Latvian Music News




Second year in a row on Jugla lake will take place crossover festival “Laivā”

August 14, Riga, in this summer the only large-scale festival will take place on the shores of the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum on Jugla lake.

This year festival will feature one of the most legendary Latvian folk-metal band “Skyforger”, which has earned international recognition and performs its compositions in the genre of folk metal. Visitors will not be deprived of musical attention by the organizers of the festival - the group “DAGAMBA”, which also will celebrate its 10th anniversary at the festival.

The rest of the festival participants are kept in secret and they will be announced shortly.

The organizers of the festival "Laivā" identify event with a bridge between traditionally classical values and the modern world, just as "crossover" - the fusion of genres and styles what forms a link between classical and folk music with contemporary music. Festival are described by organizers as: "Music without borders, traditions of ancestors intertwined with the present, and addition all world’s beauty and picturesque Latvian nature - best characterize the crossover festival "Laivā". The format of the festival this year will correspond to cross -genre themes. Thanks to our new and unusually positioned stage, the concert can be enjoyed on the waves of Lake Jugla or sitting comfortably on the shore in a territory of Latvian open-air museum. We are also pleased that last year our festival was highly appreciated not only by a large number of festival visitors, but also by industry professionals who have honored us with the “Excellence Award."

Visitors are offered a variety of opportunities to visit the festival - by boats, motor boats (with a motor raised from the water), on SUP boards or catamarans, on public, personal transport or a bicycle. Thanks to the unusually placed stage with a 360 ° view, on which the artists will perform, the festival can be enjoyed both from the water and from land.

The first festival “Laivā” received “Excellence Award 2020” in the nomination “The Most Outstanding Live Concert in Non-Traditional Forms During COVID Restrictions 2020” from the Latvian Forum of Events.

The concert starts at 19:00, entrance to the event territory will be open from 17:00. Tickets can be purchased on the portal, as well as in all sales points of "Biļešu Serviss". The ticket price is 25 euros. Regardless of the number of spectators on the boat, the ticket must be presented to each visitor to the festival "Laivā". The organizers of the event offer boat rental services. Coming into festival territory everyone needs to follow up all safety rules established in the country, persons who have not had a COVID-19 infection or have not been vaccinated will be able to attend the festival only on floating vehicles. Event visitors who have had a Covid-19 infection or who have been vaccinated can enjoy the concert both from the waves of the lake and from land.

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Rabenau and Katrina Gupalo release psychedelic music video for the song “I Can I Can I Can”

Electronical music producer Reinis Rabenau and singer Katrina Gupalo have teamed up to create a mind-bending new music video for the electropop single “I Can I Can I Can”. 

Both musicians first met on stage in the summer of 2020 at an electro music concert in Liepaja when Rabenau’s electronically charged musical mastery was blended with Katrina Gupalo’s expressive voice and virtuoso piano playing. Returning home together from the concert, inspired by a warm and starry night, Rabenau came up with the music for “I Can I Can I Can”.

Rabenau explains: “The song is about a summer night, staring into the stars, stepping back from everything in life and looking at things from a distance. We all need a moment when we can raise ourselves higher, crawl out of the tunnel and take a look at roads we have to take, where they lead to, and decide which is best for us. That is the moment of motivation and self-discovery.”

The lyrics were written by Ojars Eriks Kalnins exclusively for Katrina after watching her perform one night at a concert and realizing that she was capable of anything. “Anything is possible in this life if you believe in yourself and in the people around you. Katrina does, and it shows in everything she undertakes.”

The music video was created through the collaboration of Katrina Gupalo and multimedia artists Paula Brante, Anna Briede and Sheila Orlova. The themes of Gupalo’s song “Agonija” are continued in the song “I Can I Can I Can” which pursues an inner dialogue about expressing one’s most powerful emotions through art. It’s about having the confidence to not follow the beaten path and try new things. Experimentation lets you explore total artistic freedom.

“This was our first, but definitely not last collaboration and it's turned out fantastically colorful, intriguing, and totally different from other videos that Katrina has created. We’ve never done anything like this before. This project has given a new dimension to our artistic growth,” the video artists revealed.

