Estbel is a rare line-up of two nightingales from Estonia and two Flemish brothers from Belgium. The band came into existence after the exciting rehearsal week on the Estonian island of Saaremaa in February 2016. Their seven-day stay was an intense experience in a beautiful and inspiring environment. ‘Saar’ means ‘island’ in Estonian and in many ways felt like a very suitable title for the debut album released during the Tallinn Music Week 2017.

Leana Vapper-Dhoore is a singer and plays both the Estonian and Low D pipes. As a teenager she took part in the Estonian Ethno music camps and frequently visited the Viljandi Folk Music Festival, which heightened her interest in folk music. From 2006 to 2015 she was living in Flanders where she learned to play the Flemish bagpipes and met Hartwin during jam sessions and concerts.

Maris Pihlap is a violin player, singer and songwriter active in many different genres. She started to learn Estonian traditional violin tunes even before classical training, so her playing style is deeply rooted in Estonian tradition. She is devoted to writing songs in Estonian language and tastefully combining tradition with modern elements such as jazz harmony and hiphop rythm grooves. She also studies rythm music at the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy.

Hartwin and Ward Dhoore are the driving force of Estbel. Hartwin has been playing the diatonic accordion for over ten years and is respected and known for his contemporary instrumental compositions. Ward’s instrument is the acoustic DADGAD-tuned guitar. Ward has a talent for arranging music. He likes effects and experiments with loops.

Estbel unites traditionalists and indie-lovers, the young and the elderly. Party time for everyone!

“Their music is full of magical realism – as if Gabriel Garcia Marquez were walking with Björk, frisking in a northern landscape.”

- Ruben Bertrands, Het Nieuwsblad, Belgium

“Magical songs and beautiful melodies created by four fantastic musicians!”

- Steven Vanderaspoilden, Folk Magazine, Belgium

Highlights since 2016

Celtic Connections // UK
Viljandi Folkfestival // Estonia
Tallinn Music Week // Estonia
Dranouter Festival // Belgium
Kaustinen Folkfestival // Finland
Korrö Folkmusic Festival // Sweden
Linköping Folkmusikfestival // Sweden