A Night Full of Soul and a Voice Smoother Than Velvet

26. April 2019
Noemi Collings

The concert room at Punane Maja was bathed in a romantic dark red as Kaili Kinnon and her band – all dressed in elegant black – entered the stage. The first sounds that Kaili sent through the microphone into the room came from her song “Come Be Near” and created a beautiful, seductive atmosphere that immediately enchanted the audience. Her dark, full and thrilling voice was so warm and full of feeling that her singing immediately got under one’s skin and enrich the whole evening, giving the audience goose bumps.


An incessantly happily smiling and visibly cheerful band – consisting of Andrew Avitia-Bush (bass, mandolin), Alex Purcell (guitar), Tarvi Kull (keyboard) and Kaspar Kalluste (drums) – supported the singer with groove-based instrumentation. There was more full emotion and sentiment during Alex’ instrumental improvisation during the second song “Truth Teller”.


This year Kaili Kinnon is working on a project called “Twelve-Eighteen” in which she releases a new single every month. On this Wednesday evening she presented the four previously released singles “Little Strength”, “Come Be Near”, “Boy” and “Truth Teller”, which undoubtedly left the audience curious and expectant about the singles to come. Her songs were about beauty, truth, heartache, longing and desire and their lyrics caused as many of the goose bumps as their music.


Kaili alternates between breath-takingly beautiful soul-infused ballads, swinging-grooving pop songs and even disco-like songs like “You Could Be My”, which invited you to take to the floor. One of the highlights was the cover of the song “Beats” by the Canadian singer-songwriter Begonia. Kaili managed to put so much soul, feeling and tenderness into this song, that the audience just melted away.


In the middle of the concert the band was sent off stage by Kaili Kinnon “to turn things down a bit”. Only guitarist Alex Purcell stayed with her. The room has plunged into a warm violet and together the two musicians perform the incredibly beautiful ballads “Case Of You” and “Whatever”. Due to her absolutely clear voice and articulation – unlike other soul singers -, Kaili’s lyrics could easily be understood, which conveyed the depth and meaning of her songs all the more strongly.


Eventually the band came back to perform the pop songs “I Walk Away” and “Tenderness”. The latter she wrote last summer while spending time in Tallinn and it reminded me of warm, happy summer nights with friends and good vibes.


After the audience applauded for minutes after the last song, Kaili Kinnon came on stage again for an encore – but this time alone. She sang the song “I Am The Ache” and accompanied herself at the piano. This quiet and so sensitively interpreted song was the perfect “bouncer” for the evening.


The concert was filled with twilight, velvet, late night music – as Kaili herself describes her music – and was a wonderful conclusion to a long Jazzkaar evening. Hopefully we can welcome the Canadian singer with Estonian roots back to Tallinn’s stages soon.




Wednesday 24  April 22:30 Punane Maja


Kaili Kinnon – vocal

Andrew Avitia-Bush – bass, mandolin

Alex Purcell – guitar

Tarvi Kull – keyboard

Kaspar Kalluste – drums


Set list:


  1. “Come Be Near”
  2. “Truth plate”
  3. “Lead Me”
  4. “Beats”
  5. “Be So Sweet”
  6. “Boy”
  7. “Case Of You”
  8. “Whatever”
  9. “I Walk Away”
  10. “Tenderness”
  11. “You Could Be My”
  12. “Fog”


  1. “I Am The Ache”

Check out photos of the concert here