Vesa-Matti LoiriView In iTunes
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Vesa-Matti "Vesku" Loiri is well-known in his native Finland as a comedian, actor, and Emma-nominated musician. Born in Helsinki in 1945, Loiri made his first major film appearance in the 1969 comedy Pohjan Tähteet, a film he co-wrote with Ere Kokkonen. He went on to appear in dozens of movies and television shows over the course of his career, notably in the role of Uuno Turhapuro (Numbskull Emptybrook), a character developed by Spede Pasanen. He also provided the voice of the Genie in the Finnish dub of Disney's Aladdin. A singer, songwriter, and flutist, Loiri performs in a wide range of musical styles, and is perhaps best known for his Jacques Brel-like interpretations of the poetry of Hermann Hesse and Eino Leino. Loiri doesn't limit himself to folk music; a talented iskelmä performer, he was selected to represent his country in the 1980 Eurovision contest with the song "Huilumies." Loiri released over a dozen records throughout his career, and he was still going strong well into the 2000s; his 2006 album, Ivalo, peaked at number one in Finland and was nominated for several Emma Awards. ~ Margaret Reges