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The First Names on the Tønder Festival 2022 Roster

Two years of corona-canceled festivals are over: live music is cooking again. The first nine names from abroad are booked for Tønder Festival 2022, among them Keb’ Mo’, Cara Dillon, Eilen Jewell, Blazin’ Fiddles, and Blue Rose Code.

Good news from Tønder: nine top international bands and soloists are booked for Tønder Festival 2022. It’s been two long years without a real Tønder Festival, so next year’s event will be especially welcome. The last weekend in August 2022 will see the festival site gates open, tents, stalls, eateries and bars ready, and a whole host of musicians, sound crew, technicians and all the volunteers welcoming you with open arms.

World Class Folk & Blues

He was to have appeared in 2020, so now Tønder Festival is proud to announce the American songwriter and guitarist Keb’ Mo’, a musician with a worldwide status in the field of country and delta blues.

A Voice of Crystal

From Ireland we have the award-winning singer, Cara Dillon, a famous name in Irish traditional music.

Popular Norwegian Songwriter

A concert with Bjørn Eidsvåg was scheduled for Schweizerhalle / Tønder Culture Centre this year, but he was hindered by corona restrictions. Now the Norwegian songwriter will perform at Tønder Festival 2022. 

Scots Notes

The Scottish band Blazin’ Fiddles have been blasting away for over twenty years now in the service of the Scots music tradition. The critics have praised another Scots musician we’ll be seeing: Blue Rose Code – the stage name of songwriter, singer and guitarist Ross Wilson.

Americana elite

The return of American Eilen Jewell, who delighted Tønder Festival audiences in 2016 with top-notch roots rock and country; and, from North Carolina, songwriter and guitarist Christopher Paul

Stelling, a first-time guest at Tønder, are among the treats in store at Tønder Festival 2022.

Canadian traditions and classical piano

From Canada we have pianist Sarah Hagen, who is a classically trained pianist known for her spectacular, highly entertaining concerts. The trio The Once, proud tradition bearers with an excellent line in vocal harmonies, are also Canadians, from Newfoundland. 

At Last: a Festival Again in Tønder

“We are very happy finally to present the musicians who should have appeared here in 2020 and in 2021. It is not only our dearest desire to have these fine musicians on the Tønder Festival programme; we also have a duty to fulfill both our contractual obligations and our audiences’ expectations. We must also send sincere thanks to all who have supported Tønder Festival in many tangible ways during the covid pandemic. That backing has been vital for Tønder Festival,” says Maria Theessink, artistic director at Tønder Festival. 

Buy tickets for Tønder Festival 2022 at


Keb’ Mo’ (USA)

A genuine bluesman also recognized for his songwriting, 70-year-old Keb’ Mo’ has a solid base in old-fashioned country and delta blues, but has never shied away from venturing outside his comfort zone. His variations on the central tenets of blues music are inspired by rock, country, folk and jazz. Keb’ Mo’, real name Kevin Roosevelt Moore, is a recent recipient of an Americana Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 Americana Honors & Awards.  He has won five Grammy prizes and been nominated 12 times. His album Oklahoma, with guest spots by Robert Randolph, Rosanne Cash and Taj Mahal, won the Best Americana Album award.  Working with Taj Mahal is nothing new for Keb’ Mo’. In 2017, Keb’ Mo’ and Taj Mahal made the album TajMo, which won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album, and took the duo on tours of both USA and Europe. Through the years, Keb’ Mo’ has performed with Bonnie Raitt, Vince Gill, Jackson Browne and Lyle Lovett, and has appeared three times at Eric Clapton’s famous Crossroads Festival. Keb’ Mo’ played at Amager Bio in Copenhagen in July 2019. His Tønder Festival concert, where he will be backed by his band, is his only festival concert in Denmark in 2022.

Eilen Jewell (USA)

Eilen Jewell has a good grasp of the americana style, with its elements of alternative country and roots rock. In 2016, Eilen Jewell and her band played at Tønder Festival, and many doubtless recall their fine concert on the Open Air Stage. The American songwriter and singer Eilen Jewell (born in 1979) has firmly established her name internationally. She comes from Idaho and began her musical career while at college. After a sojourn in Los Angeles, she moved to Boston, where she joined in the lively folk roots music scene. This is where she made her first album in 2006. A series of studio and live albums has followed, the most recent being the studio album Gypsy from 2019. One reviewer described Eilen Jewell’s singing voice as “somewhere between Billie Holiday and Neko Case”, while another has written that she is  “a reincarnation of Johnny Cash.” The Los Angeles Daily News writes of Eilen Jewell: “Sometimes she is dark and moody, like Lucinda Williams, other times wilful and teasing like the early Peggy Lee; but always authentic americana, in the Gillian Welch tradition.” Eilen Jewell with her band play their only Danish festival concert at Tønder Festival 2022. 

Cara Dillon (IRL)

One of Ireland’s great singers, Cara Dillon, who has sung at Tønder festival before, is a feted and cherished voice in Irish folk music. At the early age of 14 she won the prestigious All-Ireland Singing Trophy, recognising her shining talent. In the years that followed, Cara Dillon performed in many contexts, among them with the world famous band De Dannan. Aged 19, in1995, Cara Dillon joined the group Equation, with the Lakeman brothers Sean, Seth and Sam, and Kathryn Roberts. Though she did not stay long with Equation, Cara Dillon ended up marrying Sam Lakeman, who is also her musical partner. Cara Dillon’s solo debut album Cara Dillon from 2001 was a great success, leading to tours of Europe, USA, Australia, Japan and China. Subsequent releases established Cara Dillon’s musical achievements, including many awards and nominations up through the noughties, culminating in the album Hill of Thieves (2009), which was crowned Album of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. A BBC reviewer wrote, “Dillon’s crystalline, angelic voice is an instrument of rare beauty, capable of melting the hardest heart.” Cara Dillon and her band play their only Danish festival concert at Tønder Festival 2022. 

