From the land of the ice and snow

The sixth annual Nordic Roots festival imports the best Scandinavian folk

Keri Carlson

Great Scandinavian music, for most, means one thing: Abba.

Despite the number of Scandinavian descendents in this state, any sense of heritage comes from Ole and Lena jokes. But besides the source for Minnesota’s funny “uff-dahs,” there’s a lot more to Nordic culture that rarely gets celebrated.

This weekend, the Cedar Cultural Center will end all that and give Nordic folk their due. The sixth annual Nordic Roots Festival gathers artists from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. Many of these musicians not only represent a new wave of Nordic folk, but are creating some of the most electrifying world music out there


Highlights include the fervent vocals of Mari Boine, whose passion for her Sami culture rings through each note that exits her mouth.

Harv returns for its fourth appearance at the festival. The group has been a favorite of the past for its dueling fiddles that try to outrun each other, backed by a foot-stomping beat.

The Nordic Roots Festival helps rejuvenate this culture in a music that has a unique, earthy mystique.