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.
The self-titled debut album was released in May 2016, and their second album “Ankerdram” was released in April 2018.
Fru Skagerrak is:
Maja Kjær Jacobsen, Danmark – Denmark
The fiddle playing and singing of Maja Kjær Jacobsen is beautiful and intense. She has travelled and performed in many different countries, performing her ”darling”, the exotic sounding traditional music and gorgeous songs of Central Jutland in Denmark, and it has caught the attention of her audiences as well as many critics. Her own compositions radiate a special power, and she can bring out cinematic soundscapes from both her more delicate tunes as well as the raw and breathtaking reels. The inspiration for her tunes comes from an upbringing where many different musical genres rang regularly through the house.
Maja has a Masters degree in Traditional Music from the Academy of Music, Southern Denmark in Odense (DK), and besides Fru Skagerrak she plays in the duo Maskineri with guitarist Søren Vinther Røgen, her own Maja Kjær Jacobsen Trio where she presents swinging versions of songs of Central Jutland (DK), in the fiddle duo Maja & David (with Québec fiddler and foot-tapper, and a member of La Bottine Souriante, David Boulanger) and the dance orchestra Midtjysk Medicin. Maja also teaches fiddle, singing and dancing, and she is currently working on publishing a tune book with music from her home area.
Anna Lindblad, Sverige – Sweden
Anna Lindblad is a versatile fiddler from Sweden. Her powerfull fiddle playing is steeped in groove, joy and presence. Anna is just as oldfashioned as she is innovative and with a nod to the tradition she brings her music forward, blending all her diverse musical interests into a very special voice that’s all her own. With a heart beating for Swedish tradition she is not afraid to mix it up with other musical ways of expression. Besides her Swedish fiddling she also plays Québecois, Irish and Old-time, always with a smile and a contagiously positive attitude and spirit.
Anna has a Master’s degree in Swedish traditional music from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, and is a member in Swedish folk pop band LYY, Anna Lindblad Trio (with Ryan Drickey and Anders Löfberg), and Swedish folk big band Folk All-in Band (FAB). Anna is also frequently playing for traditional dancers and teaches fiddle classes both at home and at different workshops and camps.
Elise Wessel Hildrum, Norge – Norway
Elise Wessel Hildrum is one of quite few norwegian folk fluteplayers. She grew up playing mostly classical music, but “discovered” the world of folk music at the age of 20 and decided that this was what she wanted to play. As a recorder player it was natural for her to learn the norwegian “sjøfløyte” (sea-flute) tradition from Numedal. This has been the core of her repertoire through several years of folk music studies. She studied for two years in Rauland, four years at the Norwegian Academy of Music (as the only one to date to have done a folk music performance degree on the flute), she has been on exchange programmes to both Malmö (Sweden) and Newcastle (UK) and twice she has won the flute category in the national folk music competition. Elise also plays the fiddle, mostly for fun and in social settings. She can often be found in the middle of a jam session at festivals both at home and abroad.
After finishing her folk music degree, Elise has been working as both flute and fiddle teacher, both at workshops and seminars and with private pupils, even at the Academy of Music in Oslo. In addition to this she has been studying languages part time at the University of Oslo.