Vasen is an acoustic trio from Sweden with about a dozen studio albums and a Swedish Grammy to its credit.
It features Olov Johansson — world champion of both the modern chromatic and older historical nyckelharpor, or keyed fiddles — Mikael Marin, who plays a five-string viola, and guitarist Roger Tallroth.
Who: Vasen with The Bee Eaters
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25
Where: Havurah Shir Hadash, 185 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland
Tickets: $20 in advance; $23 at the door
Vasen will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at Havurah Shir Hadash, 185 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland. Chambergrass trio The Bee Eaters will open the show. Tickets cost $20 in advance and can be purchased at Music Coop, Bellwood Violin, online at www.brownpapertickets.com or by calling 800-838-3006. Tickets will cost $23 at the door; $10 for ages 25 and younger.
Johansson and Marin began playing together as teenagers. They became a link in the living tradition that is Swedish folk music by learning music from Curt Tallroth and Eric Sahlstrom, older musicians who lived in Sweden's Uppland region.
Johansson and Marin played straightforward folk-music duets until they were joined by Tallroth, who put a different twist on traditional Swedish music. His guitar chordings and rhythms attracted an entirely new audience, and the trio's popularity grew internationally.
"Their musical interplay is a combination of structure and improvisation as they swing through arrangement with pure joy, spontaneity and humor, endearing them to audiences everywhere," according to NPR's "All Things Considered." "This is 'local music' in the best sense of the word: believable, human-scaled and fluent in the international language of musical interaction."
Shortly after Johansson became world champion of the nyckelharpor at the first Nyckelharpa World Championships at Osterbybruk, the trio released its first CD, "Olov Johansson: Vasen," in 1990. Many others followed. The trio recorded a CD with Darol Anger and Mike Marshall in 2007. Its newest CD, "Mindset," was released in 2013.
Members of Vasen will teach a workshop for young string players from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at Bellwood Violin, 330 E. Hersey St., Ashland. The workshop costs $35. Those who participate will be eligible for half-price concert tickets.
— Laurie Heuston