & Ericsson was warmly received in Finland, is paired with his role model and inspirer Mikko Joensuu. Joensuu released the praised Long Ark album earlier this year.

Having released his fourth album in February, Antti Autio has become one of Finland’s most esteemed singer-songwriters of the new generation in recent
years. At Huvila, Autio’s band is accompanied by a string section. The warm-up act for Autio is Swedish artist Loney Dear, who makes his return to Huvila.

Finnish special concerts sparkle on the iconic summer stage

Anna Puu ends her long tour with a special concert at Huvila. The artist’s biggest hits and rarer gems will be performed as orchestral arrangements accompanied by the Vantaa Orchestra.

Aimed at young people in particular, the two concerts by IHMEPERHE bring to the stage Sexmane, responsible for some of the most-played songs in recent times, Isaac Sene, who gained national recognition in the 2022 UMK competition, and the younger artists of the family, ADI and ROBIN. SENYA, whose song Ikoni became something of a social media phenom, warms the Huvila tent up in the early evening. The earlier day concert is for all ages and the later one is age-restricted.

It is bound to be a memorable experience in Huvila history when two long-time legends of the Helsinki music world hop on stage: Giant Robot will make a long-awaited comeback and Aku Raski, previously known as Huoratron, performs his musical rebirth.

Samuli Edelmann will perform the albums Vaiheet and Vaiheet 2,
consisting of his father Toni Edelmann’s compositions, in their entirety. The compositions, created to the texts of Goethe, Hesse, Shakespeare and others, rise to new heights when interpreted by Kymi Sinfonietta.

Special day concerts by Finnish artists will include the already-announced 20-year
anniversary of Samuli Putro as well as accordion artist Kimmo Pohjonen, who celebrates his 60-year birthday at Huvila.

The atmospheric Huvila festival tent will also host a special evening of music and cinema, with the night beginning with the screening of Aki Kaurismäki’s Fallen Leaves, the major phenomenon of 2023. After an intermission, the night continues with a concert by Maustetytöt, who also appear in the film.

Huvila’s opening night serves up an entirely Finnish treat for jazz lovers, namely the jazz orchestra concert “Helsinki Noir Suite – Searching for Tapio”. The suite is a ten-part work by composer-musician Valtteri Laurell and dramatist Emmy Karhu, the title of which refers to one of the main characters of the libretto, the forest spirit Tapio. The premiere heard at Huvila will be performed by the 17-member Ricky-Tick Big Band, led by Laurell. Soul artist Emilia Sisco will provide narration and vocals.

The Finnish concert catalogue at Huvila is bolstered by the much-wanted Pariisin Kevät, whose opening act will be the Finnish-Canadian artist Erika Sirola, who is making a name for herself internationally. The stars of the Helsinki Festival party night include Business City, who is enjoying a rocket-like rise to fame and selling out club nights, and BÄMÄ, who challenges the heteronormativity of Finnish rap.

Helsinki Festival will be celebrated from 15 August to 1 September 2024. More of the festival programme will be published during the spring.