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Nisswa-stamman Scandinavian Folk Music Festival coming to Nisswa

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NISSWA — Nisswa-stämman Scandinavian Folk Music Festival scheduled for June 7-8 is going into it’s 14th year with a crackerjack banner year of talented musicians. More than a dozen performers from Scandinavia will join forces with U.S.A. musicians to fill this year’s roster to overflowing with 164 performers. The list of Scandinavian performers includes Harald Haugaard and Helene Blum, Denmark’s most acclaimed fiddler and singer combine their talents in a special visit to Nisswa. Marie Skavnes and Lars Berg, Norway’s top prize-winning fiddler in the national 2012 competition, teams up with an accordion player. The Polka Chicks, top flight Finnish duo on fiddle and accordion that were favorites at the Nisswa-stämman in 2010. Bjärv duo, “fiddler of the realm” prize-winning fiddler and nyckelharpa from Sweden. Mette Jensen and Kristian Bugge, returns to Nisswa-stämman. They won this year’s Danish Grammy for best traditional music.

Headlining the event this year will be Denmark’s virtuoso violin player, Harald Haugaard and his wife Helene Blum. Haugaard first appeared at the festival in 2007 with his musical partner at the time, Morten Høirup. The duo Haugaard and Høirup performed together for 10 years and became one of Denmark’s biggest music export successes with approximately 1,000 concerts worldwide and seven highly regarded album releases. They were hugely popular at the Nisswa-stämman that year, and Høirup predicted that it would be the first of many years that Danes would grace the stage of Nisswa.

How right he was.

Danes has graced the stages of the Nisswa-stämman almost every year since he made that prophetic statement, each time proving to be an incredibly talented musician and popular with Nisswa audiences. This year, Haugaard will again take his turn on stage, accompanied by his wife. Blum is a well established folk artist in her own right with a successful career as singer, instrumentalist and composer. Currently on their “Open Eyes Tour 2013,” they have toured Europe, Japan and now North America.

Haugaard is one of the most acclaimed musicians on the Danish music scene today. He began playing the violin at the age of 7. One of his earliest and greatest influences was his grandfather Johannes who was a traditional accordion player. His mother Lene Sand Christensen was highly active in folk dance as a caller and teacher and Haugaard soon began playing for her classes. Haugaard is now an international composer, performer and professor of folk music at Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Odense. His masterful and inventive virtuoso fiddle playing has garnered him 12 Danish Music Awards over the years.

Blum has performed to audiences worldwide. In 2004, she became the first singer to graduate from the Carl Nielsen Academy with a folk music major. She specializes in reinventing ancient songs and ballads with contemporary expressions and weaves in her own newly written songs. While Blum’s music is deeply rooted in Danish music traditions, she is not afraid to challenge tradition.

Together, the duo have created a new canvas for Danish folk music. They perform with a delicate blend of old Danish dance tunes and songs. They also offer beautiful new compositions, and thrilling improvisations on their theme of preserving and enriching Danish folk music for the future.

For more information go online at or contact Paul Wilson at 764-2994 or

If You Go:

What: Nisswa-stämman Scandinavian Folk Music Festival.

When: June 7-8.

Where: Lutheran Church of the Cross, Nisswa Pioneer Village, Nisswa American Legion Post.


June 7

• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Scandinavian music and dancing workshops, Nisswa area, open to public. There is a fee involved. Email Janet Hill for information at

• 7 p.m.: Gala Opening Sampler concert, Lutheran Church of the Cross, Nisswa, $15 per person. All tickets available only at the door. Sales start at 6 p.m.

• 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.: Old time dance featuring several bands, Nisswa American Legion Club.

June 8

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Nisswa-stämman Festival, Nisswa Pioneer Village, $10 for adults and $1 for children 15 and under. All tickets available only at the gate.

• 4:30-7:30 p.m.: Smorgasbord, Nisswa American Legion, $1. Tickets available during the events.

• 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.: Old time dance featuring several bands, Nisswa American Legion Club.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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