Sari Kaasinen (b. 1967) was born in the small village of Rasivaara, Rääkkylä, in Northern Karelia, where she spent her childhood and youth. Sari’s talent, strong cultural roots, and decisive working have ensured reputation and success both nationally and internationally. Today, she is a well-known ambassador of Finnish folk music, a productive and innovative composer, a charismatic performer, and a popular music instructor.
Sari’s interest in music, primarily in folk music, came into fruition during the 1970’s at the Rasivaara Youth Society. Tsupukat, a children’s group that recited, sang and played music, flourished. Sari performed also as a solo kantele player with Motora, a North Karelian folk-dance group, and toured all over Europe. Thanks to her mother Pirkko and Sari’s personal attraction, she sprang into folk tales, folk lyrics and music with extraordinary energy. Since the early 80’s Sari’s listeners have considered her a musician who individually chooses her own paths.
She has since grown into a distinguished composer and performing artist. From 1983 to 1996, she was the Artistic Director of Värttinä. Since 1996, Sari has continued her career as a solo artist. Her newest band, Sari Kaasinen & Otawa, dates back to 2001. The band performs innovative and exciting music composed by Sari.
Sari took her matriculation examination in 1986 and received a master’s degree in music, in 1994 from the Sibelius Academy’s Department of Folk Music. At the moment, she is working on her doctoral thesis at the Sibelius Academy.
Sari has three daughters and lives in her hometown of Rasivaara, Rääkkylä, in Northern Karelia. As for her children, Sari wishes to pass-on the same legacy she received from her parents: rich cultural traditions, respect for the quality of life, safety and close contact with Finnish nature.
As solo artist and as the Artistic Director of Värttinä, Sari has received awards from the Regional Council of North Karelia (Regional Innovator Award, in 1995), The Finnish National Group of IFPI (Emma Award for Värttinä, in 1993), and the Arts Council of Finland (State Prize for Merits in Music for Värttinä, in 1993), just to mention few.