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Twin Cities Nycleharpalog

ASI Midwinter Folk Music Festival - February 14-16

Friday, February 14, 2020 - 7:00pm

This year’s expanded annual ASI Midwinter Folk Music Festival, running Friday through Sunday, February 14 - 16, is a weekend full of concerts, workshops and drop-in musical opportunities. Our guest musicians include folk musicians Anders and Maria Larsson from Malmö, Sweden, and the founder of the ASI Spelmanslag and National Heritage Fellow, Paul Dahlin. Some events are free while others require registration - all tickets can be puchased via the "Register" button at the bottom of the page. 

Thank you to the American Scandinavian Foundation for their grant support of the Larssons' visit and by extension, the ASI Midwinter Folk Music Festival.

Weekend schedule of events:

Friday, February 14

  • 7 p.m. – Opening concert and dance featuring special guests Maria and Anders Larsson from Malmö, Sweden, alongside the Twin Cities Nyckelharpalag. Joining in playing for dancing will be the ASI Spelmanslag. $15 ASI members / $20 non-members / free for youth under 18.

Saturday, February 15, Morning Workshops in the Mansion

  • 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. – Youth Swedish Fiddle: From South to North, Swedish Tunes for Fiddle with Maria Larsson. This workshop will include some of Maria’s favorite tunes from all over Sweden. She will focus on technical challenges and how to make the tunes sound good. Students can bring recording devices and though students will learn by ear, Maria will provide sheet music at the end of the workshop for all of the tunes. The workshop will be for intermediate level and up. Free for youth under 18.
  • 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. – Adult Swedish Fiddle: How Our Music Goes with Paul Dahlin. Whether you are a beginning fiddler or an advanced violinist, this workshop will get you started on your journey in playing this traditional folk music. Audio/video recorders are encouraged. $20 per person.
  • 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. – Swedish Song: Singing for Dancing with Anders Larsson. The workshop will focus on tralling, the Swedish form of lilting used for singing for dancing. All singers welcome. Participants will sing for dancers at the closing concert. $20 / free for youth under 18.
  • 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. – Swedish Music: Music from Northern Sweden with Kip Peltomiemi and Renee Vaughn. This workshop will feature the rollicking and enigmatic tunes from the northernmost part of Sweden. The folk music of Norrbotten, Sweden, is inspired by the surrounding cultures which gives it a unique sound. All instruments are welcome. $20 / free for youth under 18.

Saturday, February 15, Concerts in the Salon – all free to attend and no registration required

  • 12-12:30 p.m. – Ole Olssons Oldtime Orkestra: four of Minnesota’s best musicians, Art Bjorngjeld, Char Bostrom, Paul Wilson and Mary Abendroth playing your favorite old Swedish songs and tunes. 
  • 1-1:30 p.m. – Youth Fiddlers concert: all of the youth fiddlers attending the festival will gather to play the tunes they learn in the morning workshop and some of their own favorites. 
  • 2-2:30 p.m. – Renee Vaughn and Adam Kiesling: Gammeldans tunes on nyckelharpa and guitar. Swedish tune session: bring your instrument and play along. 
  • 3-3:30 p.m. – Humorus songs with Art Bjorngjeld, Paul Wilson and Mary Abendroth (they have more songs than they can fit into this short concert!)
  • 4-4:30 p.m. – Paul Dahlin & friends: Paul will be joined by his wife Marikay on bass and several other fiddlers.

Saturday, February 15, Afternoon Workshops in the Mansion 

  • 2-5 p.m. – Swedish Tunes for the Fiddle with Maria and Anders Larsson. This workshop will focus on tunes for the fiddle but other stringed instruments are welcome. They will teach session tunes, their own favorite tunes and also explore techniques to make the music sound good and inspire dancers. $30 adults / free for youth. 
  • 2-5 p.m. – Modern tunes for Nyckelharpa By Players From the Last Sixty Years. Tunes are by Väsen, Näsbom, Tallroth and Röjås. $30 / free for youth under 18.

