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Leroy Larson and The Minnesota Scandinavian Ensemble

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Leroy Larson and The Minnesota Scandinavian EnsembleLeroy Larson and The Minnesota Scandinavian Ensemble performs an eclectic and entertaining mix of music, humor and history from Scandinavian and early immigrant traditions.

LeRoy Larson founded the Ensemble in 1974. He had grown up around Scandinavian music, and had been recording it since the late 1960s. In the course of writing a Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Minnesota, he did extensive fieldwork on Scandinavian music in the Midwest. LeRoy had also assembled a vast collection of old 78RPM records that were a valuable historical record of these musical traditions. In the early days of the Ensemble, these recordings provided much of the group's repertoire. To this day, the Ensemble continues to play the waltzes, polkas and schottisches that form the backbone of the Scandinavian old-time dance music repertoire. The members of the group, all of whom come from Scandinavian or Scandinavian-American families, have their musical roots in traditional dance bands. They play accordion, banjo, mandola, guitar, fiddle, button-box, and a variety of other instruments. Together, they give performances that are entertaining, skillful, and educational.

For over 25 years, the Minnesota Scandinavian Ensemble has performed at festivals, dances, concerts, parties, and on radio and television programs. They continue to do new research, resurrect old music, and record. The Ensemble specializes in music that has emerged from Scandinavian immigrant communities in the Midwest, particularly that of Norwegian-Americans from Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Their programs often include vocal music, instrumental dance tunes, old Scandinavian-American dialect songs, jokes, anecdotes, historical material, and original pieces in traditional styles. They have played on National Public Radio's "A Prairie Home Companion," by invitation at an emigration festival in Norway, and at a concert before King Olav V. In 1989, they received a Minnesota Music Award.

Leroy Larson grew up in a rather isolated Scandinavian community in northern Minnesota, and was influenced by musical parents, relatives and neighbors who continued the folk music traditions of Norway and Sweden. He was soon playing with "home environment" adult bands, learning the standard reperatory of Scandinavian-American folk dance music created by fiddlers and accordionists. In the late 1960s, LeRoy began recording this music throughout Minnesota, culminating in a Ph.D. dissertation in musicology and ethnomusicology at the University of Minnesota in 1975.

Leroy Larson - Scandinavian Old Time Music Book 3
Scandinavian Old Time Music Book 3
This book contains a sampling of Norwegian, Swedish and Scandanavian-American favorites, Christmas Favorites, and several newer, original compositions that are making their debut. Softcover, 30 pages.
Book Price: $15.97Get more information about this CD or purchase it!
Leroy Larson - Scandinavian Old Time Music Book I
Scandinavian Old Time Music Book I
This book contains a sampling of Norwegian and Swedish favorites, as well as melodies that are indigenous to the US midwest. Softcover, 15 pages.
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It's Holiday Time
It's Holiday Time
With the endearingly humorous style only Leroy Larson can create ("I'll Be Home For Lefse", "It's Yust Vun Av Dose Tings"), this holiday album will be sure to please. Includes traditional Christmas favorites as well as traditional Swedish songs.
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Leroy’s River Minstrels Live On Stage
Leroy’s River Minstrels Live On Stage
Popular American music, old jazz standards, dixieland, and ragtime. These recordings are indoor and outdoor performances, improptu gigs, captured with less than professional recording equipment. These unrehearsed performances are a jazz musicians' typical kind of gig, often referred to as "head arrangements" - impromptu performances which are the true essence of jazz.
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Mrs. Yonson Turn Me Loose!
Mrs. Yonson Turn Me Loose!
Tradional and original Scandanavian music, including some humorous tunes, like the Dr. Demento-favorite Yorgi Yorgesson-penned title tune.
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New Sweden - Old Time Swedish Favorites
New Sweden - Old Time Swedish Favorites
A sampling of old time Swedish and Swedish-American favorites in commemoration of the founding of New Sweden on the lower Deleware River in 1638, and a glance back to the turn of the 19th century to the beginning of the recording industry in the U.S.
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Norwegian/American
Norwegian/American
A celebration of what it means to be both Norwegian and American, and the centennial anniversary of the June 7, 1905 independence of Norway from Sweden.
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Waltzing Into the New Millennium
Waltzing Into the New Millennium
This LeRoy Larson & the Minnesota Scandinavian Ensemble's recording is filled with waltzes and other dance tunes from Scandinavia to Hawaii, from older times to the new millennium. Thoroughly entertaining!
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On Tour
On Tour
Includes old and recent compositions from Norway, Sweden, and Minnesota, plus a touch of traditional American ragtime, and a delightful serving of country-western yodeling.
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Banjo Ragtime
Banjo Ragtime
A sampling of the great Ragtime Era songs, featuring tenor banjo in the leading role, a role never uncommon in the 20th century.
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Polka Party
Polka Party
Traditional polkas from the old country and polkas from the Midwest… banjo and accordion take center stage, and everyone joins in the fun. Put on the music, kick off your shoes, and have fun.
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Saturday Night Barn Dance
Saturday Night Barn Dance
Scandinavian dance music (waltzes, schottisches, and polkas) as played on special occasions during the 1800s and early 1900s in emptied and cleaned barns in the midwest.
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Scandinavian-American Old-Time
Scandinavian-American Old-Time
A lively collection of old-time Scandinavian dance music - waltzes, schottisches, polkas, and folk tunes.
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Early Years
Early Years
A wide variety of instumentation and performance styles representative of Scandinavian folk dance music in the U.S. Included are both standard and popular Scandinavian melodies, as well as melodies that had never been transcribed or recorded prior to this CD. Thee are the earliest recordings of the Minnesota Scandinavian Ensembles, and Norwegian-American folk fiddler Leonard Finseth.
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Banjo On My Mind
Banjo On My Mind
Some of the best of Leroy's bajo recordings over a quarter of a century. Includes two original songs, as well as bluegrass, classic, and classic songs from composers including Gershwin, Brahms, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Lennon-McCartney.
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