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Biography

Spælimenninir ("the folk musicians") is a lively group of six musicians that play traditional and contemporary folk music from Scandinavia on fiddle, recorder, piano, guitar, mandolin and acoustic bass and vocals. The group's home base is the Faroe Islands in the far North Atlantic, a small cluster of islands located between Iceland, Norway and Scotland.

While they are based in the Faroes, Spælimenninir is not strictly a "Faroese" band, either in personnel or music. Playing together for over 20 years, the line-up includes one native Faroese, one Swede, two Americans and two Danes. This international collaboration has resulted in a varied repertoire which reflects each member's heritage and illustrates the links between the music traditions of the Scandinavian countries and the United States.

A typical concert might include fiddler Jan Danielsson's lilting Swedish polskas and walking tunes; Norwegian waltzes and reinlenders; ancient Faroese ballads (traditionally sung while chain dancing); Shetland reels; rousing Danish quadrilles; pianist Kristian Blak's modern instrumental arrangements of Faroese Kingo Hymns and Skjaldur; and mandolinist Ivar Bærentsen's zesty original dance tunes. Spælimenninir's wide range of material, skilled musicianship and jovial stage presence combine to create an entertaining and informative evening.

Spælimenninir has toured widely in Denmark, Sweden, Orkney, Shetland, Scotland, France, Finland and the United States playing at folk festivals, dances, clubs, and concerts and conducting educational programs in schools and universities. Their festival appearances have included the Kaustinen Folk Festival in Finland, Tønder Folk and Jazz Festival in Denmark, the Shetland Folk Festival and the Edinburgh Folk Festival. In the U.S., they have made several appearances on the nationally broadcast radio show "A Prairie Home Companion", produced by Minnesota Public Radio and were featured performers at the Eisteddfod Folk Festival in Massachusetts, USA.

Spælimenninir has released eight albums on the (Faroese) Tutl (www.tutl.com) label.

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