The psychedelic collage in the video is interwoven with Rudolf Pauders’ “Vogue dance” choreography, Laima Jurča’s colorful costumes and the eccentric ideas of both musicians. It also features Arsenijs Rozenbahs’ fantastic light show. The video was filmed in M/Darbnīca and Ausma club. The song was mixed and mastered by Reinis Karklins.

The song “I Can I Can I Can” will be performed live by Katrina Gupalo and Reinis Rabenau on July 16 in Jūrmala in the Horn’s Garden as part of full concert of their original music.

The single “I Can I Can I Can” is available on most music streaming platforms:, including Spotify:

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Virtuoso guitarist Mārcis Auziņš presents his third studio album "Lielā plūsma"

Virtuoso guitarist Mārcis Auziņš releases his third studio album “Lielā Plūsma that includes compositions composed during the last three years.

"The creation of the album “Lielā Plūsma” has been inspired by the contemplation of time, space, and existence. The musical material is based on the deeply resonating feelings of the ever-changing nature of the universe, the unstoppable rhythm of time and events, and me in both my roles of a musician and a human being as a part of this process - “Lielā Plūsma” (The Big Flow). I believe that my input and my role in the cutout of infinite time is musicianship, composing, and performing in concerts. The source for my strengths, imagination, and inspiration is in the interaction with the listeners; as long as I have the connection with the audience, the creative process will not abide and will allow me to stay in the vortex of my personal musical growth,” reveals Mārcis.

The concept of the first two albums (“Viens” 2016 and “Aizrautība” 2019) remains untouched with all compositions recorded using a single instrument - the guitar, the same way as Mārcis performs during his live solo shows, thus creating the unique feeling of being in the same space as the musician while listening to the recording.

The teaser of the album is available here:
The new album by Mārcis Auzinņš is available for purchase on, in Jāņa Rozes book stores, in departments of Latvian Post, music stores, and in concert venues. The album is also available on major music streaming platforms, such as Apple Music, Spotify, etc.

The concert program will present the listeners with both - compositions from the album and the arrangements of tunes by such legendary ensembles and artists as “The Beatles”, John Lennon, Bobby McFerrin, and others.

Listen to the “Lielā Plūsma” concert program live on these dates:

June 19 in Mālpils manor
July 2 in Kalnmuižas castle
July 17 in "Zeit", Līgatne
July 24 Mazmežotnes manor
August 4 Saldus culture pavilion

To find out more information on upcoming concerts, follow Mārcis Auziņš’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and his web page

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Tallinn Music Week 2021 festival line-up and venues revealed

The international music and city festival Tallinn Music Week (TMW), scheduled to take place from 29 September to 3 October, has revealed the music programme line-up. The festival will showcase 155 artists from 19 countries, of them 100 from Estonia.

A Place To Bury Strangers and DVS1 from the US, the Icelandic band Hatari featuring Palestinian artist Bashir Murad, and the Finnish accordionist Antti Paalanen are among the international names appearing at this year’s event. 

The opening night of the festival will feature two premieres: a new work by Estonian composer Liisa Hõbepappel, and an international collaboration “Themes For Great Cities: Tallinn”

TMW’s new programme partners are the Latvian festival Skaņu Mežs, the Lithuanian festival What’s Next In Music?,  Blow Up from Finland and Estonia’s own Võnge, as well as the Association of Global Independent Music Agents (AGIMA).

Single tickets for the showcase nights are now on sale at Piletilevi. Until 30 June, festival passes are on sale for a special price at Piletilevi and the TMW web shop.

TMW 2021 is presented by Telia. The music programme of the festival is organised in cooperation with Damn.Loud Agency. 

From Thursday, 30 September to Saturday, 2 October, the TMW music programme will bring together musicians from 19 countries, from Estonia to Palestine and from Russia to the United States. 155 artists, including 96 great acts from Estonia, will perform across 26 showcase nights from the modern Telliskivi Creative City and Port Noblessner to the picturesque Old Town.

