15th-17th July 2011 Joensuu, Finland

Yona ja Orkesteri Liikkuvat Pilvet

A time when only clouds move

A few years ago the reggae and jazz circles in Southern Finland started buzzing about a lady named Yona. Not only was everyone charmed by her enchanting beauty but also her singing on different albums, hip hop gigs, as a vocalist of jazz ensembles and in clubs bringing back and modernising the traditional Finnish dances – to mention a few things. The wait for an album of her own finally ended when Timmion Records released the 25-year-old singer's debut album Pilvet liikkuu, minš en (Clouds move, I don't) in 2010. The lovely album holds influences from old Finnish popular music and jazz but also from urban rhythm music. Yona's singing echoes timelessness, craftsmanship and being Finnish which has not been located in Finnish music in many, many years.

Yona's live band Liikkuvat Pilvet (Moving Clouds), arranged by Kalevi Louhivuori, can swell up to a nine-piece line-up. There is something inexplicably impressive about this band's performances: the hope arising from longing – a feature very common in Finnish cultural tradition – makes their performances memorable. This, however, is not merely nostalgia as Yona's songs seem specifically to touch the modern-day urban soul, tangled in the hectic world of today and wanting to stop for a moment for some peace and quiet. And this is what Yona brings on stage: calm in the middle of an intense festival bustle, a moment when you can just stop and observe the moving clouds.

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