Konsta Jylhä

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Konsta Jylhä in 1975

In Finnish fiddling, Konsta Viljam Jylhä (14 August 1910 Kaustinen – 13 September 1984) was a folk-virtuoso who made the traditional pelimanni-style folk music a Finnish cultural phenomenon of wider currency, bringing his natural genius and traditional style to a burgeoning nationwide television audience, thus laying the foundation for a rich and popular traditional music scene in Finland.

A third generation Central Ostrobothnian master pelimanni (Mestaripelimanni); in the 1960s Konstas band Konsta Jylhä ja Purpuripelimannit became a mainstay of the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, and iconic both in popular culture, and within the generation of master pelimanni to follow in his footsteps.

His best known pieces of original composition are Konstan Parempi Valssi ("Konstas Major Waltz") and especially the hauntingly beautiful Vaiennut Viulu ("Mute Violin").

After being battered by a severe head injury suffered in a logging accident in 1961 and some heart attacks suffered since 1962, he became a born-again Christian. During his later years he composed spiritual songs.

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