Welcome to the Finland’s europeanbluesunion.com site! Here you will find regularly updated information about forthcoming festivals and tours, news from the Finland’s blues and related scenes. These topics are also covered in more detail in various online publications (mainly in Finnish language), such as:
Blues News Magazine (in Finnish and partly in English) published bimonthly and covers blues, R&B, soul, gospel, rock’n’roll and Finnish blues and roots music.
– Read the Finnish Blues Society’s latest online news release BN NEWSLETTER 3/2016 (June-August 2016) in English, found on the Blues News magazine’s web pages.
Blues-Finland.com (in Finnish) – blues reviews, interviews, news, gig and festival calendar.
Blues Webzine.com (International edition of Blues-Finland.com).
Jazzrytmit – The Web Jazz Magazine in Finland.
Fin-A-Billy – Comprehensive guide to rock’n’roll/rockabilly gigs in Finland.
Tue European Blues Unionin (EBU) toimintaa, liity mukaan
EBU:n toimintaan voivat liittyä ja sitä tukea kaikki halukkaat blues-alan vaikuttajat ja yhteisöt seuraavissa eri kategorioissa:
– Blues-fani (EBU fan) 20 €.
– Aktiivijäsen, pieni yhteisö (Active member, small business/association) 100 €.
– Aktiivijäsen, iso yhteisö (Active member, large business/association) 200 €.
Yksityiskohtaiset liittymisohjeet löytyvät näiltä EBU:n web-sivuilta “Join The European Blues Union”.
AND HERE’S THE LATEST NEWS…
Search for Finland’s entrant for the European Blues Challenge EBC2019 started, and four bands for the Finnish Blues Challenge were selected by the Active Members of the European Blues Union (EBU) – see section National Blues Challenge (2019).
Finland’s entrant for European Blues Challenge EBC2018 nominated; Slim Butler & The SlimCuts
Finnish Blues Society / Blues News and Puistoblues has ended the search for Finland’s entrant for European Blues Challenge EBC2018. This was the fourth time when a live music competition was conducted to choose the act, who represents Finland in the European Blues Challenge EBC2018 (in Hell, Norway, 16.-17.3.2018). The competition was carried out in connection with Puistoblues Festival on 29th June 2017 at Scandic Hotel Järvenpää. Altogether 19 performers registered for the competition, and four of them played in the competition. The selection was made by the Finnish Active Members in the European Blues Union (EBU). The selected bands were:
Blues Festivals during Winter – Spring 2018…
- Saimaa Blues; Mikkeli, 29.3.-1.4.2018.
Festivals section for more details…. to be updated…
Newest issue of Blues News (BN) magazine out / Uusi Blues News (BN) -lehti ulkona
Blues News -lehden (BN) uusi 68-sivuinen numero (1/2018, #289) on nyt saatavilla.
****FINLAND’S BLUES NEWS MAGAZINE CELEBRATES ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY!
Finland’s Blues News (BN) magazine published in July 1968 for the first time by the Finnish Blues Society (FBS) has reached the half-century milestone. To celebrate this, FBS will arrange a series of roots music events throughout the year 2018, ranging from club events to bigger concerts, Sunday jams, workshops, material and photo exhibitions. See more details here: Blues News:
More information, see: bluesnews.fi – for the moment In Finnish only, sorry!
Honey B. Family, the winner of the 2017 Finnish Blues Challenge, represented Finland at the 7th European Blues Challenge in Horsens / Denmark on April 7 and 8, 2017. Their new album, Honey B. Family Sings and Plays (LP and CD formats together) was released on 31.3.2017 at Stompin´ 2017 festival concert at Restaurant Dubrovnik, Helsinki. The album was released by the Blue North Records and is available at the Finnish Blues Society’s web shop.
PEPE AHLQVIST – THE GRAND OLD MAN OF THE FINNISH BLUES!
Read the Blues News Magazine’s 60th anniversary interview of Pepe Ahlqvist in English.