Saturday, February 15, Events in Larson Hall

  • 2-3 p.m. – Dance workshop with Elise Peters & Char Bostrom. Free.
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. – Allsång (Swedish sing along) with Janet Carlson, ASI Male Chorus and the ASI Cloudberries. Free.
  • 7 p.m. – Concert and dance featuring the ASI Male Chorus, the ASI Cloudberries and Ole Olssons Oldtime Orkestra. Following the concert Elise Peters will teach Swedish mixer dances. $15 ASI members / $20 non-members / free for youth under 18.

Sunday, February 16

  • 1 p.m. – Rehearsals: workshop groups run through tunes to be included in the afternoon performance.
  • 2 p.m. – Closing concert featuring the ASI Spelmanslag and the ASI Lilla lag. In the second half of the performance, workshop groups will play and sing the tunes they learned. A final Allspel will conclude the concert. $15 ASI members / $20 non-members / free for youth under 18.

Anders and Maria Larsson

About the musicians:

Maria Larsson has played traditional music since she was seven years old. In her early teens she began studying the 19th century players through archive studies to learn the Swedish music traditions. She studied classical music and Swedish folk music at the Music Academy in Malmö, at Lund University and at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. She has started several youth music groups and works as a producer of youth programs for Musik I Syd in southern Sweden.

Paul Dahlin is the founder of the American Swedish Institute Spelmanslag and a NEA National Heritage Fellow. He learned to play Swedish fiddle tunes from his grandfather, Ivares Edvin Johnsson, who immigrated from Dalarna, Sweden.

Kip Peltoniemi plays button accordion and was a guest teacher at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and at the Kaustinen Folk Institute. His album “Minnesota Tango” was named “Folk Album of the Year” by Finland’s largest newspaper.

Renée Vaughan plays new and traditional Nordic music on the chromatic nyckelharpa and performs throughout the midwest. She directs the Scandinavian Music Workshops offered through Nordic Roots Dance.  

Maria and Anders Larsson play Swedish folk music of Skåne, Södermanland, the areas they grew up in, but also of Malung, Dalarna, where they lived and taught for fifteen years. Anders and Maria have toured together in 25 countries from Kenya to Greece and frequently in Germany and Scotland. They are two of Sweden’s most established folk musicians and for many years operated their own record label and culture house in Malung, Sweden. They have taught workshops at ASI on several previous occasions and toured extensively throughout the Midwest performing at the Nisswa-stämman, ASI Midsommar Celebration and Norsk Høstfest in Minot, North Dakota.

Ole Olsson’s Oldtimer Orkestra

Paul Wilson, Mary Abendroth, Char Bostrom and Art Bjorngjeld first met at Scandinavian social dances in Minneapolis. They play tunes and sing songs from Sweden, Norway and Finland. Instruments they play include pump organ, accordion, fiddle, jaw-harp, guitar and vocals. They have performed at venues all over the Midwest including annual appearances at the Nisswa-Stämman. If there is an old Scandinavian song or tune you want to hear they probably know it. 

Janet Carlson grew up in Eveleth, Minnesota and attended Gustavus Adolphus College. For fifteen years she was the vocalist for the Scandinavian Hotshots and her performance credits include the Snoose Boulevard Festival, the Prairie Home Companion Radio Show, New Sweden ’88 and Ironworld U.S.A as well as countless Scandinavian clubs around the region. She loves to go to Allsång på Skansen in Stockholm and has led Allsångs at ASI many times. 

Elise Peters has been an active member of the Nordic community throughout her life with a primary focus on Swedish language and traditions, her ancestral home. In Minnesota, she has been active with Sjölunden for 30 years, a founding member of the Twin Cities Nyckelharpalag, and the artistic director for the Twin Cities Swedish Folk Dancers for 20 years. Elise has taught dance workshops in Scandinavia as well as in the United States with a goal of getting everyone moving to the captivating music. 


Call 612-871-4907 for information.

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