WOMEX, the largest and most important gathering of professionals in the field of folk music, this year takes place in Tampere, Finland, on October 23–27. More than 40 delegates from Estonia join the event, including festival organisers, musicians, managers and others; two Estonian artists were selected to perform at the showcase programme – Cätlin Mägi and Mari Kalkun; Virgo Sillamaa, Head of Music Estonia and Helen Sildna, Founder of Tallinn Music Week will participate in the conference programme; 26 WOMEX delegates visit Estonia before and after the event to get acquainted with Estonian traditional and jazz music scene.

WOMEX, the largest and most important gathering of professionals in the field of folk music, celebrates its 25th edition this year, bringing together 2700 music professionals from 92 countries. The programme includes a trade fair, conference, showcase festival, talks and films. The event travels, this time it takes place in Tampere, Finland, on October 23–27. 

More than 40 delegates from Estonia join WOMEX, including representatives of Traditional Music Centre, Viljandi Folk Music Festival, Jazzkaar Festivals, Estonian Jazz Union, and many others. The following Estonian artists are represented on spot: Angus, Black Bread Gone Mad, Curly Strings, Cätlin Mägi, FRÄNDER, Mari Kalkun, Leana & Hartwin, Puuluup, Riffarrica, RÜÜT, Svjata Vatra, Tintura, Trad.Attack! and Tuulikki Bartosik.

For the first time, at the trade fair, Estonia shares a common area with the Nordic countries, and also, for the first time, music development and information centres of all three Baltic countries – Music Estonia, Latvian Music Information Centre and Music Information Centre Lithuania – also collaborate in the framework of this event. Estonian area is situated at Tampere Hall, on the 3rd floor, under the number of 3.10.

Two Estonian artists were selected to WOMEX showcase programme: Cätlin Mägi and Mari Kalkun, who will perform at a special focus programme Northern Connections, that brings together Nordic and Baltic artists.

Cätlin Mägi explores the sonic potential of the Jew’s harp by bringing the ancient instrument in contact with modern technology and live electronics. With her barefoot manipulation of an array of pedals, she creates complex dub arrangements, literally on the hoof.  She performs on October 24 at 23:15–00:00 in Small Auditorium, Tampere Hall.

Mari Kalkun is a musician, singer and a composer relying on her Southern Estonian roots. The songs are largely her own compositions, inspired by nature, Estonian poetry and folk music. Many of the lyrics are written by local poets carrying the feeling of rural life, the forests, the landscape. She will perform on October 25 at 00:45–01:30 in Small Auditorium, Tampere Hall.

Music Estonia runs a thorough pre- and post-programme of WOMEX in Estonia. In the pre-programme 17 delegates from the US, Canada and Kazakhstan come to meet Estonian traditional music scene, the programme partner is Estonian Traditional Music Centre.

The post-programme is designed for jazz professionals, who come from all over the world; the programme is put together in partnership with Estonian Jazz Union, Jazzkaar Festivals and Jazz Finland


Virgo Sillamaa, the Director of Music Estonia participates at a conference session that introduces successful world music projects that were supported by EU funding platforms. He also speaks at a session to help new delegates to make full use of all the opportunities available at the event.

Helen Sildna, Founder of Tallinn Music Week participates at a session on equality in music creation and culture in general.


Delegates from Estonia have participated at WOMEX since 2000. Two Estonian artists have been selected to the showcase programme previously: Maarja Nuut and Trad.Attack!.


Music Estonia coordinates Estonian delegation participation and runs the pre- and post-programmes in Estonia.

The project is funded by Enterprise Estonia and the project is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund, under the “Development of Creative Industries” measure, it's also financed by Estonian Ministry of Culture, Baltic Culture Fund and Estonian Authors' Society.

The project is created in partnership with Estonian Traditional Music Center, Estonian Jazz Union, Jazzkaar Festivals, Jazz Finland, Latvian Music Information Centre, Music Information Centre Lithuania, Estonian Embassy in Helsinki, and Tallinn Music Week.


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