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Visiting Danish master musicians
highlight Folklife concert and dance

Peter Uhrbrand & Ole Mouritzen, from Sønderho, Denmark, will be visiting Seattle and the Northwest in May of this year. Martha Levenson visited Peter in Sønderho last year and says this in her blog about the experience:

“Peter Uhrbrand is the master, the tradition bearer. He played for many years under the eye of the last two tradition bearers, a pair of brothers who were the sixth or seventh generation of fiddlers in a familial line.”

Skandia dancers have been dancing the Sønderhoning for many years. Now, we will have many chances to hear it played by tradition bearers, in concert and at dances. The first opportunities will be at the 43rd Annual Northwest Folklife Festival, an entire long weekend of fun, food, and music. Starting May 24, Saturday morning, at 11 a.m., Peter and Ole will start off a Scandinavian Showcase Concert, to be held in the Cornish Theater (formerly the Intiman Theater). This exciting concert will feature four unique groups, each offering its own perspective on traditional (and perhaps not-so-traditional) Scandinavian music. As well as Peter and Ole, you can count on Mäd Fiddlu, Irene Myers & John Peekstok, and Hale Bill and the Bopps to delight you with their varied repertoire.

The doors to the small theater will open at 10:30, so be sure to arrive early to grab your seat for this unique musical

Scandinavian Showcase, 11a.m.–1 p.m., Saturday, May 24, Cornish Theater, Seattle Center

Peter Uhrbrand & Ole Mouritzen
Mäd Fiddlu
Irene Myers & John Peekstok
Hale Bill and the Bopps

But wait! Yet another sterling set of musicians will be on hand Saturday to delight your ear and tickle your feet. Four bands will play for your dancing pleasure from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Armory (formerly the Center House). Skandia’s adopted children, the Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag, will start off the dance, followed by those Danish masters, Peter and Ole, giving you the opportunity to dance as they do in Sønderho. Then, in a first for this dance, the Smilin’ Scandinavians will bring their polkas, waltzes, schottisches, and humor to the Armory. And, now you can close a long Scandinavian Saturday at Folklife by reviewing your Kathi’s Cues and putting your polska shoes on to dance to the wonderful music of Skolkis.

Dance, 7–10 p.m., Saturday, March 24, The Armory, Seattle Center

(Times approximate; check listing at stage)
7–7:35 (35 min) Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag
7:45–8:25 (40 min) Peter Uhrbrand and Ole Mouritzen
8:35–9:10 (35 min) Smilin’ Scandinavians
9:20–10 (40 min) Skolkis

—Don Meyers

From Fanø to the USA

The Fifth Friday Dance gets kicked up a notch with Danish style! Peter Uhrbrand and Ole Mauritzen join us for the weekend, starting with the Fifth Friday Dance at Epiphany Church. Peter and Ole hail from the tiny village of Sønderho on Fanø Island. Located at the southern tip of the island, the village has a several-hundred-year continuous history of music and dance. But there is great music on the north end of the island too, where locals dance Fannik. Peter and Ole will play for these two dances, plus a selection of patterns, sets, and/or mixers from around Denmark. You won’t want to miss a minute, so be on hand right at 8 p.m. when dancing starts, and our guests take the floor. The
evening’s music is augmented by that terrific trio, Mäd
Fiddlu, who will alternate sets with Peter and Ole. Of course, you’ll want your dance shoes, and why not bring a snack or something sweet to share?

Save some energy for Saturday! There are two workshops, and a second evening dance planned. There is something for everyone!

On Saturday morning, Peter and Ole lead a dance workshop at the Cedar Valley Grange, starting at 10 a.m. and wrapping up at 12:30 p.m. Planned teaching includes not only dances from Fanø, but other choices that may include Femspring, a dance from neighboring Mandø Island, dances from Oksobel, a village on the West coast of Denmark, Engelsk, and Hopsa. The cost of the workshop is $25.

Musicians, there is a workshop for you, as well, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., also at the Cedar Valley Grange. Plan to learn at least one new Sønderhoning, with current styling, plus other tunes for dances from Fanø and beyond. Musicians, it is recommended that you bring a recording device. Tunes will be taught by ear. The cost of this workshop is also $25.

Wrap up the weekend with a second evening of dancing, focusing on Denmark. The Saturday evening dance has an early start—7 p.m.—as we welcome families and people of all ages to join us for a Danish celebration! The evening kicks off with easy dances, sets, patterns, and mixers, and will feature dances learned earlier in the day. But, there will be more music from other Nordic countries, too, as we welcome Peter Michaelsen and Joe Finn! The dance will be held at the LDS Meeting House in Shoreline. Admission is $10 for Skandia members and $15 for nonmembers, and dancing is from 7 to 10 p.m. It is a great night to ask a friend to join you! Dessert and snack contributions are appreciated.

Address and directions for Epiphany Church: 1805 38th Ave. , Seattle. From Highway 520, take the Montlake exit, cross 24th Street to Lake Washington Blvd, and drive through the Arboretum. Cross Madison at the light and continue to 32nd Ave (marked by a yellow fire light). Turn right on 32nd; go down the hill past Martin Luther King, Jr. School, and up the other side. At the “Do Not Enter” sign, take a sharp left turn uphill onto East Denny Way. At the top of the hill (34th Ave), bear left. The church is on the right side of Denny between 37th and 38th Avenues. The dance hall is on the second floor. Take the walkway past the church parking lot, and go to the second building on your left.

Address and directions for the LDS Meeting House: 14901 30th Ave. N.E.. Shoreline, WA 98000. From NE 145th St., turn north onto either 28th Ave. NE or 30th Ave. NE. Continue approximate two blocks to the parking lot entrance for the LDS Meeting House. Please note that there is plentiful parking on the 28th Ave NE side.

—Martha Levenson

NW Spelmansstämma 2014

Musicians and dancers, mark your calendar for the Northwest Spelmansstämma, Saturday, September 6, at the lovely home of Jim and Margaret Noyes in Clearview. At this 2014 stämma, we expect visiting Malung fiddler Johan Holland, winner of the 2009 Tällberg Stipendium. This will be a fabulous opportunity for music, dancing and fun for all, so don’t miss out!

Emma Anderson