Media Release: Nordic neighbours making cultural connections


Northern Streams 2017: Festival of Nordic and Scottish music, song and dance

FOR three days in April, this unique festival combines concerts, workshops and sessions, bringing the finest in Nordic and Scottish music, song and dance to Edinburgh.

Guests taking part in the 14th Northern Streams festival are:

  • Lärka: Eilidh Steel and Alice Thorsell (Scotland/Sweden)
  • KLB: Kari – Lappalainen – Brodal (Finland/Norway)
  • Harta: Christine Martin – Ross Calderwood – Jack Evans (Scotland)
  • Reidun Berg (Norway)
  • Mark Neal (Scotland)
  • Grassmarket Music Group

Organiser, Fiona Campbell, said: “We are pleased with this year’s festival to add Finland to our list of countries we have guests appearing from around the North Sea and Nordic regions along with ones from Scotland.

“I’m looking forward to all the collaborations between the different performers that make up the groups appearing as well as between the groups themselves through the Northern Streams Ceilidh Band on Saturday night!”

The festival opens with an evening concert on Friday, then a concert and ceilidh on Saturday – to give you the opportunity to try Norwegian and Finnish dances alongside the Scottish ones you are likely to know already – all dances will be called.

There are workshops during the day on Saturday covering Rune songs from Finland, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish and Scottish tunes and dancing workshops so you can practise for the evening ceilidh.

The festival finishes with an open session on Sunday afternoon, with members of the Grassmarket Music Group giving a wee taste of their repertoire – all welcome.

All events take place at the Grassmarket Centre, 86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QA

To book and for more details of the Northern Streams programme or email: or tel: 0795 191 8366, or Facebook – TMSAEdinburgh&Lothians and Twitter @northernstream1.

Ticket prices range from £5 for a workshop – £25 for an all-in-one weekend ticket.

Concessions include TMSA members, EdinBal members & Young Scot cardholders. Please note tickets are only available at the venue during the event.

Northern Streams is organised by the Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA) Edinburgh and Lothians branch.

Details about the Branch at: and TMSA –

Notes to editors and listing details:

  • Publicity photos of all the performers are available electronically please tel: 07951 918366 (Fiona) or email: for them or any other queries.
  • Described as “…something out of the ordinary” – The Herald – throughout the years, Northern Streams has showcased performers often new to Scottish audiences, offering opportunities to learn about different cultures around the North Sea through a mix of concerts and workshops.
  • The Grassmarket Centre, is the home of the Grassmarket Community Project — a social enterprise helping many people in the city gain new skills and confidence, with profits used to create new opportunities and activities. A café/bar is available at venue plus plenty of other options available locally.
  • The Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) was formed in 1966 as an organisation to promote, present and preserve the traditional music and song of Scotland. Its first events were annual festivals based in Blairgowrie, bringing together many of the finest exponents of the traditions as well as the new faces. Current projects include the TMSA Event Calendar and TMSA Young Trad Tour of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Musician of the Year finalists. For its 50th anniversary, the TMSA has worked with Collins to get Norman Buchan’s iconic ‘101 Scottish Songs’ (Wee Red Book) reprinted after 40 years of being out of print as well as being celebrated at the Opening Concert of Celtic Connections 2016. The TMSA is registered as a Scottish Charity SCO03819 & a company limited by guarantee No: 199976. Registered Office: 54 Manor Place, Edinburgh EH3 7EH. Website:

Outline programme

Friday 21 April: Evening concert @ 7.30-10pm Tickets: £12/10

Lärka: Eilidh Steel – fiddle and Alice Thorsell – fiddle (Scotland/Sweden)

Blending Swedish and Scottish fiddle music and song, new duo Lärka, delve into old music collections and draw inspiration from stories, language, history and landscape of both their cultures.

KLB: Olli Kari – accordion, Elina Lappalainen – double bass, Jon Hjellum Brodal – fiddle/hardanger (Finland/Norway)

Crispy Nordic tunes from Norway and Finland plus original compositions form the core repertoire of the KLB trio with punchy bass solos, flaming bowings and plenty of moustache wax as all part of the experience.

Sat 22 April: Northern Streams workshops Tickets: £8/5 per workshop.

Choose one of the two options per time slot

(Children aged 9+ are able to attend workshops, as long as they are at the level specified and accompanied by an adult):


  1. Finnish songs – Kalevala poems and Rune song melodies (Elina Lappalainen): No knowledge of Finnish required. For all, including beginners OR 
  2. Norwegian tunes (Jon Hjellum Brodal): Learn tunes that can also be used for playing for Norwegian dances. For all melody instruments – Intermediate level upwards.


  1. Norwegian dances (Reidun Berg): Be prepared for the evening ceilidh – no prior Norwegian dance knowledge required! For all, including beginners OR
  2. Finnish tunes (Olli Kari and Elina Lappalainen): Learn tunes that can also be used for playing for Finnish dances. For all melody instruments – Intermediate level upwards.


  1. Scottish and Swedish tunes (Lärka – Eilidh Steel and Alice Thorsell): For all melody instruments – Intermediate upwards OR
  2. Finnish dances (Olli Kari and Elina Lappalainen): Be prepared for the evening ceilidh – no prior knowledge required! For all including beginners.


Sharing session with all invited guest performers and participants to get a chance to share what they have learnt from the workshops and performances. (Free with any workshop or concert ticket).

The cafe/bar will stay open for food before the evening concert.

Sat 22 April: Evening concert and ceilidh @ 7.30-11pm Tickets: £12/10

Harta: Christine Martin – nyckelharpa, Ross Calderwood – smallpipes, Jack Evans – guitar, bouzouki, and whistles (Scotland)

A new trio from Skye and Lochalsh, Harta plays an intriguing mix of old Scottish melodies and dance tunes alongside music drawn from the Nordic traditions.

The Northern Streams Ceilidh Band (Scotland/Finland/Sweden/Norway)

After last year’s successful collaboration, our Festival guest musicians, including Mark Neal, (Scotland) will be creating another Northern Streams Ceilidh Band, giving you the opportunity to try out Scottish, Norwegian and Finnish dances – which will be called – during the extended second half of our concert or you can just sit and listen to the Nordic & Scottish sounds!

Sun 23 April: Afternoon Session @ 2.00-4.00pm Free and open to all to take part or come along and listen at the Grassmarket Centre cafe – which will be open. We will be welcoming members of the Grassmarket Music Group to give us a wee taste of their repertoire!


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TMSA contact details…

Contact: Fiona Campbell
Phone: 07951918366