Bäsk was a brilliant acoustic trio of three Swedish masters: Jonas Simonson on flute; Sten Källman on saxes and percussion; and fiddler Hans Kennemark.
Bäsk brought fresh arrangements to the acoustic trio sound, taking melodies designed for solo fiddle and arranging them for a trio. The instrumentation changed from fiddle-flute-soprano saxophone to fiddle backed by bass and baritone sax.
Karen Tweed was born in Willesden, London, UK in 1963. She has Irish and English roots. Tweed is an accordion virtuoso known for her work with The Kathryn Tickell Band (1990-1993), The Poozies, Roger Wilson, Sally Barker and her insatiable appetite for Irish sessions. Tweed has also recorded two releases with Ian Carr, Fyace (Fyasco) and Shhh (Hypertension).
She was a member of Anglo-Swedish band Swåp 1997-2005.
The Palm Of Your Hand, with Roger Wilson (1987)
Beating The Drum, with Sally Barker & The Rhythm (1992)
Signs, with The Kathryn Tickell Band (1993)
Chantoozies, with The Poozies (1993) Drops Of Springwater (1994)
The Silver Spire (1994)
Irish Choice Tune Book (1994)
Courage, Love and Grace, with Pete Morton (1995)
Dansoozies, with The Poozies (1995)
Shhh, with Ian Carr (1995) Fyace, with Ian Carr(1997) Swåp (Amigo, 1997)
New Directions In The Old, with Roy Bailey (1997)
Come Raise Your Head, with The Poozies (1998) Sic, with Swåp (Amigo, 1999)
Half As Happy As We, with The Two Duos Quartet (1999)
Infinite Blue, with The Poozies (2000)
Coda, with Roy Bailey (2000)
Raise your head: A Retrospective, with The Poozies (2001)
May Monday, with Timo Alakotila (2001)
Mosquito Hunter, with Swåp (2002)
One Roof Under, with Andy Cutting (2002)
Faerd, with Faerd (2003)
Changed Days Same Roots, with The Poozies (2003)
Each Step on the Way, with Tony Hilliard (2005) Du Da, with Swåp (2005)
Gastbud, with Morten Alfred Hoirup and Harald Haaugaard (2005)
Essentially Invisible to the Eye (2012)
Swåp is a transnational band featuring two Swedish and two British musicians; two men and two women; a combination of Nordic folk fiddling and traditional Celtic music. Their music moves effortlessly from Swedish polska to Irish jig, from Swedish “vals” to British waltz, with swinging arrangements, memorable original compositions, grace, respect and passion.
Band member Ian Carr describes the band’s sound: “When Karen and I learn a Swedish tune off Ola and Carina, we hear it in our style, which is miles away from the way traditional Swedish music sounds in the hands of a real Swedish musician; just as when Karen and I teach an Irish tune to Ola and Carina, the same thing happens: the music changes.”
All four members of Swap are active composers and prominent in the English and Swedish roots music scenes.
The four original musicians were: Karen Tweed on piano accordion; Ian Carr on guitar; Carina Normansson on vocals and fiddle; and Ola Backstrom on vocals and viola d’amore.
Karen Tweed left the ensemble in 2007.
Swåp (Amigo, 1997) Sic (Amigo, 1999)
Mosquito Hunter (2002) Du Da (2005)
Roger Tallroth was born on November 21, 1958, With his specially tuned guitar (A-D-A-D-A-D), Tallroth has developed a distinctive sound of his own. In addition to the guitar, he plays the Swedish bouzouki and octave mandolin. Roger received his first guitar when he was thirteen. Since then he has studied at Sjovik Folkhogskola and Orebro College of Music and is presently a teacher at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He has given numerous seminars around Europe and the United States.
Roger is best known as a member of the band Väsen. He has performed together with Nordman, Annbjorg Lien and the Gunnel Mauritzson Group among other artists and has also participated in several stage and theater productions.
