Konsta Jylhä’s house

Pajalantie 12 Kaustinen


In the centre of Kaustinen, on Pajalanmäki, a typical red Ostrobothnian house has a special plate on its wall: Konsta and Rebekka Jylhä and their family lived in the house since the 1950s. The house is in private ownership also today.


Konsta Jylhä (1910–1984) has been the best-known folk musician in Kaustinen and the whole of Finland ever since the early1900s. He was born in the village of Järvelä. Konsta’s father, “Pikkulukkarin Viljami” alias Jaakko Viljami Jylhä (1873–1913), was among the most popular fiddlers of his time at weddings, just as his father was, but the family earned their living in transporting goods. Viljami died when Konsta was three years old, and the family moved to the village centre, where his mother, Mari, got a job at the café of Santeri Isokangas. Santeri’s café had violins and a harmonium that could be played at any time. It was here that Konsta learned to play by listening to the old folk musicians. Already as a young boy, he could accompany the folk musicians who came to the café on the harmonium as well as play the violin with them. Among these was the legendary fiddler Matti Haudanmaa (1858–1936). The violin later became Konsta’s number one instrument.


Throughout his youth, Konsta played at weddings and gradually became the leading figure of Kaustisen Purppuripelimannit, which was formed in 1946. The band was very popular especially in the late 1960s and the 1970s, when they even performed at the Ruisrock festival. At the busiest gig weekends, the band was transported by helicopter. They were also awarded a gold disc. In 1970, Konsta became one of the first musicians to be named master pelimanni. His best-known songs include Vaiennut viulu (The Violin Fell Silent), which he dedicated to his father, Konstan parempi valssi (Konsta’s Better Waltz) and Konstan joululaulu (Konsta’s Christmas Song).


Kaustisen Purppuripelimannit continues to play even today. Its members include a third generation of skilled folk musicians from Kaustinen, who have mastered the music style and compose their own music as well.