The fiddle is synonymous with American country and mountain music.
But it’s folk music from a different part of the world that will be showcased with the Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, an all-star trio of fiddlers, performs a Riverside Live! concert March 5 at Mayo Civic Center Presentation Hall in Rochester.
The three members of Nordic Fiddlers bring their own traditions to the music. Olav Luksengard Mjelva is from Norway, Kevin Henderson is from the Shetland Islands of northern Scotland, and Anders Hall is from Sweden. They come from places were winter nights are long and dark, and where there are times when fiddle music, whether exuberant or weepy, is the best escape.
Deliverance, you might call it, and that’s the title of the new Nordic Fiddlers Bloc album. “Deliverance” is available now in Europe and will be released this spring in North America. Until then, you’ll have to get a ticket to the Nordic Fiddlers’ current tour of America to hear the songs.
“There is a higher percentage of our own compositions on this album compared to the first, but we still have a lot of focus on the traditional music from where we call come from,” said Henderson.
Nordic Fiddlers Bloc was formed in 2009. All three members started playing the fiddle when they were children. Henderson has been a member of the traditional Scottish band Boys of the Lough since 2001.
Mjelva won the 2010 Spelemannprisen, the Norwegian equivalent of the Grammy, for his debut solo album, and in 2013 was named Norway’s folk musician of the year.
Although Hall is from Sweden, he studied traditional Norwegian Hardanger fiddle at the Ole Bull Academy in Voss, Norway.
Nordic Fiddlers are currently finishing up a concert tour of Europe, and will arrive in the U.S. for shows in Wisconsin this weekend, before starting a week-long residency next Monday in the Rochester area.
During the week, the Nordic Fiddlers Bloc will appear in local elementary schools during the day, and present free concert preview programs in area libraries in the evening as part of the Riverside Concerts Cultural Exchange Network. Patrons attending the concert previews will receive a coupon for a 10-percent discount on tickets for the March 5 Rochester concert.
The library schedule:
— Monday, Lake City Public Library
— Tuesday, Dodge Center Public Library
— Wednesday, Austin Public Library
— Thursday, JEM Theatre, Harmony
— Friday, Cannon Falls Public Library
All programs are at 7 p.m.