Scandinavian instrumental and dance workshops, featuring top level musicians from Denmark, Sweden, Finalnd and Norway will take place on one day only June 12, 2009 in Nisswa, Mn. These workshops are offered in conjunction with Nisswa-stämman Scandinavian Folkmusic Festival, June 12, 13, 2009. The sessions start at 10 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m., with a lunch break in the middle. Students should be at intermediate levels and be willing to learn tunes by ear. All workshops are generally taught by ear and participants are encouraged to bring recording devices. Cost for the sessions will be ~ $20 per each 2 hour session, or $35 for two sessions. (from the same teacher). The 'musicians lunch' happens at noon, and will consist of cold cuts, vegies, fruit, etc and cost an extra $5. (no lunch provided at the dance workshops...but downtown Nisswa is right there with several restaurants)

TO SIGN UP, Please contact Paul Wilson - or 218-764-2994.

This is our special tenth anniversary and we are showered with TONS of lovely musicians. This presents a blessing and a problem for us. The blessing is obvious! The problem is not so obvious, but is simply this: We are going to have trouble filling all the workshops with students this year. Two things need to happen: 1) everyone who took a workshop last year needs to return. 2) many more people need to sign up. If you know of anyone who may be interested, please pass the word... think of any scheme you can to get the word out in your community! Thanks!

and.. related to this problem of too many teachers for students... it may be possible that some of the workshops won't be viable... won't have enough students to be worth the day's effort of the teacher. If this happens, you will either be asked to pick a second choice... OR, you could perhaps negotiate a more private lesson with the teacher in question too. When you register, it would be a good plan to also give me your second choice at that time. 

Exact workshop locations for each teacher have not been determined yet this year, but many will be at Don & Mary Anne Bennett's house or in that general vicinity, south of Nisswa on Long Lake. The two dance workshops will be at the Nisswa Pioneer Village

Workshop teachers/descriptions    make sure you scroll all the way down the page, there are 15 workshops!

*** All workshops are generally taught by ear and participants are encouraged to bring recording devices. 

You can download a pdf version of this page for printing here.

Fiddling workshops

10 am to 3 pm NEW! Beginning Swedish Fiddling Workshop ...Monica Sommarström, Stefan Steger and Kalle Eriksson of Rättvik, Sweden leading the sessions. These three fiddlers are all veterans of Nisswa-stämman, having performed here in other years with Öj Pojkar and the Rättviks Spelmanslag. This year they are performing as guests of the ASI Spelmanslag, and also as their own group entitled “Öj Poljkar Ultra Light”. They will conduct workshops for fiddlers who are at a more beginning level of fiddling and haven’t had much, or any, exposure to Swedish fiddle music. They will teach walking tunes (marches), waltzes and polskas from their home area. They will talk about rhythms in the music and give an overview of their music and how it fits into their everyday lives in Rättvik. They will provide sheet music and recordings of the tunes they teach, so participants can take the music home with them and continue to work on them. This is a great opportunity for beginning fiddlers.

10 am to 3 pm Bosse Larsson - Swedish fiddling. .. is a riksspelman and a highly respected fiddler in Sweden, playing in the tradition of his uncle, Viksta-Lasse (1897-1983), who was playing partner to the famous Bingsjö fiddler Hjort Anders. Bo also plays music from his home province Uppland, especially in the tradition of Gås-Anders. Bosse has played and taught fiddle throughout Sweden and North America. His rich repertoire and magical playing provide every student with an unforgettable experience. His workshops will be broken up into two themes: 10 a.m. to Noon: Dalarna tunes (Sweden). Bosse Larson will teach tunes from his uncle Viksta Lasse’s teacher and friend Hjort Anders Olsson from Bingsjö in Dalarna.                         1 pm to 3 pm: Bosse's afternoon workshop will focus on the repertoire of Viksta Lasse and Gås Anders – both legends in the Uppland folk music tradition. Bosse had the opportunity to play with his uncle, Viksta Lasse, for over 20 years resulting in Bosse’s personal skill and depth in this tradition.

10 am to 3 pm Esko Järvelä - Finnish fiddling. .. Esko is a tradition bearer in the Kaustinen line of fiddlers and one of the 'hottest' fiddlers in Finland today. His father is Mauno Järvelä, member of JPP and famous violin educator and composer. He plays in bands like Frigg, Tsuumi Sound System, Baltic Crossing and Tötterssön. Esko will teach old style Kaustinen tunes and also some Polska and Menuet traditions from Swedish speaking areas in Finland. You can hear his music on his myspace page here.