Bjørn Eidsvåg (NO)

The Norwegian songsmith Bjørn Eidsvåg has a large following in Denmark, while in his homeland he is one of the best-selling recording artists. His lyrics touch on existential matters, such as faith and doubt, and he can deal with big questions in simple, accessible songs. He has often been described as the thinking person’s songwriter, his music inspired by folk, rock and the ballad traditions, with input from bossa nova, soul and jazz. Bjørn Eidsvåg was born in 1954, is an ordained minister and has worked in psychiatry. His music career began in 1971, his first recording dates from 1976, and he has since lived as songwriter, musician and story-teller.  In 1993 he made a name for himself in Norway with the album Allemannsland (Everybody’s Country), and his albums Tålt (Tolerated) (2002) and Rundt Neste Sving (Round the Next Bend) (2010) sold over 200,000 copies each. Through the years, Bjørn Eidsvåg has been on many tours, including Denmark. His most recent album is Tabt Paradis (Paradise Lost) from 2020. He is appearing with his band at Tønder Festival 2022.

Blazin’ Fiddles (SCO)

When Blazin’ Fiddles began in 1998, the immediate plan was to demonstrate some of the many fiddle styles of the Scots Highland traditions. But the band met such approval that they decided to continue. As the name indicates, fiddles are to the fore, and in Blazin’ Fiddles they are played by Jenna Reid,  Bruce MacGregor, Rua Macmillan and Kristan Harvey, each representing a traditional style from their respective home regions. On piano it’s Angus Lyon, on guitar Anna Massie, familiar from her previous appearances at Tønder Festival, supplying eminent back-up to Blazin’ Fiddles’ many violins. The repertoire covers both traditional and newly-composed music, delivered with an intensity and power that comes from four top violinists on stage. Blazin’ Fiddles have made seven albums, the most recent being The Key from 2017. The band has been on the concert trail, touring with, among others, Karen Matheson and Emily Smith as special guests. The band have won several prizes, among them three at Scots Trad Music Awards: Live Act of the Year, Album of the Year and Folk Band of The Year. Their only Danish festival concert in 2022.

 Blue Rose Code (SCO)

Blue Rose Code is the Scots singer, songwriter and guitarist Ross Wilson. He taps into many styles – folk, jazz, pop and soul, and he has made his mark as one of Scotland’s most distinctive voices. Critics praise Blue Rose Code, comparing him to John Martyn, Van Morrison, Tom Waits and Jackson Browne. The Water of Leith, from 2017, is studio album number four from Blue Rose Code, with guest spots by some of Scotland’s finest musicians, among them Julie Fowlis, Kathleen MacInnes and Ross Ainslie. The American songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman is also on the list. His previous albums have drawn admiration, in particular The Ballads of Peckham Rye, which was nominated as Scottish Album of the Year in 2014. His most recent release is Live at Celtic Connections, recorded at the digital edition of the major Scots folk festival in 2021.With his Blue Rose Code band, he plays his only Danish festival concert at Tønder Festival 2022.

Christopher Paul Stelling (USA)

Songwriter and guitarist Christopher Paul Stelling (born in 1982) is an actual travelling troubadour. Currently based in North Carolina, he has previously lived in New York City, Seattle and Colorado, and has spent recent years touring in numerous US states and in Europe. Christopher Paul Stelling’s masterful, melodic finger-picking guitar style perfectly supports his sensitive song narratives. He has made six albums since 2012. In September 2019 he released a single, Have To Do For Now, produced by fellow songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ben Harper. Among many glowing reviews for this American songwriter is this from radio station WNYC: “Christopher Paul Stelling’s musical narratives are a long journey full of lush ethnic, mythological and religious pictures.” The album Best Of Luck, which came out in February 2020, was also produced by Ben Harper, and his newest release, Forgiving It All was released in September 2021. Solo at Tønder Festival – and his only Danish festival concert in 2022.

 Sarah Hagen (CAN)

Her playing of classical compositions has been described as “outstandingly inventive.” Canadian Sarah Hagen’s inventiveness can be heard in her sensitive, emotive piano playing and in the artistic projects she has created. Sarah Hagen has collaborated with both classical musicians and musicians from other fields, for instance the Danish jazz pianist Søren Bebe. With photographers, dancers and spoken word performers, she has created new experiences, binding classical compositions to other forms of creative expression. Her innovative approach to classical music has brought her to concert halls throughout North America and Europe, and her travels have inspired new projects. At Tønder Festival you will hear and see a woman with a powerful creative urge and a fine sense of humour, for example when she tells about 19th century female composers and interprets their music. Sara Hagen performs solo at her only Danish festival concert in 2022.

The Once (CAN)

An acoustic trio from Newfoundland in Canada, The Once have been on the go since 2009, furthering Newfoundland’s proud songwriting, musical and poetic traditions. The trio have built their reputation on their fine interpretations, and are noted for their talented vocal harmonies. Their latest album, Time Enough, which came out in 2018, has the trio driving their sound with their trademark harmonies, and widening their musical boundaries. The Once have been nominated for Canadian East Coast Music Awards as well as JUNO Awards. In 2010, they won two prizes at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. The Once supported British band Passenger on tours of USA, Canada, Europe and Australia in 2014. One reviewer described The Once as follows: “Perfect vocal harmonies. Think of an ideal mix of Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch with The Chieftains backing, and Daniel Lanois stirring the music.” Their only Danish festival concert in 2022.

See you at Tønder Festival 2022!

Tønder Festival 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th August 2022

Twitter: @tonderfestival


GGM Staff


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