Congo Natty is bringing his jungle music sounds.

THere’s no denying that 20 years is a long time, but for the local soul, funk, hip-hop, jazz, reggae, Afrobeat and world music scenes in Finland it might as well be a lifetime when looking at its evolution. Setting the trends and slowly garnering influence over this time, the Funky Elephant Festival celebrates the arrival of the end of its second decade with a suitable decked out extravaganza from 3-6 April at Helsinki’s The Circus and mbar.

With previous line-ups featuring the likes of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Tony Allen, Joe Bataan, Roy Ayers, Bonobo and The Coupin, the international roll call this year is impressive once again. Among the big names are the Afrobeat musings of Ebo Taylor and jungle music guru Congo Natty. If Middle Eastern electro Afrofunk is more your styling then Syria’s Omar Souleyman is serving up lashings of the good stuff. Meanwhile, the many colours of the Brazilian flavours are on offer with Maria Gasolina.

The domestic scene has always been well represented in the past two decades, with the likes of Jätkäjätkät, Don Johnson Big Band and Jukka Poika on the bill. 2014 offers up another phat collection. Regular cohort Paleface will be seen in many incarnations, teaming up with Eternal Erection among others. Tuomo’s fourth album gets an airing, with the soul and jazz maestro infusing his sound with electro influences. Yona and Orkesterin Liikkuvat Pilvet are also a welcome addition.

Funky Elephant Festival
3-6 April
Tickets €11-47

James O’Sullivan