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Canadian chords in Tønder

A great deal of Canadian music is on offer to those who attend Tønder Festival this year, including a special concert featuring the meeting between musicians from Fanø and Cape Breton. Canada’s ambassador to Denmark, André Francois Giroux, will give the official opening address at Tønder Festival 2015.

Once upon a time, sailing ships set out from Fanø and sailed around the globe. Historically, Fanø folk have been in touch with the whole world, and in many ways, they still are: certainly as far as music is concerned. Fanø folk music is alive and well, thanks to the perseverance of the island’s musicians, and they are willing to travel. There is a strong connection with Cape Breton in Canada, where there is a lively music and dance scene with ancient roots, just like on Fanø.

With the people

The 2015 Tønder Festival audience can enjoy a festive affair celebrating the links between Fanø and Cape Breton. The Music, The People, The Spirit reads the event’s headline, highlighting the links between the two vibrant musical cultures. The evening involves concerts and dances, and each and every audience member is encouraged to participate so that folk music and folk dance live up to their names. Folk join in, they are not just observers.

Close links

The current musical connection between Fanø and Cape Breton goes back about 15 years. Several of the Canadian musicians involved have played at Tønder festival before. More recently, the musical partnership between Troy MacGillivray from Cape Breton and Tove de Fries from Fanø has been central. There are many parallels between the two living cultures. Traditional music is the basis, and it’s all about developing the music, teaching it to children and young people and keeping the music alive as part of local life.

Driving fiddles

Cape Breton musicians have often been to Fanø, and Fanø musicians often to Cape Breton.

“We have known each other for many years. When we’re having a dance night here in Sønderho, it’s natural to invite our friends from Cape Breton along. We think alike, because we are working musicians,” says Tove de Fries, fiddler, teacher and folk music organiser on Fanø.

It’s a thriving trade, the music and the dance, she points out. “The fiddle is the main motor that drives the whole thing. It’s not a spoken language, you just follow along. When you have played together long enough, you know where the variations fit in. It becomes like telepathy. This functional music is something altogether different from 2 x 45 minutes with a written setlist. You are part of the dance floor action. After about seven hours play, you don’t need words any more, you know exactly where you are. You’re in a world that runs on music,” says Tove de Fries.

The Canadian Ambassador opens

The musical and cultural afinities between Fanø and Cape Breton did not arise in a vacuum. Danish folk and roots musicians have often toured in Canada through the years, and Tønder Festival has a proud tradition of presenting Canadian artists. This year, the Canadian presence will be appreciated again, and it is with great pleasure that we acknowledge the acceptance of his Excellency the Ambassador of Canada to Denmark, M. André Francois Giroux, to give the official opening address at this year’s festival.

“It is great to see such a wonderful line-up of Canadian artists attending the festival this year. I look forward to attending the opening of the festival and honouring not only Danish - Canadian relations, but what is also at the heart of our excellent relationship: namely, a common culture of values,” says the Canadian Ambassador.

The official opening ceremony at Tønder Festival 2015 takes place from the Open Air Stage on Thursday 27 August at 12.30. Admission is free.

Fanø / Cape Breton Night

From Canada we have Troy MacGillivray, Allan Dewar, Marion Dewar, Jake Charron, Andrea Beaton, Kinnon Beaton, Betty Lou Beaton, Kendra MacGillivray, JJ Chaisson, Shelley Campell and Sabra MacGillivray plus The East Pointers. From Denmark, de Fries & D. Beck, ULC Quintet, Rannok (Michael Graubæk and Theis Juhl Langland, Jesper Rudloff and Fristadskapellet (Peter and Kirstine Uhrbrand, Ole and Jens Mouritzen, Nils Thorlund). Throughout the whole festival, the Fanø Tent is open. This popular venue offers spontaneous music, dance, coffee punch, bakskuld (dried, smoked dabs) and the spirit of Fanø.

Other Canadian names

Other Canadian musicians appearing at this year’s Tønder Festival are La Bottine Souriante,

The Wailin’ Jennys, The Barra MacNeils, Ten Strings And Goat Skin, Lynn Miles and

The Bros Landreth.

The Roster:

John Prine (USA), Sturgill Simpson (USA), The Lone Bellow (USA), Danú (IRL), Kepa Junkera (E), Bellowhead (ENG), Hot Rize (USA), Richard Thompson (ENG), Usher’s Island (IRL), Skerryvore (SCO), La Bottine Souriante (CAN), Mánran (SCO), Chris Smither (USA), Mary Gauthier (USA), Hayseed Dixie (USA), The Wood Brothers (USA), Dreamers’ Circus & The Danish String Quartet (DK, S), The Wailin’ Jennys (CAN), The Bros Landreth (CAN), Niels Hausgaard (DK), Hans Theessink’s Townes Van Zandt Project (NL, USA) feat. Richard J. Dobson (USA) + Butch Hancock (USA) + J. T. Van Zandt (USA), Eleanor Shanley (IRL), Folkeklubben (DK), Poul Krebs & Friends (DK) feat. Lisa Nilsson (S) + Daniel Lemma (S) + Claudia Scott (N), The Barra MacNeils (CAN), Fanø/Cape Breton Night (DK, CAN) feat. ULC Quintet (DK) + East Pointers (CAN) + Rannok (DK) + Fanø Fiddlers (DK) + de Fries & D. Beck (DK) + Daniel Beck (CAN) + Troy MacGillivray (CAN) + Sabra MacGillivray (CAN) + Kendra MacGillivray (CAN) + Andrea Beaton (CAN) + Betty Lou Beaton (CAN) + Kinnon Beaton (CAN) + Marion Dewar (CAN) + Allan Dewar (CAN) + JJ Chaisson (CAN) + Jesper Rudloff (DK) & Fristadskapellet (DK), The Hot Seats (USA), Helene Blum & Harald Haugaard Band (DK), folkBALTICA Ensemble (DK, D), Mames Babegenush (DK), Jacob Dinesen (DK), Fara (SCO), Maja & David (DK, QC), Adam Holmes and The Embers (SCO), Rura (SCO), Mike Andersen (DK), The Stray Birds (USA), Sheesham, Lotus & ‘Son (CAN), Ten Strings And A Goat Skin (CAN), Spiro (ENG), Kathryn Tickell & The Side (ENG), Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar (ENG), Neanders (DK), Tuesday Night Brass Band (DK), Lynn Miles (CAN), Allan Taylor (UK) The Sexican (DK), Three Tall Pines (USA), The Great Malarkey (ENG), Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns (USA), King James & The Special Men (USA), Jonah Blacksmith (DK), Ron Kavana (IRL), Folk Spot: Northern Assembly (DK), Lukkif (DK), Ida Wenøe & The Silver Cords (DK), Jansberg (DK), Phønix (DK), M. C. Hansen (DK), and Erlend Viken Trio (NO).

Tønder Festival 27, 28, 29, 30 August 2015

Twitter: @tonderfestival


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Permalink - Posted: June 22, 2015 at 9:44 am