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Not your common folk: Master Danish folk musicians coming for Nisswa festival

Master Danish folk musicians Kristian Bugge (left) and Mette Jensen (right) will

NISSWA — Master Danish folk musicians Mette Jensen and Kristian Bugge will make another trip back to the 2011 Nisswa-stämman Scandinavian Folk Music Festival, which is scheduled June 10-11.

They first appeared at Nisswa-stämman in 2008 to rave reviews and this time will be joined by Iowan Dwight Lamb. Lamb is a third-generation Danish/American who learned many traditional Danish folk tunes from his immigrant grandfather, Chris Jerup. 

Jensen and Bugge attended different schools, but were neighbors for years as children in mainland Denmark. They attended a weekly folk dancing class and sometimes danced together. They were too shy to talk as children, but are making up for lost time.

Jensen and Bugge both attended the Folk Music Department of the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts of southern Denmark. Mette and Bugge were interested in the purely traditional side of Danish music and started their own duo, under the name of Jensen and Bugge.

Today, 10 years after Jensen on accordion and Bugge on violin graduated as qualified players and teachers of traditional Danish folk music, both have careers as professional folk musicians.

“From the word go it’s been traditional music that we cherish and we focus on. That’s how we met, and we have played countless concerts and for dances both in Denmark, Germany, the USA and even in South Korea — all over the world,” Bugge said.

Said Jensen: “We visit lots of old musicians, learn their music and the different playing styles that still exist in the various parts of the country. You could say we are specialists in the musical dialects of Denmark.”

The Nisswa-stämman festival will features 130 folk musicians performing on three stages, with day-long dancing opportunities on two dance floors, dance instruction, a cultural children’s activity/performance tent and Scandinavian food. The festival will be at the Nisswa Pioneer Village in Nisswa. 

This is the 12th year of the festival. Winning musicians from Scandinavia who will perform along with Jensen, Bugge and Lamb include Arto Järvelä, a legendary Finnish multi-instrumentalist; the Näsbom brothers, master musicians on nyckelharpa and fiddle, Sweden; and Frøholm and Gytri, an accomplished and innovative duo from Norway on hardingfele and accordion.

American groups and individuals appearing include Bruce Sagan and Lydia Ievins, Kaivama, Loretta Kelley, Andrea Een, Kip Peltoniemi, Skålmusik, the American Swedish Institute Spelmanslag, Twin Cities Nyckelharpalag, Hütenänny and Finn Hall Band.

For more information, contact Paul Wilson at (218) 764-2994, pwilson@ or