Your Communities. Your Traditions. Your Folklife.
Northwest Folklife aims to strengthen our communities through arts and culture. This calendar brings together our greater community’s events and gatherings. Here, you will find events ranging from cultural celebrations to music and dance performances and traditional gatherings.
Together, we can continue to celebrate the rich arts, cultures, and traditions that thrive in the greater Pacific Northwest.
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Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag
March 3 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm$12 – $17
Come out and hear this amazing Seattle-based group of young musicians who are carrying forward the Nordic folk music tradition! The group was started more than 50 years ago by Gordon Tracie and is the only surviving group is its kind in the United States. Last year they celebrated ten years under the leadership of Martha Levenson, who was awarded the prestigious Award of Merit by the Swedish Council of America in April 2016 for her work with this childrens group.
The Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag, currently made up talented young musicians ages 8 to 15, is in demand around the Pacific Northwest and stays busy with ten shows a year, including playing for dances, at festivals, pancake breakfasts, Syttende Mai celebrations and parades, and even touring in Sweden and Denmark! In 2013, the group toured in Sweden, wowing audiences with their two and three-part harmonies, beautiful styling for dancing, and visible and audible love of the music. Their tour included performing at the opening ceremonies at Binsjöstämman, the largest folk festival in Sweden. There’s a story there… They left the emcee literally speechless, so they got to play a third tune! Their second tour was to Denmark 2017. The next tour is tentatively planned for Norway in 2021. Martha’s work with the Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag is featured in the March 2016 issue of Folkemusikk, Norway’s largest folk music publication.
What do they play? Great, energetic, rhythmic, beautifully styled folk music meant for dance! This group teaches youth a living tradition, the music from the Nordic countries of Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The music is taught in a cultural context linked to history, dance, a way of life, and to the current folk music scene. All of the music, including harmonies, is learned the traditional way, by ear. They work hard to have good sound production, clean technique, and good ensemble skills. The rules from day one have been (in no particular order) smile, have fun, and keep your bow moving! Interested families are encouraged to contact the group to arrange a visit. New members start every September.
The Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag musicians have had amazing opportunities to work with outstanding artists: Peter Uhrbrand, Ole Mouritzen, Tove de Fries, Kristian Bugge and Mette Jensen, Antti and Arto Järvela, Jon Holmen, Mats Berglund, Olav Luksengård Mjelva, Anders Hall, Kalle Almlöf, Eva Karlsson and Loretta Kelley.
In 2015, the group released its first CD, LIVE! which will be for sale at the show for $15. Please bring cash or checks to purchase your own copy! (No credit card sales).
All monies raised at this concert from ticket sales, CD sales and refreshments, will go toward providing scholarships for participants, support travel, and provide resources to work with visiting artists. Refreshments are being donated by Skål, Ballard’s only Viking pub.
To learn more about the Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag, visit www.seattlelillalag.org
The group is a registered 501(c)3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.
Join us on March 3rd for their biggest concert of the year!
This concert is co-sponsored by Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag and Seattle Folklore Society.