Recordings from the Estonian Folklore Archives 3

Joosep Kotkas

Joosep Kotkas with psaltery at a recording session in Tallinn in 1936–1938. Photo by P. Parikas. ERA, Foto 8087.

Joosep Kotkas (1885–1962) was from Pastiku farm in the community of Kavastu, Tartu-Maarja Parish. He had attended school in Tartu and had also for a while learned a vocation in the workshops of Zimmermann’s Musical Instruments in Riga. In 1936 when the National Radio recorded four psaltery pieces from him he was living in Tallinn and worked in the railway. Joosep Kotkas’ psaltery was a long one with a strong bass, his playing was resonant and full of nuance. Joosep also performed in August Pulst’s folk music concerts and later accompanied folk dance groups on the psaltery.