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EFN Newsletter June 2023 #16


Welcome to the new edition of this communication and outreach initiative of the EFN. Feel free to forward it to your friends and colleagues. Receiving this newsletter is open to anyone for free, here. Read to the end to find out how to submit content for future editions.

This is what you'll find below:

🔸News from the EFN: EFN across Europe & updates about the European Folk Day 23 September 2023 - and EFN Conference 2023 reminder

🔸EFN welcomes new members: from Austria, Albert Hosp; and from Denmark, Søren Korshøj

🔸News from our members: EXIB Música's registration open, Your Roots Are Showing showcase/conference application, Bulgarian Music Association and the "Folklore Musician" profession, Okra Playground wins the Songline Music Awards in the Europe category, 5th anniversary of Mapamundi Música's monthly magazine

🔸Our next featured member is Fèisean nan Gàidheal

🔸Our next featured artist is the Finnish singer Sanna Kurki-Suonio

✍️ Do you want to participate? At the end of the newsletter you will find how you can contribute to future editions, whether you are an EFN member or not. And of course EFN is always looking for new members and at the end of this newsletter there is a note about how and why to join, with links to the membership pages of the website and the application form.

Thanks for your attention, have a fruitful reading and, please, forward this to any person who could be interested!


News from EFN

EFN across Europe

In the past two months EFN representatives have made several visits to conferences and special events, constantly spreading information about EFN and about the European Folk Day.

In May EFN Board members Araceli Tzigane and Eric van Monckhoven took European Folk Day information to the new Babel Music XP showcase in Marseille and Eric moved on shortly afterwards to the Nordic Folk Alliance gathering in Roskilde, Denmark.

Earlier this month EFN Administrator Nod Knowles had the opportunity to run an information session for a wide range of music specialists at the European Music Council annual conference in Budapest (pictured here in just one of the several groups that he was asked to talk to).

A week later Nod joined EFN Board member Steven Vanderaspoilden in Pau, southwest France, for the annual meeting of France’s traditional network FAMDT, where Steven led a session on EFN and the opportunities of the European Folk Day. In Pau, Nod and Steven had the pleasure of series of performers including inspirational young musicians in a traditional music and dance workshop project (pictured here). Photos:

  • Nod at the EMC, credit: 4KMediaStudioHungary

  • Young musicians in Pau, credit: N Knowles


Updates about the European Folk Day* By the editors

Remember: the first ever European Folk Day will take place on 23rd of September.

A key component of the European Folk Day project is the website that brings together all the events that any interested party will organize in relation to the concept. The map and the database with filters and search functionality are already available and ready, here. Visit the website to learn more. The European Folk Day (on & around 23 September 2023) is by you for you, by us, for us, for everyone…

For any questions, contact us as needed, at these email addresses:

  • For general and administrative information:

  • For questions about participation:

  • For media enquiries:

* Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union and therefore the European Union cannot be held responsible for them.

And another reminder: Registration is open for the EFN Conference 19 & 20 October in Manchester, England in partnership with English Folk Expo (EFEx). All the necessary information including an outline of the programme, links to EFEx and a recommended hotel list is on the EFN website Conference page

Registration for everyone (EFN members and non-members) is via the

Register now - it's going to be great!



New members are joining EFN every month. Here are two more new members:

🔸From Austria, Albert Hosp

Albert Hosp is a radio presenter and producer for Austrian National Public Radio who has programmed a weekly half hour of world/folk/global music since 1989. At the same time he has been curator for the Glatt & Verkehrt festival since 1997 and artistic director since 2018.

Asked what he could contribute to EFN Albert simply replied “I hope to share my experience.”

The portrait is from Wikipedia by Bernhard Holub.

🔸From Denmark, Søren Korshøj

Søren Korshøj is a Danish folk musician playing in the Nordic ‘free folk’ band Optur. As well as hosting the folk festival Musik over Præstø Fjord with his wife, Søren has been active on the Danish folk scene for over 40 years.

Why did Søren want to join EFN? His answer is to “give and take inspiration in how to make community based folk festivals across generations, to get contact with other active people and to get Optur out playing in Europe.”

The picture is the cover of Søren's album 'Skyggen af sol'.


News from EFN members


By Anna Sors, from EXIB

We are excited to present the 9th edition of EXIB Música 2023 next October. We would love you to join us in the Ibero-American music showcases, talks and activities around the city’s historical places, a perfect framework to link with music and culture professionals from all over the world.

EXIB Música will be held once again in the coastal city of Setúbal, Portugal, on October 19, 20 and 21, and on October 18 and 19 there will be the III Congress of Music with special guest speakers. One of the topics of this year's edition will be "The story behind the songs", told by their creators: the artists themselves.

We offer you a very special invitation to attend, which includes accreditation, a professional bag, access to the online directory and 4 nights accommodation including breakfast, through two options: 3 star hotel for 250 €; 4 star hotel for 350 €.

For more info: Ana Sors,



By Charlene Sloan, from Your Roots are Showing

Your Roots Are Showing, now in its second year, is a 5 day conference with panel discussions, workshops, showcases and fun! You can see the speakers that have been announced so far and some of the extensive programming at

Applications are open until the 7th July. This is the link for application.



By Roumena Kalcheva, PR Manager at BMA

A year ago the Bulgarian Music Association started the project The profession “Folklore musician” with which we aim to enlighten the problems regarding the education, functioning of professional folklore ensembles and the role of municipalities for their financing, development and sustainability.

