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ABBA in Tracy? Not exactly.

July 2, 2010 - Per Peterson
When someone says there will be a popular Swedish band coming to the area, the word ABBA comes to mind. But on Thursday in Tracy’s Central Park a different kind of Swedish music was on display when Jarfalla Concert Band came to town as part of a mini-tour of the Upper Midwest. The more than 100 attendees at the concert — I’d say about 90 percent of Swedish descent — were treated to nearly two hours worth of free entertainment and should consider themselves fortunate to have had the opportunity to take in some real, traditional music from another country. The band made only three stops in Minnesota and Tracy was by far the smallest town it hit — the others include Red Wing, the city the tour’s manager hails from, and St. Paul. The concert band, which plays a combination of Scandinavian and international music (including a Quincy Jones number) also played in Sioux Falls, S.D., and will be performing in Delafield, Wis., and Evanston, Ill., next week. The band, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007, is considered one of the Top 10 concert bands in Sweden. It has 35 musicians, ranging in age from 14 to 71. Personally, having the band perform in my hometown was pretty cool, not only because one of the trombonist’s names is Per, but it gave my dad a chance to hold a conversation in Swedish with the conductor, whose name is Åke Hedbom. Didn’t understand a word they said to each other, but was cool nonetheless. There were no language barriers, however, when it came to the music.


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