10 am to 3 pm Nils Tovrud - Norwegian fiddling ..  Nils is from Sigdal, Buskerud county, Norway. He plays the fiddle (and the Hardanger fiddle). "Today, I like to play all kinds of folk music, but I certainly feel a special connection to the local music from Sigdal. Sigdal is one of few areas in Norway where "regular" fiddle and Hardanger fiddle has been played side by side" I will teach a Norwegian "slått" or two, the choice depending on the level of the participants, and integrate some playing technique teaching into it.

1 pm to 3 pm Kirstine Sand - Danish fiddling..  plays traditional music from Denmark with lots of nerve and energy. She has been playing the fiddle since she was 6 years old and has been taught both classical and traditional music. She has learned the special style of music from the Isle of Fanø by Peter Uhrbrand. Kirstine graduated from the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Odense with a Folk degree, and in the summer 2007 she released her first album called: "Kirstine Sand, Det dansende par" which is nominated for two Danish Music Awards (Danish Grammys): "Danish Folk Artist of the year" and "Danish Folk debut of the year". In this workshop you will learn some traditional Danish tunes and some new tunes. Kirstine will talk about how to vary them in relation to the Danish tradition and also with inspiration from other countries. She will also work on bowings and ornamentation, Danish traditional style. Her myspace page is here.

10 am to 12 noon Tore Bolstad - Norwegian hardingfele. .. Tore Bolstad is a master Hardanger fiddle player from one of the well-known branches in the Norwegian folk music tradition. Playing since age 9, primarily traditional music, his playing is characterized by clear tones and a driving dance beat. He is a much sought after teacher and has experience teaching in Norway and internationally. During this workshop, Tore will teach traditional tunes from the Valdres region which he has learned from fiddlers who have served as his teachers and inspiration, among them his great uncle Torleiv Bolstad and his grandfather Torgier Bolstad..

10 am to 12 noon Cajsa Ekstav - Swedish an accomplished Swedish nyckelharpa player, fiddler, and traditional singer (see singing workshop also). Born in Vendel in the province of Uppland, she grew up surrounded by the rich folk music tradition for which the area is known. In 1990 Cajsa was awarded the title of “Riksspelman” (fiddler of the realm). In 2008 she was awarded the prestigious “Uppland Spelmansförbund” gold medal. The award honored her fiddling, singing, teaching skills, and for inspiring the devotion of many to Swedish folk music. Cajsa has traveled extensively performing and teaching the music of Uppland. Content of the workshop will be influenced by the interest of the group. Parallel with teaching a tune/melody, she squeezes in bowing techniques to give a danceable groove, ornaments, how to play in parts and accompaniment. It has been said about Cajsa: She has the ability to make what seems like an impossible tune to learn a "walk in the park."

Accordion Workshops  --- we may split all of these into half day sessions only ...

10 am to 3 pm Audun Eken - Norwegian Two Row Button Accordion (G-C will work best) .. Audun is working as a self employed logbuilder, woodcarver, and as a musician. He started playing the torader at the age of 15, and began to study fulltime folkmusic study in Fagernes in 1992. He studied music for six years. For the torader workshop he says: "I play Norwegian gammeldans (polkas, reinlender, waltz, mazurkas), Springar , halling, pols (older trad. Dance-music) and a lot of jigs / reels, and newly composed concert music. Closer to classical. Here in Norway I have been working  a lot with tecniques to give my students the right tools simply to get better both individual, and as a group. A lot of instructors here teach melodies only and this is ok, but I try to do a bit of both, and the feedback has been positive.. What the seminar-content should be is a bit up to the students, how much time we have, skill level etc. Let's say that they will learn a good melody or two, and if they are interested, I can reveal a few torader-secrets."

10 am to 3 pm Syver Olstad - Norwegian Accordion styling .. Born in Lom, Gudbrandsdalen in 1967. He now lives in Trofors in Nordland. Syver started playing accordion at the age of ten. He has been a member in several famous ensembles like: Bygdakvintetten, Edgar Heringstads, Påsans and Hilmars. Syver has held many seminars in gammeldans.Syver has participated in several competitions, for instance, winning first place in the national accordion championship with a trøndersk gammeldans band 1993 and first place with Hilmars in the national accordion championship 2003. He has recorded his own cd in 2006. Syver's workshop will concentrate on local melodies from Gudbrandsdalen, such as masurka, polka, and reinlender.

