Vidar Skrede is a performer, composer, producer, and teacher of Nordic folk music. He is originally from western Norway (Europe) and has been a US resident since 2016, currently living in Milwaukee, WI. He is a multi-instrumentalist performing and teaching fiddle, Hardanger fiddle, guitar, and mandolin.

Vidar has a main background in traditional music from his home area Rogaland (southwestern Norway). He has learned from a wide array of Norwegian fiddlers and studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music. He also resided in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden as a master’s student of Nordic folk music through the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm.

Vidar has numerous bands, projects, and record albums behind him, both in Scandinavia and in America. He has received nominations and awards for his albums in both Norway and Finland. He has toured all the Nordic countries, Scotland, Canada, and the United States, and he has performed with a wide range of notable artists both within his tradition and beyond.

Vidar is a leading musician on the Nordic folk music scene and is well known for his own tune creations across the scene; played and recorded by many artists besides himself, and shared among all walks of folk music lovers.


Vidar Skrede has been performing and teaching Nordic folk music for a living since the late 1990s.

Current bands and projects:

Lynx Lynx (with Patrik Ahlberg – USA), Geitungen (with Olav Christer Rossebø and Håvard Ims – Norway), AAMOS (with Kevin Henderson and Mark Laurenson – UK/Norway), The Secret Carpet Club (with Emma Johansson and Car Nyqvist – Sweden)

Past bands and projects:

Vidar Skrede DYNAMO BAND (with Pilvi Järvelä and Jani Kivelä – Finland), The Newlands Co-op (with Sara Pajunen – USA), The Blue & The Blond (with Jutta Rahmel, Finland), Belbow (with Teija Niku – Finland), Sver (with Olav Mjelva and Leif Ingvar Ranøien- Norway), NOMAS (with Car Nyqvist, Pauliina Pajala, Olli Kari, Christian Stærke Hansen, and Michael Graubæk – Finland/Sweden/Denmark), The Great Norwegian Guitar Quartet (with Tore Bruvoll, Annar By, and Øystein Sandbukt – Norway), Myserk (with Brett Lipshutz, Randy Goza, and Asher Gray – USA), Vidvandre (with Bitt Pernille Frøholm, Magnus Holmsttröm, Thomas Limpan Lindberg, and Conny Hansson – Norway/Sweden), Stimenn (with Anders Ådin and Bruno Andersen – Sweden), Filtermalt (with Olav Christer Rossebø and Thomas Reite – Norway), Fant & Fente (with Vegar Vårdal, Olav Christer Rossebø, Benjamin Kehlet, and dancers – Norway).

Performed with:

Arja Saijonmaa (tours in Finland, Sweden, and Norway playing Greek bouzouki), Dalakopa (tour in the US), Gangspil (tours in the US with Kristian Bugge and Sonnich Lydom), Liz Carrol, Bruce Molsky, Hanneke Cassel, Natalie Haas, Pauline Conneely, among others and besides own bands and projects.

Toured and performed in the following countries:

Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Russia, Hungary, Scotland, Shetland, Malawi, Canada, and the US.


Attended the bachelor program for Norwegian folk music performance, at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, and the master program of Nordic folk music performance, through the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Helsinki, and Odense.

Albums released:

Geitungen – Vaniljesaus – 2001 (Norway)
Geitungen – Bra kast – Heilo/Grappa – 2005 (Norway) AWARDED at the Norwegian Folk Music Awards!
NOMAS – flow – 2009 (Finland)
Geitungen – Langt ute – Heilo/Grappa – 2009 (Norway) NOMINATED for the Norwegian Folk Music Awards!
The Secret Carpet Club – Village – Nordic Stomp – 2011 (Finland)
AAMOS – Caravan – Nordic Stomp – 2011 (Finland)
Vidar Skrede DYNAMO BAND – Happy Monkey – Nordic Stomp – 2013 (Finland)NOMINATED for the Finnish Grammy!

Albums produced by Vidar Skrede:

NOMAS – flow – 2009 (Finland)
The Secret Carpet Club – Village – Nordic Stomp – 2011 (Finland)
AAMOS – Caravan – Nordic Stomp – 2011 (Finland)
Vidar Skrede DYNAMO BAND – Happy Monkey – Nordic Stomp – 2013 (Finland) – NOMINATED for the Finnish Grammy!

