Over the past 15 years Harald Haugaard has established himself as one of Denmark’s most well-known and recognised musicians. His virtuoso fiddle playing combines playful ease with a rich and melancholic sound. His compositions are contemporary, whilst remaining deeply rooted in the rich soils of the Danish musical tradition. In both composition and performance, Haugaard has shown himself to be an inquisitive and innovative artist who is continuously searching for something new. He brings a contemporary flair to the traditional Danish music in which he is clearly rooted.
Helene Blum has thrilled audiences throughout Europe, and from Canada to Japan, with her intensely expressive, crystal clear voice. Her artisticfocus embraces both traditional roots and innovation. Using ancient songs and ballads as a base, she reinvents them with contemporary expressions and mixes them elegantly with newly written songs, including her own. She is deeply rooted in Danish music traditions, but at the same time not afraid to challenge them.
By the age of two, she already wanted to play the violin, and all through her childhood her musical talent grew strong while playing with her three sisters. She played mainly piano, but also cello and violin, and from an early age sang the ballads and hymns that form her distinctive tradition.
She is touring all over the world in her own name and with the Helene Blum & Harald Haugaard Band and her latest album “Men med åbne øjne” was pointed as one of ten best folk albums of the year by the British news paper The Telegraph.
“Exuberant and rhythmic, somehow both wild and innocent, delivered with captivating melodic clarity and an irresistible playfulness,” says The Boston Globe about Hanneke Cassel’s playing. Such charismatic fiddling has brought Hanneke Cassel many honors and awards.
She is the 1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, she holds a Bachelor of Music in Violin and performance from Berklee College of Music, and she has performed and taught across the U.S., Scotland, Sweden, China, New Zealand, France, England, and Austria.
One of Shetland’s top fiddlers, Kevin is a long-standing member of leading bands Fiddlers’ Bid, Boys of the Lough, and Session A9. Kevin is also a member of the recently-formed Nordic Fiddler’s Bloc, a fiddle trio which combines Shetland, Swedish and Norwegian fiddle traditions to produce a diverse and invigorating sound. Kevin has been featured on 12 albums and has appeared on television and radio programmes worldwide.
Pete Cooper plays, teaches, composes, records and writes about fiddle music and is director of the London Fiddle School. He is best known for his book/CD The Complete Irish Fiddle Player (1995), published by Mel Bay, and four collections for Schott: Irish Fiddle Solos (2004), English Fiddle Tunes (2006), Eastern European Fiddle Tunes (2007) and American Old Time Fiddle Tunes (2009). He brings a relaxed, good-humoured approach to his workshops and concerts alike, and also sings, backing himself on fiddle or mandolin. He performs as a member of Anglo-Old Time trio Rattle on the Stovepipe, in a duo with cellist Richard Bolton, and solo. Pete travels widely to teach and perform, including trips to China (2004), India (2007) and Japan (2008, 2010).
Emma Reid grew up in the northeast of England and started playing the fiddle at the age of three with her Swedish mother. She has graduated with a Music Performance BA and Master of Music from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and Newcastle University respectively. In 2006 Emma became National Fiddler in Sweden, where she is now based.
Today Emma is an established artist with an impressive catalogue of performances and collaborations. She has a deeply personal style and a real ability to speak through her fiddle. Emma tours, records and teaches extensively throughout Scandinavia and Britain with amongst others Daniel Reid, Ellika Frisell, Lena Willemark, Rob Harbron, and the English folk string quartet Methera. She often collaborates with storytellers and dancers, and has performed as theatre musician at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm.
“Exquisite playing – assured, unhurried and gentle, yet brimming with energy and rhythm.”
“The playing of Emma Reid is truly delightful: she holds an audience through every enthralling note, with a musical dialect that is all her own but founded in two distinct traditions, English and Swedish.”
Lykke Søndergaard grew up with traditional music as well as classical and rhythmic music, and combined classical training with a passion for traditional music. She graduated from The Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Odense as a music teacher specialized in violin and traditional music.
Lykke teaches a lot of kids and young people and founded two youth string orchestras. She started several larger school projects, is working as folkmusic adviser and is engaged in keeping traditional music alive.
She has played concerts both on the danish folk and rhythmic scene and plays in different constellations.
Her primary artistic work is in the trio Nord-Spor,playing both traditional music from the region Himmerland, nordic and own music. Lykke works in in different collaborations on getting the music out new places and to new audiences.
Antti Järvelä grew up in a small town of Kaustinen, Finland, in a family where the traditional fiddling has been carried through several generations. He started playing the fiddle from the age of four and soon adapted the local dance fiddling style directly from his grandfather. In Kaustinen Music College Antti also started to learn the double bass, which soon became his main instrument. After studying bass at the famous Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, he decided to make music his profession. Antti works as a full-time freelance musician and teacher all around the world, carrying on the energy and fun he’s got to experience with folk music. He is the founder of the Finnish-Norwegian powerfolk string band Frigg and a member to such bands as Baltic Crossing, JPP, Troka, Kings of Polka.
Martin Strange Lorenzen
Martin Strange Lorenzen is a unique clarinetist and dancer specialising in the Danish tradition. Educated at Syddansk Musikkonservatorium in Esbjerg, Martin is considered to be one of his generations most fierce and skilled dance musicians. Known for his uncompromising sound, unrelenting drive and strong presence in bands like Mads Hansens Kapel and Mynsterland, Martin has made himself known in and outside Denmark as an ambitious and charismatic “wind-fiddler”, with a particular goal: Making dance music great again!
[Photo by: Ivan Riordan Boll]