Within this period, BMA held meetings with 9 ensembles, 5 music schools and 3 representatives of local authorities in a total of 12 cities. The main conclusion is that a comprehensive strategy is needed for the preservation, development and support of the folklore musician in Bulgaria.

The next stages of the project will aim to provoke a broad discussion between the involved institutions, to look for common goals, so that a strategy can be built on how this profession can be preserved, developed and thus acquire that special status that it deserves.

For more information, check their website.



By Johanna Sauramäki, from Saura Booking Agency

"Fifteen years of awards and we’re still only scratching the surface of the amazing music and culture that’s out there when you really go looking for it. This year’s selection feels like a bunch of friends old and new who are all ambassadors of sorts, whether that’s for their country, their region, or for musical ingenuity in general…

…Okra Playground are a Finnish prog-folk six-piece showing how the Nordic countries are at the cutting-edge.”

Thank you for the Songlines jury! Big thanks to the record label Nordic Notes. And congratulations for the band!

Learn more on their website.



By Araceli Tzigane, from Mapamundi Música

Mapamundi Música has been releasing a monthly newsletter already for 5 years, that includes interviews with professionals working behind the stage in the field of world and traditional musics, reflections, news, events and calls. All the editions are available on the website.

If you have any news, call or reflection of interest for the professionals dealing with this field of the art, contact Araceli. And you can sign up to receive it in your email, here.


Featured Member: Fèisean nan Gàidheal

When they became a member this is how they presented themselves:

Fèisean nan Gàidheal is a representative organisation for 47 Fèisean across Scotland, mostly run by volunteers, which offer traditional music tuition to around 13,000 young people annually. Our full programme of work promotes and delivers work in traditional music and Gaelic language sustaining around 95 FTE posts and engaging around 70,000 people annually.

And about what they can give to the European Folk Network as a member and what they thought that would be the benefits of membership, they explained that:

As a national organisation involved in traditional music provision and development, Fèisean nan Gàidheal could offer the EFN access to a network of thousands of participants, around 400 volunteers and 1,200 tutors all of whom have an interest in folk/traditional music. The organisation has also always been a powerful advocate for support for the sector.

Learn more on their website.

Remember: the Featured Artist section is open to the contributions of the members of the EFN. If you want to talk about someone contact


Featured Artist: Sanna Kurki-Suonio By Araceli Tzigane

For folk fans in Spain, like me, and certainly in other countries, Sanna Kurki-Suonio's voice is strongly associated with the Swedish-Finnish group Hedningarna. She is a Finnish singer born in 1966. She is also a kantele player and composer, as well as a founding member of another well-known group, Loituma.

The portrait is from Discogs.

If you look for a biography of her, you will find the same thing repeated on a lot of websites. This is the biography on Wikipedia and I won't repeat it here.

I have chosen this piece first because I found a review of this album of 2015, Hyvästi, by Sanna Kurki-Suonion Kuolematon Erikoissysteemi (The Immortal Special System of Sanna Kurki-Suonio), on which I loved. The author says: "When applying the epithet ethnic to a singer's style, one should be careful, because one doesn't always know what it meant back when it was coined. But then again, sometimes you are so sure of its meaning that you don't care. This is it. This is really ethnic. Sanna Kurki-Suonio sounds like the earth mother, the voice of the people." I don't know if he sounds like the voice of the people but his voice reminds me of my teenage years. Enjoy:

If you want to learn much more data about her career, I have found her professional CV (updated just until 2013), here.

What is Sanna doing most recently? I haven't really found much beyond 2015, the year she released this album mentioned above. Her Facebook profile doesn't show anything related to recent concerts or albums. I have asked her to be my friend on Facebook and I will tell her that we remember her very much here.

It's a pity that there are so few live videos of her on Youtube and most of the ones that are available are quite old. I have chosen this one in which Sanna makes part of SANS, together with Tigran Aleksanyan (Armenian duduk), Andrew Cronshaw (electric zither, kantele) and Ian Blake (bass clarinet). Enjoy!


HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS NEWSLETTER Are you already a member? Then, remember that you can submit contents for this monthly newsletter. Email your content to, for these sections:

· News from EFN Members. Brief announcements – of around 100 words and a link.

· Featured artist. A profile with around 200 words, an embedded video and one link. Members are invited to submit profiles, considering solo and ensemble living or not living artists who have achieved lifelong artistic and technical quality or historical significance in the field of folk art from or developed in or settled in Europe. If you have any artists in mind that you'd like to feature, please ask in advance, just to be sure there is no other member already doing it.

And whether you are a member or not, you can participate in this section:

· Special sections. For instance, an interview with someone from an institution that is not a member or a thematic article by a guest writer or anything that can appear and be considered as interesting. This section can also host guest writers that are not members. If you'd like to share any content, contact us in advance to schedule it by emailing

Of course, self promotional articles lacking interest won't be accepted. In case of doubt, the EFN board will be consulted and will decide.


BECOMING A MEMBER? EFN membership is growing rapidly – why not join the network of traditional arts organisers and artists that stretches across Europe from the Irish Sea to the Baltic, the Mediterranean to the Black Sea? Find out more about membership and download an application form from


DO YOU WANT TO SUPPORT THE EFN MORE? The EFN welcomes donations. We do a lot with little money. Imagine what we can do with a little more :) Let us know how much do you want to donate and we'll issue an invoice for your organization.

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