The music of Fru Skagerrak takes you on a journey through Scandinavia; from lowlands to mountains, from slow airs to lively polkas, in major and in minor, and everything in between. Fru Skagerrak- ”Lady Skagerrak” – are three master musicians – one from each Scandinavian country: Maja Kjær Jacobsen from Denmark, Elise Wessel Hildrum from Norway and Anna Lindblad from Sweden.
In 2011, these three globetrotting musicians met for the first time at Tønder Festival, Denmark’s biggest Folk Festival, in a roaring session that had engulfed the backstage bar. Through the mayhem of tunes you could feel a certain Scandinavian groove, and in that moment the connection between these three fiddlers was clear. After meeting at Tønder Festival for three consecutive years, Fru Skagerrak finally saw the light of day in August 2014.The trio brings together the diverse traditions from each of their homelands, which surround the Skagerrak strait. Through a repertoire of traditional tunes, new compositions, and songs in their respective languages, they express their kinship and love of their shared heritage. The result is an explosion of the sounds that exist in Scandinavian music today.
Fru Skagerrak is:
~ Anna Lindblad (Sweden): Fiddle, 5 -stringed fiddle and song
(also known from LYY (S), Folk All-in Band (SE))
~ Elise Wessel Hildrum (Norway): Fiddle, recorder, viola and song
(also in Gudbrandsdølenes Spelemannslag (NO))
~ Maja Kjær Jacobsen (Denmark): Fiddle and song
(also known from Maskineri, and Maja Kjær Jacobsen Kvartett)
Natalie is one of the most sought after cellists playing traditional music today. She and Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser have toured as a duo for over 15 years, wowing audiences at festivals and concerts worldwide with their unique sound. Their first album together, Fire & Grace, was awarded Best Album of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards 2004. Natalie has also toured with Mark O’Connor as a member of his Appalachia Waltz Trio. She and O’Connor premiered his double concerto for violin and cello, ¨For The Heroes¨, with the Grand Rapids, East Texas, and San Diego Symphonies. As a studio musician, Natalie has been a guest artist on over 50 albums, including those of Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster, Irish greats Altan, Solas, and Liz Carroll, and Americana icon Dirk Powell.
A graduate of the Juilliard School, where she studied with cellist Fred Sherry, Natalie discovered the cello at age nine. In addition to having extensive classical music training, she is accomplished in a broad array of fiddle genres. Her music journey found purpose when she fell in love with Celtic music at the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School at age 11. Inspired and encouraged by director Fraser, she began to investigate the cello’s potential for rhythmic accompaniment to fiddle tunes, and to this day, the two continue to resurrect and reinvent the cello’s historic role in Scottish music.