1 pm to 3 pm Eskil Romme - Danish Accordion styling..."THE SAXOPHONE- & ACCORDION PLAYER, ESKIL ROMME, is a man of relative few words, but a lot of idealism, an idealism that he seems to be able to realize into action more often than most idealists that I have known. Eskil plays in several bands, traveling around the world performing a mix of traditional and contemporary Nordic and Celtic music, but at the same time he and his wife, Gertrud, run an organic farm situated in one of the most beautiful spots in Himmerland, in the Northern part of Denmark. More here

10 am to 12 noon Örjan Englund - Swedish Accordion accompaniment styling...Örjan Englund is well known throughout Sweden for his talent in complementing fiddle, nyckelharpa, and voice with the sweet sound of his accordion. In addition to being a masterful accompaniment player, Örjan skillfully plays melodies from Sweden, primarily from Uppland, but also tunes written himself. The workshop will not only focus on accompaniment but also melody and harmony playing.

Guitar/Singing Workshops  

10 am to 3 pm - Tuomas Logrén, instrumental guitar - Finland a versatile guitar player who plays in many important Finnish folk music bands such as Frigg, Pauliina Lerche & Co, Teija Niku & Balkan - and with Esko Järvelä. His plan for his workshop: "I think some traditional simple Finnish (maybe one or two depending how much time we have)  melodies would be nice, even singing, and then also focus on chords, what kind of voicings and why I might put in them, and how then to put them in rhythm etc... Also I like to comment on people's grips and hand/arm/wrist positions, but usually there´s not quite right moments for that in short workshops, but sometimes it´s ok I think."

10 am to 12 noon - Rod Sinclair, singer, Danish songs - sings and plays guitar and 5-string banjo. Moving with the folk music revival from Scotland to Europe, Rod has played and sung from Greenland to the Mediterranean, from Russia to the US Great Lakes. A writer, broadcaster and teacher, Rod has been associated with the Tønder Festival in South Denmark since its start in 1974. His workshop will concentrate on Danish songs and tunes on the guitar and banjo and will be on the meeting between the Scots tradition and the Nordic, on migration songs in particular and on the possibility of translating folk songs, with examples and open to discussion throughout.

1 pm to 3 pm - Cajsa Ekstav, singer, Swedish Traditional Songs...Cajsa has collected old Swedish songs in an oral tradition for more than 30 years. Her repertoire is a never ending well. She always has a new old song to teach. When she is out performing Cajsa often mixes playing nyckelharpa, fiddle with traditional singing. In groups such as Vendelkråkorna and Tresmak, singing in three part harmony has been a signature style for both of these groups. Cajsa will teach songs from various areas in Sweden and she’ll mix different kinds of songs, such as love songs, lullabies, drinking songs, and humorous songs. No special previous knowledge in singing Swedish traditional songs is needed to join this workshop. If you’ll like to sing, just join! Cajsa will print out Swedish texts and hand out to participants. Örjan Englund will join her on this workshop and he will play the accordion or the guitar to some of the songs.   

Participants are encouraged to bring recording devices. 

Dance Workshops 

in the Dance Barn at the Nisswa Pioneer Village  (No lunch available with the dance can eat in Nisswa at several restaurants.)

10 am to 12 noon - Danish Family Dances .. Kirstine Sand. We will learn some traditional Danish dances and we will talk about what kind of dances we have the most in Denmark compared to the rest of Scandinavia. Bring the whole family and we will consider some sort of family rates! Teaching and help and music by Eskil Fromme.

1 pm to 3 pm - Valdres Springar ...Tore Bolstad. Tore grew up on a farm located in the Valdres region of Norway. This area not only has a strong Hardanger fiddle tradition but also a strong living dance tradition. In addition to his masterful fiddle playing, Tore is a skillful dancer in the Valdres tradition, with Knut Steinsrud as his main teacher. This dance workshop will focus on the steps, tours and turns comprising the Valdres springar.
Joining Tore to teach this workshop is Mary Hegge. Mary began dancing Valdres springar in 1989 and has taught springar at numerous workshops in the US, Sweden and Norway. Mary has lived part time in Valdres since 1993.

Participants are encouraged to have smooth soled shoes and some previous dance experience.

Take a look at previous workshop pages: 2008 workshop page / 2007 workshop page / 2006 workshop page / 2005 workshop page

Take a look at some shots from the 2004 workshops with the Järvelä family of Kaustinen, Finland, > 2004 workshops.

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