Sunday, March 9, 2014, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)

leading Swedish folk revivalists

$23 advance / $25 door

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March 09 8:00 pm

VäsenVäsen is a band people rave about – mere praise doesn’t seem to be enough. According to the Utne Reader, the band “treads an enchanted territory between classical, folk, and pop.” National Public Radio’s All Things Considered puts it this way: “The absurdly broad term world music is rendered useless in the face of these musicians who play with such genuine passion and glee that everything on the globe seems to disappear except their hometown fires. This is local music in the best sense of the term – believable, human-scaled, and fluent in the international language of musical interplay.” Here’s what the folks at Wired say: “The sound may be traditional, but the attitude is completely modern, mixing up the ideas of folk, the virtuosity of prog, and the humor of the insane asylum into a Cuisinart of acoustic bliss. Visualize whirled music.” World music or whirled, the musicians of Väsen take the traditional music of their native Sweden and blend it into a delicious mixture of distinctive rhythms, gorgeous melodies, and unstoppable grooves.

Mikail Marin plays viola, Roger Tallroth plays 12-string guitar, and Olov Johansson plays nykelharpa, a bowed, 16-string instrument related to both the hurdy-gurdy and the fiddle. In 1990, Olov became world champion of both the modern chromatic and older historical nyckelharpas at the first-ever Nyckelharpa World Championships at Österbybruk, Sweden. The trio has been performing and recording together ever since. They’ve appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, won the Swedish equivalent of a Grammy, worked with Mike Marshall and Darol Anger as well as with the Kronos Quartet, and recorded 15 albums, including their latest, Mindset, which the website about.com calls “the best they’ve ever released.” That same reviewer calls Väsen “one of the best bands in the world.” Not one of the best Swedish bands or one of the best traditional bands, just one of the best bands, period. The word väsen has several meanings – spirit, essence, noise. This talented Swedish trio conveys the essence of Swedish traditional music with a joyful noise that is very likely to raise your spirits!

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Photo by Mia Marin

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