Music at the forefront of the 44th Scandinavian Midsummer Festival

ASTORIA SCANFEST 2011 is proof this longtime cultural celebration shows no signs of slowing down.

Stand-out music artists from the NW as well as the old country will ring in the bicentennial year with sounds of the ancient roots as well as the bloom of new Scandinavian music.

It’s a music packed weekend with many local/regional favorites and new comers!!!! Willapa Hills, Wilho Saari, Scandinavian Country, Double J and the Boys, and more.

Helen Blume and Harald HaugaardFeatured performers HELEN BLUME AND HARALD HAUGAARD from Denmark have several things in common; they both began their music careers as children, hail from musical families, and have taken Norwegian folk dynamically into a contemporary 21st century sound.

Haugaard is fiddler, composer and producer, and if you were at the 2011 Seattle Folk Life Festival you may have caught him. Helen Blume is one Denmark’s shining folk/pop vocalists, married to Haaguard, and together they are Helen Blume and Harald Haaguard Band. Both artists with lauded individual and joint careers, a plentiful music selection can be found on the web.

Fri., 17 6pm Arena Stage, Sat., 18 noon, 3pm, and 5pm on various stages.

MaiastraSwedish Folksters MAIASTRA, are Sofia Johansson (vocals, fultes, soprano sax and percussion), and Emil Brynge (vocals, octave mandolin, mandolin, guitar and violin). While Blume and Haarsguard offer a more pop/rock orchestrated sound, Maiastra is a beautiful minimilist sound, playful, yet accomplished musicians who dig deep into the roots of ancient Swedish music. Fascinating,  Emo-Ethno!

Friday at 4pm on the Arena Stage, 8-10pm in the Beer Garden. Sat: 12:30 and 5pm in the Exhibit Hall.

is an ensemble based in Eugene, OR dedicated to folk dance music from Norway and Sweden.  Founded by David and Claire Elliker-Vågsberg in 1999, most of the music is based on the authentic dance style of the area of origin. Gammaldans music (vals,  schottis/reinlender, masurka & polkas), and Bygdedans music (springars, gangars, polskar, & polsdans) as well as runddansere or turdans (“set dances”, usually choreographed), and various “mixers”. (Sounds like something out of Lord of the Rings.)

FossegrimenMany of the melodies that Fossegrimen plays have no composer since they have been handed down so many times that their only identification is the fact that they are “from” the playing of the last musician to teach the music to another musician.  Enjoy a variety of string instruments including fiddle, hardanger fiddle, nyckelharpa, guitar, mouth harp and bass violin.

For an up-close listen to this authentic music, David Elliker-Vågsberg, fiddle and hardanger fiddle, and Brian Wood, guitar, will perform a concert of Norwegian music Saturday afternoon.  Then Fossegrimen will play the music for the SATURDAY EVENING DANCERS’ BALL from 7 to 11pm on June 18.

Food & Vendor booths, Dancers, Dancing, the Coronation, Bonfire, a Viking Encampment, Beer Garden & More! A very user-friendly schedule avail: Clatsop County Fairgrounds, June 17 – 19, 3-Day admission pass: $7 General, $2 for 6-12, 5 and under FREE.