After celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2012, the Imatra Big Band Festival will once again fill the streets and clubs of Imatra with rhythmic music and a relaxed festival atmosphere. The 2013 festival will be held from June 28th to July 4th in downtown Imatra, just a short stroll away from the famous Imatrankoski Rapids.
IBBF will feature an impressive array of both Finnish and international artists in a variety of venues around the city. In addition to the IBBF’s marquee venue, BB Club, events will include picnics, cruises on Lake Saimaa, open air concerts, and a number of related events for both competitive and recreational athletes. Musical offerings come from a wide variety of musical genres including swing, jazz, blues, funk, rock and soul. IBBF offers something for everyone, inlcuding youth, children and families.
The festival’s opening weekend includes an impressive range of top domestic artists. On Friday, June 28th, Opening Night will begin with the heavy rock band Los Bastardos Finlandeses and continue with the musical talents of Samuli Putro, who is launching a new solo venture. The evening’s headline performers will be Kolmas Nainen, who will make IBBF one of a very limited number of summer 2013 tour dates. Saturday, June 29th will feature Mikko Pettinen & Happy People, Paleface & Räjähtävä Nyrkki, and headliner Cheek. Sunday, June 30th brings Mariska together with Pahojen Susien. In addition, Finnish legend J. Karjalainen makes a long-awaited return to the stage and will provide a rare and special glimpse into the heart of Finnish musical culture. The evening culminates with the performance of the popular group Menneisyyden Vangit.
Monday, July 1st brings a pleasant mix of both domestic and international music. The evening will be opened by the German performers, Jugend Jazz Orchester NRW, who will be followed by the great Tuure Kilpeläinen & Kaihon Karavaani. The highlight of the evening will see the triumphant and heartwarming return to Imatra of Q.Stonen, fronted by vocalist Mikko Kuustonen.
Tuesday, July 2nd is dedicated to more traditional Big Band music. Perhaps one of the most interesting events of the IBBF 2013 programme will occur early Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. on BB Street in a free, open-air concert by the Junior All Stars Big Band, a collection of Finland’s most talented, young big band musicians. Afterwards, the BB Club evening will be opened by the Nat Newborn Big Time and continue with the vibrant sounds of the Helsinki-based big band, Spirit of New Orleans feat. Tricia Boutte & Leroy Jones. The final performance will feature the original sounds of Dalindeo, a leading Finnish jazz sextet.
Wednesday, July 3rd features an impressive lineup of rhythmic music performers from around the world. The Marcia Lisboa Band opens the evening with energetic Brazilian samba, jazz and bossa nova inspired music. This amazing performance will be followed by the dynamic sounds of the Cuban ensemble, Afro Cuban All Stars and the innovative Columbian group Ondatropica. There is only one word to describe this fabulous evening – caliente!
This year’s festival will conclude on Thursday, July 4th with the popular IBBF Blues Night, which features top class performers. The evening will be opened by the Dirty Harry’s Rock’n Roll Big Band with soloist Lisa M. For the very first time in Finland Corey Harris and The Rasta Blues Experience will grace the IBBF stage as part of their world tour. This one-of-a-kind performance features traditional blues music and insightful lyrics inspired from the American South. The evening’s headline performer is none other than the legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter, whose career highlights include multiple Grammy awards and recordings of over 130 albums ranging in time from Woodstock to today.
Youth Concert Starring Isac Elliot
May 2013 will see the debut album release of Finland’s newest musical sensation, Isac Elliot, a 12-year-old rising star on the Finnish pop music scene. IBBF is proud to announce his appearance as the headliner of the IBBF 2013 Youth Concert, an all-ages event that promises to be very popular. Despite his age, Elliot has managed to find time to participate with the Cantores Minores Boy Choir and in the musicals Cabaret and Kristina från Duvemåla.
Isac Elliot performs in BB Club on Sunday, June 30th at 2 p.m. Tickets are €15, and children under 6 are admitted free with adult accompaniment.
IBBF 2013 also features a programme for young children as BB Club welcomes Siina & Taikaradio in a free concert on Saturday, June 29th at 10 a.m. brought to you in cooperation with Metku, the South Karelian Children’s Culture Centre.
The M/S Camilla will once again offer musical cruises on scenic Lake Saimaa, from Lappeenranta to Imatra, as part of the IBBF 2013 programme. The ”Jazz Saimaa” cruise on Wednesday, July 3rd will begin from Lappeenranta Harbour at noon and include the wonderful sounds of HERD feat. Aili Ikonen as well as the Spirit Of New Orleans. Music will include classic jazz standards as well as new arrangements of popular music. The ship will arrive at the Imatra Harbour at approximately 4 p.m.
The ”Blues Saimaa” return cruise from Imatra to Lappeenranta departs at 7 p.m. on July 3rd and features Corey Harris & The Rasta Blues Experience (USA) and the J.P. Strandberg band, Highway with soloist Timo Turpeinen. This cruise promises upbeat music including blues, soul, rock and reggae.