Albums with Vidar Skrede as a collaborator/guest:

Gry Oftedal – Tvilevise – Mutant – 2005 (Norway)
Synnøve Sletten – Nattfiol – 2005 (Norway)
Liv Runesdatter – Syng hjerte – Heilo/Grappa – 2008 (Norway)
Polka Chicks – Viulu Ja Viinantilkka – Ääniä – 2011 (Finland)
Inge Gjevre – Blåhimmeldag – IndiGoBoom – 2011 (Norway)
Kim Robertson • Celtic harp – Forget Not the AngelsGourd Music – 2014 (USA)
Brett Lipshutz – Whistle for the Feis & Other Occasions – 2018 (USA)
The New Ole Hendricks Orchestra – Play it again, Ole! – 2019 (USA)
Gangspil – Gangspil 2 – Go Danish Folk Music 2019 (Denmark)

Album Reviews:
Vidar Skrede DYNAMO BAND – Happy Monkey (Nordic Stomp) 2013

As we in the Northern Hemisphere move away from the Autumnal Equinox toward the Winter Solstice, I crave Nordic music. While I listen to this music year-round, there is something in the lengthening nights and approaching cold that turns music of the north from that which I enjoy into that which I need. Recently that need has beckoned the music of Vidar Skrede and his Dynamo Band.

Originally from Haugesund, Norway, Skrede is an accomplished player of the hardingfele, fiddle, bouzouki, and guitar. He is joined in the Dynamo Band by Pilvi Järvelä on harmonium and Jani Kivelä on guitar, both veterans of the Finnish folk ensemble Tsuumi Sound System. The trio brings an intensity to Nordic music that is just right; it’s never over the edge, never overly relaxed, always with the right balance of musical forces. The harmonium especially adds to the fullness and warmth of the band’s sound.

All the songs here are originals, but they certainly draw deeply from tradition. There is a fine set of Nordic dances, including a polska, a waltz, and a halling. There is something in these dance tunes, especially in the simply-titled “Vals,” that truly lightens my spirits.

Three songs on this record make up a sort of simian trilogy – “Happy Monkey,” “Spring Monkey,” and “Mispleased Monkey.” And if monkey songs won’t bring some extra joy into the long dark nights of winter, I don’t know what will.

– Greg Harness

Shetland Times
AAMOS – Caravan (Nordic Stomp) 2011

“… One of the many positive things that strike you on a first listen to the CD is the quality and clarity of the recording (in Oslo) and final mix (in Helsinki). Excellent musicians in their own right, these three are very tuned in to each other’s playing — to coin a cliché, the final product is greater than the sum of the individual parts. The mood can swing from deliberate and delicate to thoroughly energetic, while still keeping a lovely clean sound, with every sign of enjoyment as well.

Although Mark and Kevin now live out with Shetland, they are living musical proof of the old saying “you can takk da man oot o’ da isles, but you canna takk da isles oot o’ da man”. A large majority of the tracks are Shetland tunes, mostly traditional, with titles carefully researched and credited in the sleeve notes. However, Mark chips in with a couple of his own tunes, Eternal Lea and Karen’s Fancy, and there’s a track fast becoming a modern Shetland classic, David’s Waltz, by Debbie Scott. I’m sure she’ll have no quibbles about how these guys perform it. På Fetlar’s Topp, a rollicking good tune from Vidar, is a tribute to a good gig and copious late-night hospitality in Fetlar.

I guess it’s an open secret that I enjoy a good old-time Norwegian waltz, so when I spotted that track 10 was another of Vidar’s tunes simply titled Vals, my thumb got busy on the CD player’s skip button. Vals certainly isn’t a “gamaldans” style waltz, and could have been written in a number of different countries, but it’s plaintive, bonnie and addictive – my thumb still gets busy on the skip button, every time I put the disc in the player! A nice tune to finish the album.

Now, decision time. Are you feeling lucky? If so, you can simply wait, in the hope that someone lays an aamos on you, and lays a copy of Caravan secretively in your back door, when your luck rubs off on them. Or, if you don’t believe in that old custom, head for one of the shops stocking Caravan, and cross their palms with silver, notes or major credit cards.”

– Maurice J Smith

Lira nr 2, 2011
The Secret Carpet Club – Village (Nordic Stomp) 2011

– Trio with a feeling for the music from the West –

This is a CD that kicks off with a stunning guitar groove in the sailor song “I dagarna fem” from Klädesholmen in Bohuslän, a tune that could be the parade example of the west wind that is blowing through the band’s music. You can find an Irish relationship in the flute playing, and the fiddle with a vigorous figure, sounds just as much like bluegrass as a Scandinavian fiddlers’ reunion festival.
All together in a dense alloy of the intensive swinging folk fusion by the guitars highly rhythmic accompany.” 

