Whenever Finnish immigrants got together to have a good time, they almost always had dance music as part of the celebration. They held dances year-round not only during American and international holidays, but also Finnish ones, such as Vappu (May Day) and Juhannus (St. Johns or Midsummer). In some Finnish communities, dances happened every week. This presentation will tell how Finnish American dance music was created and evolved, the connections with dance music in Finland, and also how it was preserved. It is the story of several generations of musicians who defined Finnish American identity with their music.
Carl Rahkonen is a fiddler and folklorist who has studied Finnish American music for the past twenty years. He is currently writing a book with the working title, The Finnish American Musical Journey.
Co-sponsored by Finn Fest USA and the Nordic Folklife project at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the music series features noted performers and scholars of Finnish-American folk music. Register at the link below for this final event in this series. Links to the virtual program will be sent to your registered email address one day in advance of the event.
Although this event is free and open to anyone who can and wants to take part, we do hope you will consider donating to the Finn Fest USA organization, whose hard work and dedication makes events like this possible. If you have the ability to donate any amount of money to Finn Fest to support future programming, please visit their donation page here: https://finnfest.us/festival-financing. Thank you for your generosity.