Leikarit - Finnish Folk Music since 1975
LEIKARIT - From past to present
The group Leikarit was founded in 1975 in Espoo, the neighboring city of Helsinki. It happened during the awakening of more general interest in the cultural heritage and ethnic roots of the nation. Several folk music associations and festival saw their uprising during the 1970's. It was a boom for Finnish folk music, and since then folk music has gained a well established position in music schools and even in the Academy of Music. Leikarit played locally a fairly important role in the process.
The members of the group were also active in founding the National folk music association of Finland, which helped in part to establish organized activity and training sessions throughout the country. A local association The Folk Music Association of Espoo was also founded by the members of Leikarit in 1975.
Field trips and recordings
Leikarit took keen interest in publishing the traditional tunes in note books, which are available through our web-site. Many of these tunes can also been heard on the recordings of the group, five in total. The members of the group have also been interviewed a number of times at the national radio and have made special recordings for the radio.
Leikarit has acted in concert with the Cultural Board of the City of Espoo since the founding of the group. We are to thank the generosity and good judgment of the cultural board for long term support for folk music activities in Espoo.
Leikarit was one of the first groups to engage in school concerts. The group would go to preschools or to elementary schools to give concerts and tell about musical instruments and the history of local music and musicians. Those were very successful events, and even today we still give some school concerts on occasion.
Leikarit played a key role in starting the annual spring time festival "Pilpatus" in Espoo in 1985. Nowadays "The Root Festival of Espoo" coincides at about the same time and a fine set of concerts is organized. The concerts are also taken to the shopping centers, hospitals, and homes for the elderly.
Some members of the group have also recorded solo albums and play in other local ensembles as well (see musicians on our web page).
To see pictures of the group, go to "Photos".
This part of the history was written by Jussi Tarkkanen.