The TMW 2021 Opening Night at the House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads on 30 September will see the world premieres of two musical compositions. Young Estonian composer Liisa Hõbepappel will perform her new piece, written specially for the festival, with the group Trio ‘95. The night will also premiere a collaboration project “Themes For Great Cities: Tallinn'' of Estonian musicians Jonas Kaarnamets and Erki Pärnoja, Danish artist Jonas Bjerre (Mew) and American musicologist Alex Maiolo. The novel concept involves ambient and industrial sounds to produce a piece that has its very foundation in the city where it's being presented. 

There will be more new sounds and presenters to explore in the 14th century House of the Blackheads where The Chamber Choir Encore and Duo Telluur will perform new works by Estonian composers Karl Tipp, Pärt Uusberg and Karin Kuulpak. The same venue will also be the meeting place of the Estonian multidisciplinary Üle Heli festival and TMW debutante Skaņu Mežs, Latvia’s most adventurous music and art festival. Together they will present a line-up that includes the Italian experimentalists L’impero della Luce, the acclaimed Estonian future pop artist Mart Avi and the Latvian sound synthesists +K+M+B.   

Station Narva night at the Tallinn Creative Hub will feature well-known international names like  the celebrated US noiseniks A Place To Bury Strangers  and the Icelandic techno-punks Hatari, featuring the Palestinian musician and civil rights activist  Bashar Murad. 

The Lithuanian talent festival and conference What’s Next In Music? is another new Baltic partner that will showcase the likes of Latvian experimentalist Evija Vebere along the the Lithuanian indie darlings Garbanotas and the Estonian electronica wizard Centre El Muusa at the fine-art photography centre Fotografiska Tallinn. The Finnish festival Blow Up will also make their first-ever appearance at TMW in the beloved alternative hangout Sveta Bar, introducing both their own cult names PH and Kaukolampi, as well as Deathsomnia – a brand new collective of the Estonian Kadri Sammel (Bedless Bones) and the British Richard Powley (Telepathy) and Bruno Russo. 

At the new D3 venue right next to the Baltic Station Market, Estonian label Funk Embassy will present their homegrown funk and soul talent Rita Ray as well as the Italian-British-Moroccan trio Savana Funk. The TIKS rekords label night at D3 will feature local neo soul and R’n’B acts such as YASMYN and Maris Pihlap, and the Warner Music/Smuuv Records night will present their roster of  talented Estonians from the rapper Gameboy Tetris to the multi-instrumentalist Raul Ojamaa. 

Presented by the Estonian Jazz Union and Jazzkaar festival, the jazz line-up at Fotografiska includes the vocal virtuosos Estonian Voices and the conceptual supergroup The Free Musketeers from Estonia. The future folk unit OOPUS hosts the folktronica night, presenting both the Russian ethno-futurists Oligarkh and the Sami musician Ánnámáret.

The variations of folk and ethno from the Finnish madman-accordinist Antti Paalanen to the  Estonian bluegrass-tinged folk stylists Curly Stings, will also form the core of the night curated by AGIMA, the Association of Global Independent Music Agents at the Club of Different Rooms’ (ETK). Estonia’s Intsikurmu Festival will bring a wide variety of acts from  the Romanian YouTube sensation Lucia to the Estonian indie act Taavi-Peeter Liiv to ETK.

Local Võnge Festival will present the selection of acts from the Swedish pop diamond Bluephox to the Estonian new school rapper KiROT at F-hoone where the  Russian Sounds showcase will present hypno-rock band Lucidvox who kickstarted their international career at TMW 2018 as well as Gromyka, the deconstructors of Soviet Estrada.

The Kivi Paber Käärid locale will feature the dark pop duo SYLK from Ireland and the Estonian  rock‘n’roll kings Dead Furies. KinoMaja will offer Estonian vintage rock sounds by the likes of  Dramamama, and a pop night with hot young homegrown talents from the rapper-singer manna to the electronic pop duo Púr Múdd.

