We, Offerdal Rural musical pride, folk music team, which was formed in 1985 by 0lle Simonsson, launched our 'international career "in 1999 with a trip to the Chicago metropolitan area. There was the performances of the Swedish-American Museum, where Scandinavian Day Festival at Vasa Park, in Rockford, Loda and Paxton. One and another track with the Chicago Folk Music, which among other things, had Offerdal songs in the repertoire, and with Chicago Blue Grass Band. We have continued contact with this part of the world through our Foreigners member, Don Peterson of Loda. Don was our reason for the whole trip.
In 2001 drove shares of Spelmanslaget with Brunflo Folkdansgille on a journey through Moscow to Kaluga, inter alia, 15 - 20 mil south of the capital. The reason this time was called Johnny and Jelena Hedberg, who worked with to help parts of the former Soviet Union to launch social work. A veterankör from Kaluga visited Jamtland 2000 and we performed together in Krokom one evening. So it was only right to visit them next year. It was unforgettable meetings and experiences, both with and without music. Not least contact with children and young people at a couple schools. The year 2002 was children doing Jämtland and danced, played and sang. EVERYTHING can be arranged - if you want!
Last year we played for the Zulu king, Goodwill (as he called in English) in IT-billion honor Dan Olofsson's plant on the western Storgärdesrun Offerdal. Later in the year we were there again, and our bass player, Tord "Lobic" Edler, Dan asked if we could not get to go to South Africa a turn. "Sure," said Dan after a few seconds, "in February, it fits in well".
And so it was!
We were 12 fiddlers and-women, which went via London to Johannesburg on 16 February. We landed around 07.00-time the next day, without bass, guitars and a third of a concertina. Accordionists Gunno had sent the instrument woofer in my suitcase and took the rest of the planet. We were, however, help to get a bass and two guitars to a gig in Soweto. Where we appeared with Ken Wennerholm and Goran Rudbo, ie Triple and Touch and pianist Magnus Spångberg and a youth choir at the unveiling of a statue in memory of 10-year-old Hector Peterson who was shot dead in Soweto at the abolition of apartheid. He has become a great symbol of freedom for the colored in South Africa. Hector's mother was there, so it was really radical. Dan and Christine Olofsson, together with the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise has ensured that this statue has been gone, like that of Nelson Mandela - approximately 5 m high - which have been raised at the Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg.
That evening was the celebration of the Saxon Hotel with lots of singing and music together with Triple and Touch, Svensson, and others. We found also a barpianist and a blind singer in another part of the hotel so there was also music, ranging from Paul Simon and Don McLean to ABBA. As I said, anything is possible!
After a flight to Richards Bay, north of Durban on the east coast, and a drive further north we went to Dan Olofsson's Thanda Game Rasort, namely hotels with safari. So close to paradise as one can get on earth!
Guitars and bass had been corrected. Fiddler Gunnar promised to go in the monastery on the accordion part showed up, which of course we hoped all the more when ....
We stayed in the midst of lions, buffaloes, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, impala, warthogs and monkeys. And wonderfully nice people!
One day we were at the Indian Ocean and bounced between the breakers. We both got sunburn, sunstroke and lobster in a few hours.
One of this week's highlights was a so-called lounge for 1,000 people at a school just outside of Swaziland. Dan and Christine Olofsson invest big money in the Star School project, which means that 40 secondary schools in South Africa and 10 in Namibia father Star School status in 2007. This was therefore an opening of such a school. The 27th in order. Teachers trained
in teaching young people to dare to have dreams about their future life, to stick to them, to get a different view of sex, to protect themselves and thus stay healthy, to live with HIV, and so on. All with much singing and music, joy and dance. Very Triple and Touch, which is Star School Ambassadors. And on this day some Jämtländsk folk music, including Victims Dals Spelmanslag that exotic spice. A couple of elderly women danced uncontrollably to our music. Groupies, yes!
Last night down there was inaugurated an administration and education building for the Thanda Star School. Dinner for 300 people and we had to see again King Goodwill and play the Zulu Hambo which 0lle was on his way home from the Indian Ocean two days earlier. It just fabulous trip ended after a good journey home to 40 degrees colder Jämtland on 25 February.
Remember, what you can hear the music! Right contacts easier. Thank you, Christine and Dan!
PS. Gunno bag and woofer to move the game came to inform the mid-week so he got a part to play catch up. Gunnar has not yet gone into monasteries. We are waiting. A frog hired immediately checked himself into Gunno accordion bag, and (possibly the same frog) came as illegal immigrants to Offerdal in his suitcase. It was quite probably a Zulu princess ...