PEPE AND JOEL AHLQVIST DUO, the FBS’s representatives in Memphis in 2017!
Finnish Blues Society (FBS) has chosen the representative to the International Blues Challenge (IBC2017), organized by the Blues Foundation in Memphis (USA) and held from 31th January to 4th February 2017. In the solo/duo series the representative is Pepe and Joel Ahlqvist Duo.
Pepe Ahlqvist (b. on July 4, 1956) is a personal singer-guitarist-harmonica player, a songwriter and an internationally known Finnish blues artist. During his over 40-year long career he has performed with many blues legends. He has released numerous albums and toured in the USA, Canada and Europe totalling over 6 000 gigs and concerts.
Nowadays Pepe Ahlqvist works as a solo artist ranging from acoustic gigs to big band concerts. He also performs as a duo with his son Joel (b. on June 13, 1997), who has studied music since childhood, and besides playing the blues guitar also makes his own rap and hip-hop music.
Finnish Blues Challenge 2017 for European Blues Challenge EBC2017; Finland’s entrant nominated – Honey B. Family!
Finnish Blues Society / Blues News and Puistoblues has ended the search for Finland’s entrant for European Blues Challenge EBC2017. This was the third time when a live music competition will be conducted to choose the act, who represents Finland in the European Blues Challenge EBC2017 (in Horsens, Danmark, 5.-7.4.2017). The competition was carried out in connection with Puistoblues Festival on 30th June 2016 at Restaurant Blackpool in Järvenpää. Altogether 21 performers registered for the competition, and four of them will play in the competition. The selection was made by the Finnish Active Members in the European Blues Union (EBU). The selected bands wew:
A jury of four members (Sami Ruokangas, Altti Uhlenius, Markus Nylander and Anders Lillsunde) judged the acts based on the criteria used in the actual EBC competition. The Finland’s entrant for the EBC2017 competition is Honey B. Family. The Finnish Blues Challenge for the EBC2017 competition was organised in cooperation with Finnish Blues Society / Blues News and Puistoblues Festival.
For more information, see section “National Blues Challenge (2017)”.
European Blues Challenge EBC2016: Finland’s entrant; Lena & The Slide Brothers!
Finnish Blues Society / Blues News and Puistoblues started the search for Finland’s entrant for European Blues Challenge EBC2016. Five bands participated in the Finland’s national challenge which was held on 25.6.2015 in connection with Puistoblues festival in the Blackpool restaurant. And the Finland’s entrant for the EBC2016 competition is Lena & The Slide Brothers. – see section “National Blues Challenge 2016“.
At the moment the band is looking forward to releasing the new album “The Road“, that will be out on April 8th 2016. The first single “The road you’re on” was introduced on March 11th. Check it out!
European Blues Challenge EBC2016: Suomen edustaja on Lena & The Slide Brothers (in Finnish)!
Finnish Blues Society / Blues News ja Puistoblues kuuluttivat kisaajia European Blues Challenge 2016 -kilpailun Suomen karsintaan. Viisi yhtyettä kisasi torstaina 25.6.2015 Järvenpäässä Puistobluesin yhteydessä Ravintola Blackpoolissa. Suomen eduistajaksi valikoitui Lena & The Slide Brothers – katso osiota “National Blues Challenge 2016“
FINNISH BLUES AWARDS 2016 HONORED THE MOST REMARKABLE ROOTS MUSICIANS OF 2015
Finnish blues musicians recognized their distinguished colleagues at the 2nd Annual Finnish Blues Awards gala event on January 16th, 2016 in Helsinki, Finland. At the event, which took place at the legendary Virgin Oil Co. Theater, the following artists were awarded:
– Lifetime award – Esa Kuloniemi.
– Artist / group of the year 2015 – Erja Lyytinen.
– Newcomer of the year 2015 – White Knuckles Trio.
