Tag Archives: Scandinavian music

Successful Nordic Folk Alliance Conference 2019

Vilda – Photo by Emilie Dill

Over 200 music professionals and 27 music acts were part of the inaugural Nordic Folk Alliance conference that took place April 10-12 in Gothenburg, Sweden, at the Waterfront Hotel.

Although the showcase section was focused on the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland, delegates from Estonia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States also took part.

Nordic Folk Alliance marks Folk Alliance International’s first formal international expansion. The Nordic Folk Alliance was overseen by representatives from Export Music Sweden, Music Norway, Music Finland, and Tempi (Denmark’s Roots Music office).

Åke Lundström, Folk Alliance International’s Nordic Representative stated, “It was really a great event, and I think that we succeeded in having the folk music community from the Nordic countries, in a professional level, talk with each other and work together.”

More information at liveatheart.se/nordicfolk


Artist Profiles: Frigg

Frigg live in Norway in 2010 – Photo by Angel Romero

Frigg specializes in the rich folk heritage from Finland and Norway. The musicians combine elements of their respective folk traditions with touches of American Appalachian bluegrass and country & western music.

The seven-piece band contains three young Järvelä, two sons and a daughter of the most famous fiddle family in Finland, whose fathers and uncles founded JPP, and two Larsen brothers, members of a comparable Norwegian Hardanger fiddle clan. The traditional sounds are then boosted with innovative arrangements, and combined with mandola, cittern, double bass, guitar and dobro.

Frigg has been impressing festival audiences in Scandinavia and creating a phenomenal sensation among listeners and fellow musicians. Their debut CD, Frigg, was co-produced by Timo Alakotila.

With Oasis, the Finnish/Norwegian string band returned with a great new set of inventive tunes. Using traditional music as the starting point and their family ties to the great Finnish fiddle ensemble JPP, creating remarkable string music that incorporates elements of bluegrass and other American folk influences.

While a few compositions on their second CD, are given some expanded instrumentation, the highlight remains strong tunes, such as the hauntingly beautiful title track, and the crowd-pleasing “Fantomen,” that was very well received when the band appeared on the American public radio program “A Prairie Home Companion” on October 1, 2005.


* Frigg (2002)
* Keidas-Oasis-Oase (2005)
* Live (2007)
* Economy Class (2008)
* Grannen (Frigg Music, 2010)
* Timeline, compilation (2014)


Artist Profiles: Afenginn


Afenginn is a Balkan-Scandinavian quintet from Denmark featuring mandolin, clarinets, violin, electric bass and drums. Virtuosic and original, they categorize their style as folk-based bastard-ethno.

Afenginn has collaborated with American trumpeter Frank London, whose prolific career as musician, bandleader, composer and producer with The Klezmatics, among others, and quirky experiments with jazz and Gypsy traditions, are a good match for the band’s trajectory.


Bastard Etno
Reptilica Polaris

Website: www.afenginn.dk


Land of Fiddlers

Frigg - Oasis
Frigg – Oasis


Scandinavia is a land of excellent fiddlers. In the past months, a new batch of recordings featuring top folk violinists from the Nordic countries ha appeared in record stores.

Frigg’s latest offering is Oasis. The Finnish band specializes in the folk songs of Finland and Norway, with a bit of bluegrass added for spice. Even though the fiddles play the leading role, Frigg also uses wind instruments, bagpipes and other elements. The song selection ranges from lively dance pieces to delightful melodic compositions.


Swåp - Du Da
Swåp – Du Da


Swedish band Swåp presents a captivating combination of Celtic music with Swedish folk on Du Da. The Swedish and British musicians that form the band explore these sounds with the help of accordion, fiddles and guitars.

One of the stars of contemporary Nordic folk music is Swedish group Väsen. The virtuoso instrumentalists perform their new brand of Swedish folk music throughout Europe, North America and Japan. It is in Japan where the brilliant trio recorded its most recent offering, a live album.


Väsen - Live in Japan
Väsen – Live in Japan


Live in Japan portrays three excellent musicians playing smoking live versions of Swedish polskas, bluegrass-influenced tunes and other folk styles using fiddle, nyckelharpa (Swedish hurdy-gurdy) and fiddle. The double set includes a DVD with a documentary about the group.


Rusk II
Rusk II

From Norway comes Rusk II, featuring the vocals of Unni Lovlid, the accordion of Frode Haltli and the hardanger fiddle of Vegar Vardal.

The song selection includes folk songs from Sweden and Norway, ranging from pols dances and hymns to drinking songs and even a tribute to Johnny Cash. Nevertheless, the ambiance is not merry, but rather evocative and melancholic, with a chamber music ensemble feel.