The Von Krahl metal stage showcases the premier Estonian alternative metal groups like Kannabinõid and the Finnish post-metallers Besra. GROM Festival line-up at the Tallinn’s oldest alternative culture institution Von Krahl will include the Estonian dream country luminaries Holy Motors whilst the Void Valley night at Sveta Bar will present the Danish ROXY JULES along the Estonian-Australian psychedelic combo dreamkrusher!. Sveta Bar’s BÄM Night will present the sounds of the queer rave and the legends of the local underground nightlife like Florian Wahl and Köster.

The Estonian Heaven’s Trumpet label will showcase the unique cross-genre electronica 

selection from Eesti Elektroonilise Seltsi Ansambel to the audiovisual duo Vera Vice. Bass and smoke-laden beats will fill the Smoke Break night at Kauplus Aasia by the likes of the event’s main mover & shaker Modern Disease and the Norwegian DJ-producer Charlotte Bendiks.

At Noblessner’s techno club HALL, which will also serve as one of the hosts of the TMW music industry conference,  relentless ravers will be greeted by the club’s residents such as Artur Lääts and Kaspar Kivilo and one of techno’s most prominent global voices DVS1 from Minneapolis, US.   

As a partner festival of the global initiative Keychange, TMW aims at gender-balanced representation throughout the festival’s line-up as well as in tackling the structural inequality in the music industry.  Keychange talent in the TMW 2021 lineup is represented by L’impero della Luce from Italy, Charlotte Bendiks from Norway and SYLK from Ireland.

The full lineup of the TMW music festival as well as the free city stage programme will be revealed during the upcoming summer. The other festival elements are a music industry conference at Nordic Hotel Forum and HALL, public talks, an art programme, music workshops for children and special events in the district of Lasnamäe. 

Single tickets for TMW 2021 showcase nights are now on sale at Piletilevi. 

The TMW 2021 festival passes which grant access to all showcase nights of the festival, are on sale until June 30 at a discounted price of 55 euros (from 1 July 59 euros, from 1 September 65 euros) both at Piletilevi and at

PRO Pass (on-site and online conference and festival pass) at 150 euros (from 1 July 175 euros, from 27 September 200 euros) and DigiPRO Pass (online participation at the conference at 50 euros (from 1 September 75 euros) are on sale at . Additional information: 

Telia Estonia customers receive 20% off the regular price of TMW passes and tickets purchased ahead of the events.

TMW 2021 is organised by Shiftworks with various partners and co-organisers. The music programme is organised in collaboration with Damn.Loud Agency

The festival is presented by Telia Estonia.

The festival’s strategic partner in the field of music is Music Estonia, the main supporters are Nordic Hotel Forum and Visit Estonia. The partners of the festival are Telliskivi Creative City and Viru Center, media partners are Postimees Grupp and Raadio 2. 

The festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture, the city of Tallinn, the Tallinn City Enterprise Department and the Cultural Endowment.

TMW’s international activities introducing Tallinn and Estonia as an attractive tourism destination of music and culture are supported by The European Regional Development Fund.

TMW 2021 artists

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Melo-M cello trio performing live from the world's most beautiful fractal art hot air balloons

Experience Sky Amazons and the Melo-M cello trio performing live from the world's most beautiful fractal art hot air balloons, delivering and releasing art into the open air, freely accessible to everyone.  With the first rays of the sun, bringing joy and life to the day, three gorgeous art balloons and three cello virtuosos rise into the sky...

The concept of this live cello world premiere in the sky is “Unleash The Art.” For this special flight, Sky Amazons chef pilot and event organizer Inga Ūle and Melo-M leader and composer Kārlis Auzāns collaborated and combined their talents to create this unique event.  Its essence is the dream of soon being free from the constraints of the virus.  Kārlis Auzāns selected the musical score which includes “Variations on a Theme of Bach” and one of his original compositions “From the Forest We Come.”  Kārlis chose the title “Crystal Gloria” for this performance in the sky, borrowing the name of the fractal art balloon that carried the trio aloft, giving the trio this precious gift – an opportunity to play their instruments, and to share their art – to shine a musical ray of hope, spreading joy and optimism across the countryside and into the world.