– Song of the year 2015 – Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip: ”Last Train To Memphis”.
Esa ”Blues Minister” Kuloniemi, whose multi-dimensional career both as a blues musician and radio deejay has spanned over 34 years, commented his award: ”Of course it feels good that my long input gets noticed. The fact that the prize came from my own people, ’bluesicians’ of Finland, makes me especially happy.”
The gala included many famous and respected Finnish blues bands and artists, like Lazy Moose, Honey B. Family, Micke, Lefty & Chef, Ina Forsman, Helge Tallqvist & Emilia Sisco, Wentus Blues Band, Doctor’s Order, Moontones, Petri Matero Group, Lumberjacks, Titty Bar Tim Blues Band and Robbie Hill Solo + DJ Butcher Pete. The event was hosted by Lauri Ankerman and Olavi Rytkönen.Thomas Ruf, the president for the European Blues Union (EBU), honored the occasion with his presence.
The award trophies were designed and made by jewel smith Mirka Loukimo of Jasmin Design.
White Knuckles Trio and Jay Kay & Bluesgang the FBS’s representatives in Memphis in 2016!
Finnish Blues Society (FBS) chose the representatives to the International Blues Challenge (IBC2016), organized by the Blues Foundation in Memphis (USA) and held from 26th to 30th January 2016. In the band series the representative was White Knuckles Trio comprising Mr. Knucklebone (voc, gtr), Yukka White (voc, dr) and Mr. “Misdemeanor” Hillside (kb). They made it to the semi finals, congratulations. In the ”Best Self-Produced CD” category the representative was the Jay Kay & Blues Gang’s album “From The Shadows” (label:. Blues Angels).
2015 Keeping the Blues Alive Award honored to photographer Pertti Nurmi
The Blues Foundation will honor 15 individuals and organizations with its 2015 Keeping the Blues Alive Awards during a recognition luncheon Friday, January 23, 2015, in Memphis, Tennessee. Each year, The Blues Foundation presents the KBA Awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to blues music. Pertti Nurmi has been heavily tied with the activities of the non-profit organization, Finnish Blues Society and its publication, the original Blues News magazine, since the early 1970s. Pertti’s Blues photography archive covering 40+ years is unique in Finland and of high appraisal even internationally. His exhibitions have toured all major Finnish Blues festivals and have also been on display in New York and Hollywood.
Self-Produced CD – Lazy Moose was FBS’s entrant
For thirty-four years, The Blues Foundation has celebrated and recognized established blues artists through the Blues Music Awards. For twenty-nine years, The Blues Foundation has encouraged future blues performers through the International Blues Challenge. The Best Self-Produced CD was established in 2005 to recognize excellence in independent Blues recordings.
Finnish Blues Society’s entrant – Lazy Moose, When Trouble Was Born
Honey B & T-Bones heading for International Blues Challenge IBC2015
Finnish Blues Society’s representative in the International Blues Challenge (IBC2015) in Memphis, TN, on 20.1.-24.1.2015 will be Honey B & T-Bones. The band comprises Aija “Honey B.” Puurtinen (lead vocals), Esa Kuloniemi (guitar & vocals), Jaska Lukkarinen (drums) and Jaakko Kämäräinen (bass/vocals). See more at: www.hbtb.net and www.facebook.com/honeybtbones.
More info (in Finnish) at the Blues News web page.
European Blues Challenge EBC2015; Finland’s entrant nominated!
Finnish Blues Society / Blues News and Puistoblues started the search for Finland’s entrant for European Blues Challenge EBC2015. Five bands participated in the Finland’s national challenge which was held on 26.6.2014 in connection with Puistoblues festival in the Blackpool restaurant. And the Finland’s entrant for the EBC2015 competition is Micke Bjorklof and Blue Strip. See section National Blues Challenge (EBC2015).
European Blues Challenge EBC2015; Suomen edustaja valittu (in Finnish)!
