2018: Year in Review

On the last day of the year 2018 I will look back at all the interesting adventures and challenges I encountered. I played about forty concerts in nine different countries in twenty one different cities from Scandinavia to Japan, performed as a soloist with three different symphony orchestras, wrote a lot of new music, debuted as a gala concert compere and producer, wrote my first Christmas song, played a duet with internationally recognised musical saw player and presented my music in Japanese language during the Japanese tour. My music was played in radios from Europe to Japan, USA and Australia.

Aasta 2018 oli väga tihe, täis erinevaid väljakutseid, reisimist maailma erinevatesse kohtadesse ja muusikalisi kohtumisi ning koostöid väga erinevate inimestega. Andsin ligi nelikümmend kontserti üheksal eri maal kahekümne ühes linnas Skandinaaviamaadest Jaapanini, astusin üles kolme erineva sümfooniaorkestri solistina ja kirjutasin palju uut muusikat. Tegin oma debüüdi Eesti muusikat tutvustava gaalakontserdi konferansjee ja produtsendina, kirjutasin oma esimese jõululaulu, mängisin esimest korda elus duetti rahvusvaheliselt tuntud saemängijaga ning tutvustasin oma muusikat kontsertidel jaapani keeles. Minu muusikat mängiti raadiotes Euroopast Jaapani, Ameerika ja Austraaliani.


New Years concert in Tallinn with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Kristjan Järvi, Maarja Nuut, Kadri Voorand, Maria Faust, Kristjan Randalu, Noëp & Mick Pedaja.

Celtic Connections winter festival in Glasgow with the new international all female accordion quintet Accordionesse Hannah James, Teija Niku, Mairearad Green and Karen Tweed.

Photo by Sean Purser


Estonia 100 gala concert in Stockholm together with Mari Kalkun, Riivo Jõgi, Toomas Tuulse, Jaak Sooäär, Tanel Ruben, Raul Vaigla, Säde Tatar, Joosep Toomeste, Mirjam Tally, Estonian choirs and the symphony orchestra of Nõmme Music School. I had the honour of produce, perform my music and be the compere of the concert.

Photo by Jaak T Arendi

Estonia 100 in Berlin with Berliner Kontzerthausorchester, Kristjan Järvi and Estonian Folk Chamber Orchestra.

Photo by Paul Gärtner
Photo by Paul Gärtner


Knutssons karameller with Jonas Knutsson, Erik Rydvall and Suranjana Gosh in Stockholm.


Tallinn Music Week with Kristjan Järvi and Absolute Ensemble, Estonian Folk Chamber Orchestra, Storied Sounds solo.



Tuulikki Bartosik Trio with Villu Talsi and Timo Alakotila in Helsinki Musiikkitalo.

Photo by Toomas Detterborn
Photo by Toomas Detterborn
Photo by Toomas Detterborn

Tuulikki Bartosik feat. Vanessa Massera Sounds recollected at Euroradio Folk Festival in Moscow.


Adventures in South Estonia where I played for the goats for the first time in my life together with my long time friend Krista Sildoja and her fantastic students from Mooste Rahvamuusikakool at their annual summer solstice camp.

In June we also opened the wonderful Estonian artist in New York, Jaanika Peernas exhibition in South Estonia Võru art gallery and had a performance in lake Tamula.


This July I run my first ever Reval Etno international children and youth music camp in South Estonia Nursi in collaboration with Rõuge county and Reval Folk. We had nine concerts during five days with all the participants and the fabulous teachers Johanna-Adele Jüssi, Jo Einar Jansen, Nicolaj Wamberg, Tobias Elof, Sille Ilves and Martin Leamon.

We also had a lovely musical meeting with the Japanese musical saw virtuoso Hajime Sakita in Pähni forest megaphones in South Estonian forest. Our improvisatorial composition Rainy talks in the forest megaphones ended up in BBC Radio 3’s program Late Junction.

July also found me at the biggest folk festival in the Baltic area Viljandi Folk Festival, amazing vibes, old and new friends and spontaneous concerts was in the agenda.


I had a solo performance in the middle of Stockholm city and was programmed together with the Swedish jazz stars Daniel Karlsson Trio and singer songwriter Linus Hasselberg.

There was also a program with me and my music as well as my memories about my accordion teachers in Estonian Radio. It was a great pleasure to find so many recordings in radio archives with one of the most remarkable accordionists in Estonia, Venda Tammann, who was my accordion teacher for five years in the conservatory in Tallinn.


I had my first solo tour in the UK in collaboration with my agent Ant Miles from Fancourt Music. I played in Bristol, London and York. The UK will always be part of my life as I have several good friends there and I love the country and its culture and traditions. It is always a pleasure to visit the UK.

From London I returned directly to Tallinn to Reval Folk concert together with my Reval Etno music camp participants.



October found me in Japan, touring from North to South and everything in between together with Mari Kalkun, Trad. Attack, the Japanese accordion player Kanako Kato and celebrating Estonias 100th centennary. Huge thanks to Koiwa-san and his crew from Harmony Fields production company and Janne Funk for organising the tour!

The Native music showcase in Shibuya Tokyo.

The Estonian crew with musicians and designers from Lentsius Design, Anneli Tammik Jewellery and Emma Leppermann.

I also participated in World Music Expo fair in Las Palmas. It was great to enjoy a little vacation too while working hard as a freelancer musician to find more work opportunities and make new contacts.

With the Estonian delegation.

I went swimming every morning before working at the fair.

I made quite a few new friends at Womex, including the Japanese journalist Unagami Takuya.

Between the Japanese tour and Womex I had the honour to be a guest musician at Finnish accordion queen Maria Kalaniemis concert in Tallinn. The concert was recorded by Estonian Radio and we also made an appearance in the morning TV program.

Photo by Sven Tupits


The second last month of 2018 was more quiet but it was also needed after all the busy months. I had a solo concert in the cosy theatre in Stockholm called Teater Sláva. After the concert I played to dance together with my long time friend fiddle player Alicia Björnsdotter Adams.


I enjoyed some free time with my family and had a spontaneous gig with the singer songwriter Nathaniel Glasser alias Diipak.

2018 was filled with joy but also with personal challenges and sorrow. I feel that this year has given me many new opportunities and I have grown both as a person and musician. I am looking forward to 2019 with all that life has prepared for me!

2018 oli kokkuvõttes sisukas ja rõõmu täis aeg, aga see oli ka aasta, mis pakkus isiklikke väljakutseid ja jättis maha järjekordse tühemiku lähisugulaste ringis. Olen kasvanud nii inimese kui ka muusikuna ja ootan huviga mida uuel aastal mulle pakkuda on!

Vaatan tulevikku selgete ja natuke kavalate silmadega ;-)