"For more than a year now, art has been stuck in computers. We have not had access to the emotional thrill, joy and emotion that art can really bring in a live setting. This year has robbed the joy that feeds the soul for both artists and, of course, everyone who enjoys art.  This free performance is available to any passer-by, the “early bird” who went for a walk or is on the way to work.  By playing captivating music from a gorgeous balloon, we truly release art and honor our wonderful Latvian nature, bringing joy to everyone on earth, ”says Inga Ūle, balloon pilot, event organizer, and the head of Sky Amazons.

"To keep the musical sound clear and unattenuated, the Melo-M trio’s cellos will be suspended outside of one of the balloon baskets. They have chosen to play beautiful classical music, which in a masterful performance will greet the awakening the day and bring joy and a dose of emotional excitement to everyone on earth. We do not invite anyone to drive and watch the release of art in person - it is not necessary and, unfortunately, it is not safe at the moment. Instead, without tickets, fees or restrictions, we will bring the art to you - in a free flight” informs Inga Ūle.

The event of releasing art and lifting it into the sky was launched on May 28 at five in the morning from Cēsis Castle Ruins, Latvia.

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A song about creativity and justness: “Pie vietas” from the Latvian indie-pop band “Blue Jean Serenade”

A new single and a music video from the Latvian five-piece “Blue Jean Serenade” is released on 9th of June.

Janis, the lead singer, explained, “The song is about seeking recognition. It’s not just in work, but in family and other relationships. When we don’t receive this appreciation, we get consumed by anger, annoyance, envy. It’s quite the same when it comes to art and creativity - we want our work to be recognised and valued. When we don’t receive any feedback from our expected audience, we try to look for someone to blame.”

“Pie vietas” by “Blue Jean Serenade”

The authors of the song are Anna Niedra, Jānis Niedra, Reinis Ozolkāja, Tomass Vegners un Pēteris Blūms. The author of the lyrics is Jānis Niedra. The band started working on the song back in summer of 2020, but the producer Kristaps Ērglis joined in the later stages.

The release of the single is accompanied by a light music video. The video was produced and shot by Artūrs Strautiņš. The band says “Thanks!” to “Auto Klēts” for the amazing car seen in the video.

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Podruga releases a concert recording

Alternative pop band Podruga has released a socially distanced concert recording with nods to the 80s style - "PODRUGA on Tape". The concert has been released not only online but also in a style-appropriate, long-unseen format - VHS tape.

In a colourful and visually captivating performance, the band performed not only new arrangements of fan favourite songs but also the band's latest melancholic single "So Long", which was at the top of LR6 Radio NABA's Latvian music TOP10 for 8 weeks. The show also featured the premieres of compositions from the band's upcoming new album.

The recording has been released in a very limited edition of atypical, but thematically appropriate format - VHS cassettes. The full-length recording of "PODRUGA on Tape" is also available on the band's YouTube channel.

Podruga started in 2016 as a solo electronic music project of Alise Stefanovica. Over time, the project has developed artistic diversity, and its concept has grown to its current line-up of Alise Stefanovica (vocals, flute), Ricards Dauksts (guitar, keys), Jana Petkus (bass guitar) and Karlis Lazdovskis (drums). They have released four singles and EP "YPA!", and have played many concerts, including at major Baltic festivals. The current line-up of Podruga creates intimate, sensual music with expressive show elements.

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Andrejs Osokins Nominated for the Prestigious German Classical Music Award Opus Klassik in Four Categories

On Friday, June 4, the nominees for the prestigious German classical music recording award Opus Klassik were announced, among which Latvian pianist Andrejs Osokins had four nominations. Osokins' album “Two Worlds” created at “Prima Classic” music publishing house has been nominated in the categories “Best Instrumentalist of the Year”, “Classics without Borders”, “Best Instrumental Solo Performance of the Year”, “Young Artist of the Year”.

“I am extremely happy, emotionally fulfilled and grateful to the "Prima Classic" team and especially to Marina Rebeka for the trust in the recording of this album. It was an unforgettably beautiful process, and I am delighted that the album recorded in the Latvian Radio studio received such a high evaluation by an international jury. I am proud of how many wonderful Latvian musicians have been nominated for this award, which once again proves that Latvia is truly a world music superpower!” says Andrejs Osokins.