Roger’s discography includes Nordman (with Nordman), Felefeber and Prisme (with Annbjorg Lien), Siluette (with the Gunnel Mauritzson Group), The Horse and the Crane by Ale Moller and Kat Kombat (Kombat). He also appears on the Annbjorg Lien recording Baba Yaga (2000).
Peter Puma Hedlund is one of leading exponents of the nyckelharpa in the world today. A composer and one of the main forces in the revival of the nyckelharpa and its music, he is a well respected and sought after instructor as well as performance artist on this unusual traditional folk instrument. Peter’s CDs are released on the independent label RPM Music which he started together with Rita Leydon a Swedish born American who also co-produces Peter’s instructional DVDs.
“What sets Peter apart from the rush of younger Swedish harpa players is that he’s not trying to appeal to anyone, Leydon explains, he simply remains true to his roots and his music while at the same time expanding and evolving. The music is so lovely and his skill at presenting it is so exceptional that it needs no embellishing no dressing up no gimmicks.”
The nyckelharpa is a traditional Swedish instrument that has been played in one form or another for more than 6 years and just barely escaped extinction in the mid-1900s. Interest in the nyckelharpa and its music has exploded all over the world in recent years primarily in the USA but also in Japan France England Canada and Italy.
Fiddler Ola Bäckström was born in 1959 in Dalarna, Sweden. He is known for his work with The Simon Simonsson Kvartet, Den Fule (Quake NSD61), Boot (Virvla NSD639) and Traton (with Carina Normansson and Maria Jonsson).
Ola plays the viola d’amore”, a non-standard version of the Baroque instrument”, which has 5 playing strings and 4 resonating strings. The fiddle head features a dragon head carving”, a replica of an old Swedish fiddle. The inking on the side copies a Stradivarius violin.
Ola Bäckström formed Anglo-Swedish band Swap in 1995 along with British musicians Karen Tweed (accordion) and Ian Carr (guitar) and Swedish artist Carina Normansson (fiddle, vocals).
Ola Bäckström (1994) SWÅP (Amigo/Northside Records, 1997) Sic (Amigo/Northside Records, 1999) Mosquito Hunter (2002) Du Da (Amigo/Northside Records, 2005)
Mikael Marin is a violist who became a national fiddler in 1983 and was chosen to play in a world orchestra under the direction of Leonard Bernstein in 1989.
When not performing with one of Sweden’s leading contemporary folk music bands, Vasen, Mikael composes, produces and arranges music for artists such as Mikael Samuelsson, Nordman and The Kronos Quartet.
Hemlig stod jag (1991)
Mot Hagsätra (2008)
Force majeure (2011)
Jonas Simonson has a unique and profoundly personal approach to playing the flutes along with the bass saxophone. He began with classical training but converted to Swedish Folk Music and hasn’t been the same since.
His ornamented and cadence-rich style can be heard with the group Bask a trio with Sten Kallman and Hans Kennermark and in recordings with the bands Den Fule and Groupa.
Jonas Simonson has also worked with SÃ¥ngensemblen Amanda and Kapell Frisell. Also he has performed baroque music with Utomjordiska Theatre in Gothenburg. Jonas Simonson trained at the College of Music in Gothenburg.
Quake, with Den Fule
Bäsk, with Bäsk (Xource/MNW XOUCD 124 in Sweden NorthSide NSD 636 in USA 1999)
Johan Hedin was born on December 10, 1969 in Trekanten, Sweden. He plays nyckelharpa oktavnyckelharpa (octave keyfiddle), octave mandola and is also a vocalist. He’s a well-known nyckelharpa player who is admired for his way of handling the instrument.
For many years he has worked on developing the keyed fiddle as an instrument for example by making several new models in different registers. He usually plays in small intimate constellations or as a soloist in various contexts.
Hedin has recorded with numerous artists, including Bazar Blå. He is also part of the duo Hazelius – Hedin, along with Esbjörn Hazelius.
Angel Archipelago (1998) Innersta polskan (2004)
Om du ville människa heta, with Hazelius – Hedin (2011)
Sunnan, with Hazelius – Hedin (2014)