HELD annually since 1959, this year Helsinki Day arrives on Thursday 12 June, bringing with it a programme bulging with a variety of opportunities to celebrate in the capital city.

Music is well represented in the programme. In the centre of town, Espa’s stage offers a range of live music and entertainment options, including the acrobatic show of Duo Saras and the tunes of Bad Ass Brass Band, Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha and Dalindèo.

WHILE present generations continue to drawing inspiration from the best efforts of those that have come before them, perhaps the most welcome revival of an era has been that of Sharon Jones and her delicious concoction of American soul and funk.

Evoking the classic sounds of soul and funk music as it was at its height in the late 1960s to mid-1970s, Jones hits The Circus on Thursday 22 May, with her nine-piece backing band, The Dap-Kings, in tow.

AS the nature of employment continually evolves, an exhibition at Amos Anderson Art Museum is taking a closer look at the complexities of our relationship with working in Finland.

So, is work a labour of love, or is it forced labour? The idea for many years has been that years of hard work is its own reward – but is it really? Here, 31 artists present some 70 paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and video art, as well as an installation; all offering their own perspective.

HELSINKI and Tampere are both hosting a gypsy party in May, when the infectious energy of Gogol Bordello takes to the stage for a duo of performances.

Every Bordello show is an exercise in dispensing every last drop of energy, as this nine-piece ensemble whips audiences around the globe into a frenzy of dancing with their winning blend of gypsy folk, reggae, hip-hop and punk rock.

TAKING audiences on a colourful journey from the creation of afrobeat to the present day, Afrobeat from the Heart is being staged at Helsinki’s KokoTeatteri from 23 April-13 May. And what better person to guide a path through history than Nigerian musician, composer, politician and human rights activist Fela Kuti – the focus of this new production.