Traditionally, the Opus Klassik (formerly Echo Klassik) award ceremonies take place in October at the Konzerthaus Berlin. Along with Andrejs Osokins, this year's nominees include Hans Zimmer, Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Marina Rebeka, Elīna Garanča, Andris Nelsons, Gidons Krēmers and other outstanding Latvian and foreign musicians in various award categories.

The video for George Gershwin's “The Man I Love”, included in the album “Two Worlds” and performed by Andrejs Osokins in his transcription for the left hand, can be seen here:

Andrejs Osokins' album “Two Worlds” was released in March this year by the American music publisher "Prima Classic". It is dedicated to two outstanding composers – George Gershwin and Claude Debussy – and reveals both composers as creators of a new style of piano music and the beginning of the 20th century as a time of search and experimentation in music. The soundtrack is directed and produced by Edgardo Vertanessian. Even before the release of the album, the recordings of the compositions included in it were noticed and appreciated in the world, receiving the recognition of music experts from the music streaming sites “Spotify”, “Apple Music” and “Amazon Music”.

More information about the Opus Klassik Award is available here

The album “Two Worlds” is available on all major music streaming sites, including Spotify. CDs are available online at and

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Reinis Jaunais publishes Dance Epidemic video

Reinis Jaunais, together with featuring artists, released a new music video for their song Dance Epidemic. The video is directed by Reinis' wife Laima Jaunā. Reinis describes the filming process: ''It was lots of fun filming and walking around various places and different hoods in Riga, such as Ziepniekkalns, Imanta, Āgenskalns and elsewhere in Pārdaugava in a green full body suit - those are the places I grew up in.'' 

While dancing around various districts of Riga in a funny green costume, many people actually joined in dancing. It almost felt like a real dance epidemic had started. Some passersby were filming on their phones. Sometimes cars stopped to take some photos, too. Reinis says that he has seen several videos on TikTok made by bypassers on the filming days.

Song is named after a real-life event called the Dance Epidemic, also known as Dancing Plague or Dancing Mania. According to Wikipedia, it ''was a social phenomenon that occurred primarily in mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries. It involved groups of people dancing erratically, sometimes thousands at a time. [..] Often musicians accompanied dancers, due to a belief that music would treat the mania, but this tactic sometimes backfired by encouraging more to join in.'' Reinis and Laima adds: ''We thought that these past events would fit well with the current (or recent) lockdown and stuff.''

Featuring artists are violin player Balázs Dankó (Hungary) who is a chamber music player but apparently knows how to play 'bluesy' violin solos, too, and flute player Ieva Supjeva (originally from Latvia, currently living in Belgium) - previously Reinis and Ieva played together in the band 'Young & The Oak People'. However, guest artists didn't participate in the filming of this video as they couldn't travel to Riga due to travel restrictions.

Video is made using green suit technique. In case anyone out there would like to try to make a similar video, Laima is happy to share her experience and warns that ''still lots of cutting was necessary''.

Reinis Jaunais is a travelling musician who has regularly played shows internationally. He has released 7 music albums so far. The song 'Dance Epidemic' is included in his latest album called 'Zeme'. The title of this album translates as Earth, soil or ground.

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Latvian post-punk band Abuses releases second single

Titled “Say Something”, the track is the second single to be taken from their forthcoming album.

The music video is Ērika Daņiloviča’s debut directorial release. It encompasses her unique
approach to photography. Viewers will experience her personal perspective of the pandemic. The director said of her work: “The music video is about the human condition – how a person feels during a certain period of time. All people are very different and individual, but when a person enters synergy with stress and denial of reality, then all people are connected in the feeling and want to escape their external and internal world. A person enters a state, in which they wish to be free of their ‘’prison’’ – of their cyclic existential life and their ego. This state in Hinduism is called moksha. Moksha personifies the point of attraction towards which people rush to in order to feel their ethereal body and relax completely.”

Abuses are:
Richard Thompson - Guitar, Anete Čīma - Bass, Sabine Moore - Vocals and production.
Additional drums by Vija Moore.

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