Finnish Blues Society / Blues News ja Puistoblues kuuluttivat kisaajia European Blues Challenge 2015 -kilpailun Suomen karsintaan. Viisi yhtyettä kisasi torstaina 26.6.2014 Järvenpäässä Puistobluesin yhteydessä Ravintola Blackpoolissa. Suomen eduistajaksi valikoitui Micke Bjorklof (Björklöf) and Blue Strip. Katso osiota National Blues Challenge (EBC2015).
European Blues Challenge 2014, Finland’s entrant was Ina Forsman & Helge Tallqvist Band
Finland’s representative in the 4rd European Blues Challenge (EBC2014) in Riga Latvia on 11.-12.4.2014 was Ina Forsman & Helge Tallqvist Band. The band comprises Ina Forsman on vocals, Helge Tallqvist on diatonic & chromatic harmonica, Jonne Kulluvaara (guitar) Iiro Kautto (bass) Harri Ala-Kojola (drums). The band is really convincing in live performances and on record; they published this autumn their first album ‘Ina Forsman with Helge Tallqvist Band’ (Q Records, 2013), and in a short time they have managed to gather quite positive attention.
Also this year the selection process was a closed email voting organized by the Finnish Blues Society / Blues News magazine. The voting body was comprised of all Finnish EBU members and a number of domestic professionals and non-profit societies operating in the blues industry. The band in the EBC2014 was sponsored by the Finnish Blues Society / Blues News magazine.
…And the winner was A Contra Blues from Spain, the runner-up was Pristine from Norway, the third was David Migden & Ther Twisted Roots from UK, and the fourth was Finland’s Ina Forsman & Helge Tallqvist Band, only 1.2 points from the third position.
The brand new music video by Ina Forsman & Helge Tallqvist Band ‘What Have I Done’ is found here.
International Blues Challenge IBC2014, Finland’s entrant was duo Black River Bluesman & Bad Mood Hudson
Finland’s representative in the International Blues Challenge (IBC2014) in Memphis, TN, on 21.1.-25.1.2014 was a raucous duo Black River Bluesman & Bad Mood Hudson. They were sponsored by the Finnish Blues Society, a Blues Foundation Affiliate. See more at:
European Blues Challenge EBC 2013; Finland’s entrant was Honey B & T-Bones
Honey B & T-Bones: Esa Kuloniemi (guitar & vocal), Aija “Honey B.” Puurtinen (lead vocal & bass) and Jaska Lukkarinen (drums & vocal).
International Blues Challenge IBC 2013; Finland’s entrant was Ismo Haavisto Band
Ismo Haavisto Band formed by Ismo Haavisto (vocal, quitar, harmonica), Jonni Seppälä (quitar), Ville Kujala (bass) and Mikko Järvinen (drums) traveled to Memphis TN as a Finnish entrant for the International Blues Challenge (IBC) organized by the Blues Foundation (29.1.-2.2.2013). The band was nominated by the Finnish Blues Society (Affiliate Member of Blues Foundation). – Ismo Haavisto is known as a great harpist, guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is a professional musician and has played with many well-known blues musicians like Kim Wilson, Lurrie Bell, Otis Grand, Bill Sims, Steve Guyger, Delta Highway, Jessie Mae Hemphill and Sharon Lewis. Ismo Haavisto has several groups in Finland and he is considered to be part of the “Finnish blues elite”. Internet: Ismo Haavisto Band. MySpace: Ismo Haavisto Band.
Finnish trio Micke & Lefty feat. Chef performed at International Blues Challenge (Feb 2012)
A Finnish trio Micke & Lefty feat. Chef travelled to Memphis TN as a Finnish entrant for the International Blues Challenge (IBC) organized by the Blues Foundation (1.-4.2.2012). The trio was nominated by the Finnish Blues Society (Affiliate Member). Check their playabouts in Memphis through Micke’s Facebook updates.
Webpage: Micke & Lefty
MySpace: Micke & Lefty