Paul Dahlin


Paul started playing fiddle with his grandfather, Edwin, and his uncle, Bruce, as a young boy. They played for family get-togethers and close friends. Paul played lead melody, Edwin played lower chord knackning, and Bruce played a higher chord. The three went on to become the  American Swedish Spelmans Trio playing from coast to coast. With Paul’s solid traditional melody, they performed their music twice at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, DC, on the main stage at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, in Virginia for an audience of over 20,000, at President Carter's inaugural celebration in 1977, plus many other festivals around the country. After Edwin’s passing in 1984, Paul continued in his grandfather's foot steps and shared this music with the world. Paul started teaching Swedish folk fiddle in his home. But soon, the number grew too large to accommodate. He moved the classes to the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. Not long after, he formed the ASI Spelmanslag. With his sound leadership, they performed throughout the Midwest and several times in Sweden. Paul has given workshops and performances throughout the country. For his work with Swedish folk music, he has received the National Heritage Fellowship Award, the National Council for the Traditional Arts Award, and from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Paul was given The Royal Order of the Polar Star Officer “Knight” 1st Class. Thanks to Paul’s hard work, his grandfather's folk fiddle tradition is alive and well in America today.

In 1996 Paul was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship for his work with Swedish Folk Fiddling in America. At the award ceremony in Washington, DC a small group of us performed with Paul. His wife MariKay, my sister, Paul mother Nancy Dahlin, Myself and are good friend from Sweden, Anders Bjernulf. It was quit an honor.

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