Kodiak Scandinavian Culture & Film Fest

Music & Dance

May 17, 2017 Events 0

Concerts, Dances, Workshops

We had a wonderful festival and our musicians from Minnesota – Ross Sutter, Art Bjorngjeld, Char & Bruce Bostrom – livened up every event with their wonderful Scandinavian music and dance, and a few “Ole & Lena” stories. But a previously undiscovered local talent stole the show. Check it out here!

Ross Sutter & Art Bjorngjeld

Art Bjorngjeld & Ross Sutter Photo: Bill Musser

Ross Sutter:  is a versatile and accomplished entertainer, equally at home on a big city concert stage or a small town festival. He performs both as a solo act and in several ensembles, and is available for festivals, libraries, children’s events, senior centers, schools, community concerts, arts centers, and parks.

Art Bjorngjeld: I perform Scandinavian folk dance music on fiddle, guitar and accordion. I grew up hearing these melodies, as my relatives were all musicians. My father, uncles, and aunts played for house parties and barn dances in northwest North Dakota, where my Norwegian grandparents had homesteaded. I also sing many of the “dialect” tunes, which were written to spoof the way Scandinavian immigrants spoke and thought.

Ross and Art often perform together. Here is a clip from Nisswa-stämman

Char & Bruce Bostrom

Char & Bruce Bostrom

Char has been pursuing her love for and interest in Scandinavian dance and fiddling since 1991.  In the greater Twin Cities area she plays for and dances with four dance groups and is a member of Ole Olssons Oldtime Orkestra.  Char has traveled around the country and Scandinavia attending dance and fiddle workshops and performing both on the fiddle and with dance.  She regularly plays solo fiddle for dance workshops.   In April, 2007, Char received an Award of Merit from the Swedish Council of America in recognition of outstanding contributions, and as an expression of gratitude for the many years of promoting and preserving the Swedish heritage.

Bruce began folk dancing in 1992 after receiving a private lesson for his 40th birthday. He has performed with all of the Nordic groups in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area including the Dannebrog Dancers (Danish), Det Norske Folkedanslaget (Norwegian), the Twin Cities Swedish Folk Dancers, and the Kisarit Finnish American Folk Dancers. He has studied Swedish and Norwegian folk dance at festivals and workshops in the U.S. and Sweden. In 2007 he was hired as a Norwegian dance consultant for the production of Peer Gynt at the Guthrie Theater. Bruce is a member of two performing groups, the North Star Nordic Dancers, and Ole Olsson’s Oldtime Orkestra, in which he plays munnharpa.  He has recently taken an interest in the nyckelharpa and has joined the Twin Cities Nyckelharpalag.


JENTA O’ JA – Swedish fiddle, Norwegian accordion, lively dance music

Jenta O’ Ja (Girl and I) Char Bostrom and Art Bjorngjeld are musicians from the Twin Cities of Minnesota who have been playing together for Scandinavian dances since the early 1990’s. Char has a passion for Swedish polska music and is highly sought after to provide music for dance instruction workshops. Art grew up in a musical family with roots in Norway and North Dakota, and is a long time member of LeRoy Larson’s Minnesota Scandinavian Ensemble. Both Char and Art perform with Ole Olson’s Oldtime Orkestra (OOOO). As a duo, they play a variety of Scandinavian dance music. They love to explore the older and less well known dance forms within the Scandinavian tradition, but their performances always include a generous helping of the newer “gammaldans” tunes, waltz, polka, and schottische. If JENTA O’ JA inspires you to grab your partner and take to the dance floor, please don’t be shy. That’s really what it is all about.


Ross, Art, Char & Bruce will be performing at most of the evening events during the week, but don’t miss these special events where we will focus more on Scandinavian music and dance.

November 5, 2:00 pm – Concert at Kodiak Public Library – free entrance

November 10, 6:00pm Musik and Dance at the Multi-Cultural Potluck Afognak Center


Ross, Art, Char & Bruce will be holding music workshops at the following schools.

Monday 11/6 – East Elementary
Tuesday 11/7 – Main Elementary
Wednesday 11/8 – North Star Elementary
Thursday 11/9 – Peterson Elementary
Friday 11/10 – Private School

These workshops culminate on Friday evening when students and musicians will perform at the Multi-cultural Potluck at the Afognak Center 6PM.


Building Mouth Bow Workshop

Wednesday November 8 at 4PM at Fisherman’s Hall

Join Teaching Artist Ross Sutter in a string exploration learning activity: Building a Mouth Bow. Ross will lead participating students (open to grades 3-5) in building their own instrument, and guide observations in producing sound and music-making.

Following the student workshop, Ross will lead a discussion with participating Munartet Learning Community members on how the preceding activity was developed, and his approach to creating arts programs tied to learning outcomes in other content areas.

Email Carrie at education@kodiakarts.org or call 486-5291 with questions or to sign up in advance.

Supported by the Kodiak Arts Council & the Munartet Project.