Concerts from the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 2013-2014

FEBRUARY 18, 2015 at Noon, No Tickets Required

Andrea Hoag

Whittall Pavilion

A Tour of Norwegian and Swedish Fiddle Styles with Andrea Hoag (Violin) and Loretta Kelley (Violin & Hardingfele/Hardanger Fiddle)

Andrea Hoag and Loretta Kelley are among the United States’ foremost performers of Scandinavian traditional music. Each of them has spent years studying with tradition-bearers in Scandinavia, and honing their own techniques at home. They have many acclaimed recordings, including Hambo in the Snow (with Charlie Pilzer), which was nominated for a 2007 GRAMMY Award as Best Traditional World Music Album. 

As the recipient of a fellowship from the Skandia Music Foundation, Andrea Hoag studied at Sweden’s respected Malungs Folkhögskola, becoming the first non-Swede to earn the certificate in Folk Violin Pedagogy, in 1984. Her program included in-depth study with elder tradition-bearers Pekkos Gustaf and Nils Agenmark, masters of the complex, demanding Bingsjö fiddling dialect; Leif Göras and Jonny Soling of Orsa; singers Maria, Britta, and Anna Röjås of Boda; Kalle Almlöf and Ville Toors of Malung; and Påhl Olle of Östbjörka, who is acknowledged as the foremost creator of the Swedish close-harmony playing style. Since that time, Andrea has taken every opportunity to work with several generations of fiddlers from many parts of Sweden, and has been called “like Pekkos Gustaf come to life again” for her faithfulness to the elder generation’s style. Hoag has long been acknowledged as a stateside expert of Swedish fiddle tradition. Her teaching credentials include the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Weeks, the Swannanoa Gathering, and the Berklee College of Music. She was director of the Seattle Skandia Spelmanslag for seven years, and led the group on an acclaimed performing tour to Sweden.  She has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Performance Today, at the Kennedy Center and Library of Congress, and at numerous venues around the U.S., Sweden, and beyond. With a particular interest in in-depth musical conversations, She has collaborated across genres with many respected artists, from blues harmonica virtuoso Phil Wiggins to Kathak dancer Brinda Guha.

Loretta Kelley

Since 1979 Loretta Kelley has made over twenty-five trips to Norway to study with master hardingfele players. In 1979, while attending the Folk High School in Rauland in West Telemark, she studied privately for six months with Arne Øygarden, the leader of the Falkeriset Spelemannslag (fiddler's group) and a bearer of West Telemark tradition. In 1993 she  received a grant from the American-Scandinavian Foundation to study for six weeks with the Løndal-Fykerud tradition bearer Einar Løndal of Tuddal, Telemark, and in 2001 she spent eight weeks in Tinn, Telemark, studying the Dahle tradition of hardingfele playing with the master fiddler Olav Øyaland, sponsored by a grant from the Norway-America Association. In addition she has studied intensively with the important tradition bearers Hauk and Knut Buen in Telemark, Jens A. Myro in Hallingdal, and Olav Jørgen Hegge of Øystre Slidre, Valdres, as well as made numerous study visits with Gunnar Dahle, Leif Rygg, Hallvard Bjørgum, Knut Myrann, and many others. In cooperation with Knut Buen, the Telemark virtuoso hardingfele player, Loretta has authored a booklet, "Knut Buen's Telemarkspel," of transcriptions of the tunes from Buen's teaching cassette. She has contributed two chapters to books published in Norway, "Hardingfela i Amerika" in Hardingfela, Det norske nasjonalinstrumentet by Halvard Kaasa and Astrid Versto (Grøndahl Dreyer, 1997), and "Feleambassadøren Knut Buen", in Mellom hjertets slag og felas drag, Festskrift til Knut Buen (ed. Eivind Blikstad, Telemarksavisa, 1998). She has also written articles in print and online, and served as consultant and wrote extensive liner notes for an anthology of Knut Buen's playing, As Quick as Fire, published on CD by Rounder Records in 1996.

A free noon concert series presented by the American Folklife Center and the Music Division of the Library of Congress. Most concerts are held in the Coolidge Auditorium (located on the Ground Floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress) or the Whittall Pavilion (next to the Coolidge, on the Ground Floor, Jefferson Building). Occasionally, concerts may be in other locations, which will be specified above in the concert description. Presented in Partnership with the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. NO TICKETS REQUIRED.