International conference and showcase festival Tallinn Music Week (TMW) will celebrate its 15th edition 10th – 15th May 2023 by bringing 176 acts from 41 countries to the Estonian capital. The music programme will open on Thursday, 11th May in the new pavilion of Tallinn Art Hall in the exciting new development at Lasnamäe near the Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport, introducing new audiences and unveiling the annual spring exhibition of the Estonian Artists’ Union.
The picturesque Old Town, the hip Telliskivi Creative City and Noblessner districts will also play host to artists from all over Europe, North and South America, Canada, Africa and the Middle East.
Notable international acts include Baltimore’s experimental producer Colloboh, multi-talented Swedish newcomer Graham Lake, Berlin-based Finnish-Moldovan personality pop character PALMU, BBC Introducing’s ‘Scottish Act of the Year’ BEMZ, European talent festivals’ Slovakian favourites 52 Hertz Whale and K not K from Romania.
TMW23 is particularly thrilled to present Estonia’s versatile talent and the country’s thriving music industry. Among the 84 domestic artists are local favourites, such as Rita Ray and Karl Killing, Duo Ruut, Mart Avi, Shelton San and Kadri Voorand, who are already making waves internationally, as well as new names, like Borm Bubu and Kitty Florentine, poised to make an impact in the near future.
Celebrating its 30th birthday at TMW23, “the voice of young Estonia” Ráadio 2 will present their stellar range of acts at Vaba Lava in the Telliskivi Creative City: expect everything from Estonian alt-RnB star manna’s airy vocals and ever-changing beats to the synth-pop of Berliners Sweet Tempest and Lithuanian Ruta MUR.
TMW programme highlights local manifestations of global music trends and traditional music, both in its original form and modern remakes. Dedicated to the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, the Fenno-Ugria night will reveal the charm of the musical heritage of Finno-Ugric peoples. Rooted in tradition, these musicians, including Estonians Mari Kalkun and Duo Ruut, create connections between the past and the present through vivid rhythms, captivating improvisations and diverse soundscapes. The folk and global music showcase co-curated by Viljandi Folk Music Festival will unite Estonian folk surrealists Puuluup with guests from Cyprus to the Netherlands. Folktronica stage, curated by the Estonian collective OOPUS, will showcase cross-genre and cross-medium artists who oscillate between pop, folk and electronica – from Estonian-Swiss Ingrid Lukas to the Armenia’s armo-beat pioneers JINJ. Africa NOW! night will shine a spotlight on the new diversity coming from Africa and its diaspora beyond folklore and roots music.
The slickest sounds and visions of the new glocal generation will be presented at the Soda POP night in Uus Laine by the NME award-winning Dystopian Pop visionary Pyra, genre-hopping Scottish rappers BEMZ and Chef, and Estonia’s own San Hani whose hyper-hiphop transcends the pulse of modern Estonia.
Dedicated to women in music, Philly Joe’s Jazz Is Her showcase will feature, among others, Estonian composer and double bass player Mingo Rajandi and Norwegian singer/composer Inger Nordvik. International gender equality initiative Keychange talent pool will be represented by London’s Dystopian Pop producer Pyra, black-white binary-defying Italian R’n’B group Queen of Saba and Irish soul-pop artist Tolü Makay. Queer talent from around the world will be showcased at the KWEER AF night at Sveta Bar.
United By Noise night will present the cream of the Estonian noise rock scene from Zahir to Shelton San, who’ve recently recorded a BBC session. At the brand new venue Paavli 7, the Damn.Loud agency will join hands with the newly launched Estonian Heavy Music Association. In the heart of Estonian techno and electronic dance music, the infamous Club HALL will await tireless festival guests with parties curated by the club’s residents and event series Dark Disko and Smoke Break.
TMW 2023 music programme curators are Estonian Public Broadcasting channel Raadio 2, Estonian record labels Estonian Funk Embassy, Porridge Bullet and TIKS rekords, music festivals Viljandi Folk Music Festival, Võnge Festival, Intsikurmu Festival, Üle Heli and Station Narva; clubs Sveta Baar, Philly Joe’s Jazz Club, Club HALL, Paavli 7, music organisations and companies Estonian Choral Association, Estonian Heavy Music Association, Fenno-Ugria, Smoke Break, World Clinic, OOPUS, Damn.Loud and Dark Disko. International curators are Latvian experimental music festival Skaņu mežs, Canadian Estonian Music Week festival and music organisations The Women in Music Canada and Cindy & Kate.