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Finnish American Folk School to host musician Laurel Premo

HANCOCK — The Finnish American Folk School at Finlandia will host internationally-renowned roots musician Laurel Premo on Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock.

Premo, a UP-native, will teach and perform to kick off a new year of programming at the Folk School.

Premo is known for her rhythmically deep and rapt delivery of roots music, spanning the crossover of old-time and bluesy American traditions to darker Scandinavian sounds. Her solo performances dive deep into traditional and new fiddle music, presented on finger-style electric guitar, lap steel, and voice, musically revealing a bloom of underlying harmonic drones, minimalist repetition, and rich polyrhythms.

She is a Michigan-based artist first introduced to folk music and traditional dance by her parents Bette & Dean Premo and later mentored by Joel Mabus (clawhammer banjo, Michigan), Arto Järvelä (fiddle, Finland), and …non Egeland (fiddle, Norway). Working with these Nordic master musicians as an adult both anchored and honed artistic expression that was cultivated as she was raised in the folk culture of the Upper Midwest.

From 2-4 p.m., Premo will lead a group music workshop, teaching traditional Finnish instrumental tunes on the fiddle and sharing information about their roots. Through working up these melodies, students will learn more about traditional dance, regional rhythms, and spark interest in further study.

All instruments are welcome. Instruction will be done in the folk style, learning by ear, and no music-reading skills are necessary.

The cost for the workshop is $20 and advanced registration is required. Later that evening at 7PM EST Premo will perform a solo concert highlighting her latest work on guitar, lapsteel, and voice. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door, and $7 for students. To register or purchase concert tickets, visit www.finlandia.edu/folkschool or call 906-487-7549.

The Finnish American Folk School at Finlandia University was founded in 2017 to promote knowledge of Finnish folk arts and traditional skills and ensure that they thrive for generations to come. The Folk School is based in the Jutila Center Fiber Studio and the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock, Michigan.

The FAFS requires that all instructors and participants be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. All attendees must wear a mask at all times during FAFS events.

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