I have been playing the nyckelharpa since 1974. My first hands-on experience was at the home of a fiddler in Örebro,
Sweden, who taught me a couple of tunes on his harpa. About a week later, I was trying out the instrument of Gert Ohlsson,
one of the most prominent fiddlers and nyckelharpa players in Sweden.
In July I purchased my first instrument, learning the basics of nyckelharpa building at the same time. I had already visited
Uppland, learning tunes on the fiddle, and becoming acquainted with the style of playing done there. I recorded many hours
of music, including an afternoon of jamming at the home of Eric Sahlström, the universally acclaimed master of the
With a year of practicing at home under my belt, I returned to Sweden in 1975 with both fiddle and harpa. During my 6 months
travel, I spent several weeks in Uppland, mostly at the home of Anton Jernberg, a prominent fiddler in Österbybruk. I again
had the chance to train a few times with Eric Sahlström, and took part in the very first Nyckelharpastämma in Österbybruk.
In the next few years, I began playing fiddle and nyckelharpa professionally, and had the chance to play with most of the best
players in Sweden: among them all three Sahlström brothers, Ceylon Wallin, Gert Ohlsson, Viksta Lasse, Sven Ahlbäck,
Hans Gille, Leif Alpsjö, and many others.
I continued to play professionally for the next several years, at one time playing for Princess Christina of Sweden, who
personally complimented me on the Swedish style in my nyckelharpa playing.
Eventually I had to get a more stable job than folkmusic, and I was no longer able to play for as many events as I had
previously, but I continued to play often for dancing, weddings, and other occasions.
In early 1990, I went to Sweden again, and videotaped interviews with prominent Swedish musicians, including 11 from
Uppland. The highlight of my trip this time was the chance to informally jam with each of them, and to absorb their
enthusiasm and to copy their style.
I have now returned to music full-time, and am enjoying my chance to play at more events, and to teach both private students
and in workshops.
Anyone interested in meeting with me for music or for viewing some of my videotapes is most welcome!
PO Box 5554
Santa Rosa, CA 95402