JOE VESTICH: AMERICAN SINGER-SONGWRITER
Joe Vestich is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist living, performing, writing, and recording for the past 35 years in Finland. His musical styles, often referred to as roots or Americana, are genuine rock n’ roll, blues and traditional country. In these genres he has worked with some of the biggest names and best musicians in Finland.
Proud to claim his ethnic roots in Croatia, Joe’s musical life began at the age of 9 years old, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA as a member of a Croatian folk song and dance group known as the “Pittsburgh Junior Tamburitzans”. With this ensemble he learned to play a mandolin like instrument called the brač, and alongside his brother Mark, they began performing in bars and restaurants in the ethnic neighborhoods, as well as concert halls throughout America, and toured the former Yugoslavia in 1968.
In time, the brothers’ styles shifted toward guitars, country music, and eventually rock n’ roll. Their country rock band “The Vestich Brothers” became a favorite throughout western Pennsylvania, and in 1979 they recorded and released a regionally successful album titled: “Vestich Brothers – Live at Wolfendales”.
In 1986 Joe’s interest in academic studies led him to Finland as an exchange student at the University of Tampere, where he earned a Master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations, with a concentration in Russian studies. However, he has built his career in Finland as a professional musician.
Upon arrival to Finland, Joe soon began playing solo acoustic gigs in Tampere, which enjoys a vibrant live music scene frequented by both enthusiastic listeners and active musicians. One of the first artists he met was the legendary blues-rocker Dave Lindholm, who became a close friend, musical collaborator, and has helped Joe to build a solid musical career in Finland.
Aside from several recording and performance projects with a variety of excellent musicians, Joe has been involved in three long term bands with some of Finland’s most highly respected, successful performers, which have resulted in the release of four albums. In addition, Joe has collaborated in songwriting, concentrating on writing English lyrics for top name Finnish artists, and has worked in depth with well-known actor-musician Heikki Silvennoinen on seven albums.
Through the years Joe has been performing in every part of Finland, from the ski resorts far above the Arctic Circle in Lapland to the southern coastal seaports, and most points in between. He has played on the stages of the largest music festivals and concert halls of the major cities, and in the local bars and pubs in the small towns and villages.
Along with shows booked every year in the USA, Joe was one of the first American rockers to perform in the former Soviet Union, and in later years in Russia, Estonia and Latvia. He has been like an international diplomat, as an American living in Finland, performing in Russia with blues/rock artists from Moscow and St. Petersburg in concert, and on Russian television, and hosting those musicians in Finland for shows with the absolute best players.
To this date, Joe has composed and co-written about 100 songs, registered with the Finnish copywrite organization “Teosto”, most of which have been recorded and published on the Finnish market. In November, 2021 Joe released his new solo album, titled “Steal the Wind”.