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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Wilho Saari Naselle 2007

6th Finglish trip December 2007 #5

Wilho Saari is a fifth-generation Finnish American player of the kantele, the Finnish psaltery. Kreeta Haapasalo, a well-known kantele player in Finland in the 19th century, was his great-great grandmother. Wilho's father, Wilho Sr., also performed the kantele in public, only in Washington, having brought a kantele with him to America in 1915.

Saari has received a Washington state Governor’s Heritage Award for his work popularizing and teaching kantele. In 2006, Saari was honored with a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship, the country’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts. He is also a very productive composer of kantele music with over 2,400 pieces written.

Saari has been married for over 50 years to his "Roadie" Kaisa, of Kuopio, Finland. They reside in Naselle, Washington state.

Next Anita and Phil Raistakka Naselle Washington USA

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