The event offers live music for all tastes

In addition to the large sailing ships, The Tall Ships Races Helsinki 2024 offers plenty of other interesting activities for the whole family. The festive atmosphere is enhanced by a diverse musical lineup, ensuring that everyone will find their favorites.

Thursday kicked off with jazz

Olli Soikkeli, based in New York, has become one of the world’s most respected gypsy jazz guitarists. In addition to Soikkeli, the trio includes bassist Joonas Tuuri and drummer Aleksi Heinola. The group is especially known for its profound interpretations, gritty sound, and virtuosic playing skills.

The event area gradually began to fill with spectators as the Olli Soikkeli Trio started playing at 3 PM on the Street Stage. The sun favored jazz enthusiasts, and the music seemed particularly appealing to the event’s older audience. One of the highlights of the concert was the rarely performed beautiful piece “Azure” by Duke Ellington.

Erkki and Anneli had come to enjoy the summery jazz concert at the start of the event.

I came specifically to listen to Olli Soikkeli. Great jazz, the atmosphere is suitably calm, which is a very good thing for people our age, Erkki described.

Mimmit brought energy to the little ones

The energetic Mimmit Duo entertained the youngest members of the family on Thursday afternoon in the Childrens’ Area, especially designed for families. The children’s band, formed by two sisters, Pauski and Hansu, has created a unique career in Finnish children’s culture; over 15 million YouTube views, several TV series, and fans around the world.

Mimmit’s engaging performance included both Finnish folk music and world music. Dino salsas, sea cow dances, and handwashing songs got both children and parents involved in the fun.

Three-year-old Aleksi was waiting in line with his father for Mimmit’s autograph after the concert. Aleksi was already accustomed to attending Mimmit’s concerts. This concert also received a strong ‘thumbs up’ from him.

Caribbean rhythms swayed the market square

In the early evening on the Street Stage, the audience was treated to the relaxed sounds of Cuba and the Caribbean by Banda Caribe Helsinki. Composer and musical director, guitarist-bassist Daniel Baro, conga and quiro virtuoso Alexis Neyra, and trumpet-flutist Sami Pöyhönen got the event audience dancing.

In addition to fiery salsa, the program also included swaying merengue, romantic bachata, and lively cha cha cha. The most skilled salsa dancers in the audience swung their hips and thoroughly enjoyed the performance.

Friends Irina and Pia came to enjoy the show with a glass of rosé wine. Cuban music was already familiar to them, and Pia dances salsa herself.

They offer genuine, relaxed Cuban music; it’s definitely worth coming to see, Pia recommends.

All three performances can also be seen on Friday, check the program here.
On Saturday, live music can also be found on the Espa Stage, check the program here.

Photo: Toni Panula