Folk Music Group Tallari
Touring weddings and celebrations as a musician around the end of the 19th century was a tough job in Finland. The toughest Ostrobothnian musician to do this at that time was Elias Tallari, and this inspired the country's first professional folk music band to borrow his name. From the cradle of folk music, Kaustinen, Tallari has maintained the flame of Finnish root music for 30 years, one foot deep in tradition and the other firmly in the present, igniting the treasures of archives and constantly creating something new. Tallari gives concerts and educates, organizes workshops, ensemble-playing events and jam sessions, nurtures traditional styles of folk music, experiments, creates and moves boldly, breaking the borderlines of art. The group's repertoire includes several different concert ensembles with soloists and musician guests.
Violin, nyckelharpa, vocals
Born in Kaustinen, Katri has been a member of Tallari since 2013. She is the group's violinist, nyckelharpist and singer. She has previously worked as a musician for the Rimpparemmi Dance Theatre, among others. Katri has graduated as a music pedagogue and has taught, for instance, at the Central Ostrobothnia Conservatory, Centria University of Applied Sciences and Näppärit. Katri is a strong and soulful vocalist and musician, who is truly at home with the traditional Kaustinen-style of playing and delicately elegant folk songs as well as with Hungarian peasant music.
Violin, Finnish nyckelharpa, mandolin, vocals
Arto Järvelä (b. 1964) is one of the most internationally known Finnish contemporary musicians. He graduated from the Sibelius Academy's Folk Music Department in 1994 and has worked mainly as a freelance musician and teacher. In his solo production, he has profiled himself as a researcher of archaic, largely extinct music and solo playing styles. In addition, he is known from bands such as JPP, Pinnin pojat, WAO, Salamakannel and Nordik Tree. Järvelä has played on more than a hundred albums in total. He was a member of Tallari from 1986 to 1989 and has also frequently visited Tallari as a guest over the years. In addition to the violin, Arto Järvelä's instrumental repertoire includes the nyckelharpa, the Finnish nyckelharpa or esseharpa and the mandolin.
violin, harmonium, tenor guitar
Esko Järvelä graduated with a master's degree in music from the University of the Arts in Helsinki in 2013. He is known internationally from the bands such as Frigg, JPP, Teho, Tötterssön, Baltic Crossing and Esko Järvelä Epic Male Band, in addition to which he has worked as a musician in numerous theater productions and on several albums, as well as a music teacher at the Sibelius Academy and the Pop & Jazz Conservatory. From a young age, he has been actively involved in Näppärit as a teacher and arranger of Näppäri songs. Furthermore, he is the artistic director of the TE! Fest in Kerava. Esko Järvelä's main instruments are the violin and the harmonium.
Sampo, whose music teacher studies brought him from Espoo to Central Ostrobothnia, brings color to Tallari especially through his extensive instrumental repertoire - Sampo is a friend with the bass, the kanteles, the guitar and several other string instruments. His favorite and closest instrument to him, however, is the harmonium. Sampo is also a productive composer for Tallari and his other ensembles. In addition to Tallari, Sampo is active in bands such as Häävi and Zwei Mannborgs and as the leader of the accompaniment bands for the folk dance groups of the Kaustinen Youth Society.
Matti, who heads the Folk Music Institute, is responsible for the administration of Tallari, but also jumps to the stage if necessary. Matti specializes in different styles of Finnish folk singing and has played and sung in bands such as Halogen and Hiite. Today, he performs with the children's music orchestra in Henxelit and also as a solo artist playing traditional ballad songs.
Arto Anttila is known as a musical multi-instrumentalist, who plays in the folk music ensemble Freija. For a long time, Arto also served as the conductor of the Kaustinen Wedding Choir. In addition to the double bass of his main instrument, Arto plays the soprano saxophone, the violin and he also sings. Arto served as Tallari's director in 2012–2015.
Ritva - or Ritu among her friends - first felt the call to folk music playing with a folk music group in her hometown Kauhajoki, and playing together with master fiddler Eemeli Risku. Ritva began her violin studies at the age of 13 and continued her journey through the Sibelius Academy to the National Opera Orchestra until folk music called out to her again in 1986. She then moved to Kaustinen and took up a position as the violinist of the newly founded Tallari group. In addition to her elegant, virtuoso violin-playing, Ritva has played a big role as an arranger in creating Tallari's inimitable sound.