“… an imaginative reminder that the folk music’s strange kinship may do breath taking diagonals between places like Lidköping and the Appalachian Mountains…”

– Jonas Bergroth

The Secret Carpet Club – Village (Nordic Stomp) 2011

– A tasty and solid Scandinavian folk music release –

“The whole production is otherwise pervaded by an attractive combination of sparks and low shoulders. Throughout the record is a rhythmic nerve that doesn’t overshadow the dynamics that the three exhibit between them. In the rear view mirror we can see the folk-prog movement of the 70s. These are not people that are afraid of cool vocal arrangements or of an occasional unexpected chord! Nor some rather subtle measures in the production that gives the sound a warm richness.”

– Snorre F.

The Secret Carpet Club – Village (Nordic Stomp) 2011

 Village – a Nordic summer –

“… when the trio play around with the sounds in the music and throws in vocal arrangements and rhythmic variations, memories occurs of the free and exploring time of folk music in Sweden in the 70s. At the same time no doubt is left that the members of The Secret Carpet Club are extensive educated in the traditional music and master it to their fingertips, which we have gotten in habit of expecting from young folk musicians. But here is something we maybe could not expect. Nordic folk music releases from recent years often reminds of the Nordic winter. They are affected by great seriousness. This Album reminds more of the Nordic summer. There is sincerity and seriousness also, but the undertone is light and it is the joy and lust for life that dominates.”

– Audun Kjus
Geitungen – Bra Kast, (Heilo/Grappa) 2005

Hailing from Rogaland in the southwest of Norway, this young trio has its feet firmly planted in the traditional music of that area. This is their second album if you don’t count the little demo that preceded their debut, Vaniljesaus. Using the basic ingredients of fiddle, guitar, and accordion, they conjure up a sweet, unaffected sound. None of the three is a flashy player, but as a unit, they have the driving skills to keep toes tapping.

Håvard Ims’ work on accordion is sure-footed and rhythmic. He nimbly tackles off-kilter meters on “Halling” and keeps it sweet and simple on the waltzes.

Viðar Stefán Berntsson Skrede (got names?) anchors things with his able fiddle and Hardanger playing. His work on “Springar” and “Brautaslåtten” has an atavistic feel, drony and modal.

Olav Christer Rossebø is light-fingered and squeaky clean on mandolin, mandola, and guitar. He has a lovely mandola solo on “Bruraslag,” giving the piece the feel of a Renaissance pavane.

The overall sound strikes a fine balance between delicacy and drive. The dancier pieces have a nice swing to them, and the slower numbers are tender without being overwrought. They don’t stray into the avant-garde arrangements, atonality, and extended chords so favored by many Scandinavian bands out there. Keeping it close to tradition and close to the vest works for this group right now. As all three are in their mid-twenties, it will be interesting to see how they develop as they mature.

– Peggy Latkovich

fRoots issue 273, 2006
Geitungen – Bra Kast, (Heilo/Grappa) 2005

Fiddle, hardingfele, mandola, guitar and melodeon, and the important foot-stamp; Haugesund quartet gelling well in a lively and well-chosen set of Norwegian dance tunes including springar, hopsar, reinlender, halling and waltz, played with spirited lift and – a given if one gets to make an album on a Norwegian trad label – mastery.

– Andrew Cronshaw
Geitungen – Vaniljesaus, 2001

A warm mood in the melodies and a bubbly, but restrained playing style. At the same time, it’s full of sizzling life force in the expression. All the tunes are original pieces, most of them within traditional frames, although sometimes at the outer edge, as well as a few trips over the edge. This is creative and unpretentious love of tradition, interspersed with a sense of humor.

– Arne Fredriksen

Students’ Reviews:

“I’ve had many teachers in my life, and Vidar Skrede is hands down the best. As an instructor, he embodies a unique combination of highly analytical and highly empathic. His depth of thought and knowledge about the musical issues allows him to drill down through many layers, during a lesson, expanding one’s knowledge and awareness. At the same time, he can personally relate to the challenges of performance expectations, and adopts a holistic approach to these. Positive and encouraging, yet also honest, he is nurturing and also adaptable to the different pedagogical needs of his students. For issues related to posture and stance, he takes the long view of patience over time, with gentle prods along the way. Most amazing is how he can deep-dive one into something like the Rabbit Hole from Alice in Wonderland: you go deeper and deeper, into a tune or an issue, and then magically resurface with an entirely new understanding of not just the tune, but of other, deeper, musical sensibilities as well. Vidar is both philosophical in his approach, and takes you where you are, at any given moment.”

Drue, Minnesota, US – harding-fiddle

“There are lots of fine trad musicians in the world.  Very few can lead students to make progress as musicians, not just accumulate more tunes.  Vidar is one of those rare players who can teach every bit as well as they can play.  Working with Vidar is a great mixture of learning tunes, and how to bring those tunes alive so listeners want to dance, and I look forward to my practice time.   His patience and skill have made a wonderful difference in my playing!”

Teresa, California, US – fiddle