Sep 21, 2021
RE: Toronto Welcomes Estonian Music Week
WHEN: October 22 and 23 2021
Estonian Music Week’s 3rd festival in Toronto has been a long time in the making. Through
many iterations, we’ve dreamt up a way to stay true to our mission: bringing talented Estonian
artists to Canada to share the stage with Canadian artists on the same wavelength. This year's
festival will take place on October 22 and 23, 2021. And whether you’re an Eesti kultuuri
ekspert or couldn’t even place Estonia on the map, this one is for you! Programming delves into
important issues of our time through captivating musical performances. This truly hybrid festival
will have audiences simultaneously in Tallinn, Toronto, Facebook, and YouTube. We will be
connecting audiences and bridging communities like never before.
So how will this work technically? There are two stages, one in Toronto and one in Tallinn.
Safety permitting, we will have a small audience in each venue. An artist will perform in Toronto,
audiences will be able to watch on a screen in Tallinn, and vice versa. There are 7 back-to-back
performances spread over two days. And yes, that means those brave Estonians will be
performing in the middle of the night! That’s not all: the performances will be available, in full for
FREE via Facebook and YouTube around the world. This in particular carries special meaning to
Estonians, many of whom are living in the diaspora having fled Soviet Occupation and the
Second World War. Thanks to the support of Music Estonia, the Estonian Ministry of Culture and our partner the Estonian Foundation of Canada, we are able to once again connect with these communities.
Three young female artists search for their identity in the world of R&B. As writers and
performers they explore important themes such as gender identity, mental health, and sexuality
as they reclaim a genre that has historically favoured a male perspective.
Estyr (Toronto) - Alt-R&B and Indie Rock. Lush vocals telling lyrical stories of femininity,
heartbreak, liminality, and Toronto’s suburbs.
Rita Ray (Estonia) - Estonia’s femme fatale. That classic soul sound backed by a 5-piece of
Kaili Kinnon (Toronto/LA) - Estonian Roots, Toronto born and raised. Smoky alt-pop by a rare
and splendid voice.
Hosted by Erik Laar, the Toronto performances will appear on the Northern Birch Stage, while
the Tallinn performance will take place at the legendary Philly Joe's Jazz Club.
Languages are only alive as long as they are spoken. Through colonization, oppression and
globalization, languages run the risk of disappearing altogether. And with them the culture,
knowledge, and history they hold. Music emerges as a unique way to preserve these
languages, folklore, and stories. From four unique perspectives, four innovative musicians
explore their own heritage and creatively weave nearly lost languages into their music.
Duo Ruut (Estonia) - At the heart of the folk duo that has everyone in Estonia talking are two
good friends joined around one instrument: the zither. Ancestral traditions breathe new life into
Erik Laar (Toronto) - Canadian-Estonian turntablist and time traveler. Weaving traditional
Regilaul songs into big bad beats.
Väike Hellero & Friends (Estonia) - Collector and keepers of folklorian soundscapes. Sung in its
original form, a fresh perspective to the modern listener. Väike Hellero will be joined by a
surprise well known Estonian guest.
Beatrice Deer Band (Montreal) - Pioneer of Inuindie. Inuit folk tales, legends, and the search for
understanding and meaning within yourself.
This is our main stage event and is made possible through the generous support of our partner
the Estonian Foundation of Canada. The evening is hosted by Kaili Kinnon and the Tallinn
performances will, again, take place and be recorded by Philly Joe’s.
Contact: Sebastian Buccioni (Artistic and Executive Director)