Collaboration unites musicians from Estonia and Canada
Friday, April 20, promises to be a watershed date in the annals of Estonian popular music. Over the years, beginning in the late 1980’s, rock n’ roll groups from Estonia have – albeit sporadically - performed for appreciative émigré audiences, primarily in Sweden, Canada and the U.S. Legendary bands such as Rock Hotel and Ultima Thule led the way for subsequent newcomers Compromise Blue and Blind as well as current international pop sensation Tanel Padar. Conversely, solo acts and groups from overseas have made occasional forays to Estonia. Prominent among these is Canadian born singer / songwriter / guitarist Peeter Kopvillem, whose recordings can be heard on Estonian radio broadcasts today.
Why, since the re-emergence of a free and independent Estonia in 1991, has there been so little musical collaboration between Estonian pop-rockers worldwide? Sadly, this question is echoed by the relative lack of communication and integration between recently emigrating Estonians and the ethnic community structures established decades before in their adopted homelands.
Of this was born “GuitarEST” - a bringing together of the most talented musicians from Estonia and North America, to perform for an audience of all their countrymen and women, not one faction or another. Symbolically, this collaborative effort is dedicated to bridging the gap between generations of Estonians living abroad, and to promote dialogue between them in an environment based upon the universal language of music.
On a less grandiose level, “GuitarEST” promises to deliver a veritable onslaught of guitar wizardry, courtesy of the “who’s who” lineup of performers brought together by event organizers Urmas Kärner and Raoul Langvee (musicians in their own right and members of the “garage” band The Puus Brothers). These include Riho Sibul (reigning # 1 guitar hero in Estonia, still going strong as the driving force behind Ultimo Thule) and slide guitar whiz Margus Kappel (also known as Estonia’s premier keyboardist, founding member of rockabilly hit machine Rock Hotel) from Estonia, Canadian - Estonian blues stylist Aarne Tork (currently residing in Vancouver), bass guitarist Erik Soostar (arguably Ontario’s most versatile bassist) and, of course, local virtuoso Peeter Kopvillem. Appearing separately and together during the course of the evening, GuitarEST can accurately be described as a convening of the first-ever international Estonian “Supergroup”. The result of this collaboration is highly anticipated.
Toronto’s Mod Club (722 College Street West), the venue for “GuitarEST”, is in fact a dance club and not a concert hall, although its stage and sound system rank among the best for live music in the entire city. That said, “GuitarEST” is as much a social as it is a musical event. Mingling (the audience is expected to exceed 500) and dancing the night away is encouraged - as if Estonians need encouragement! Doors open Friday, April 20th at, 8 PM. The show begins nearer to 9. There will be a DJ on hand for the remainder of the evening. Tickets are $20 at the door (VIP seating is $30, with a few of these remaining). For reservations and additional information call 416 705 9811 or email . Mod Club regulations require 19 years old and over, please.
The event organizers wish to express their gratitude to National Estonian Foundation of Canada for their generous “bridgebuilding” support in making “GuitarEST” a reality.
Let’s all rock together!
GuitarEST in Toronto April 20 (14)