Andrea Hoag, Loretta Kelley, and Charlie Pilzer have performed at concerts and dances across the U.S. and in Europe for over 25 years, including appearances on All Things Considered, Performance Today, andPrairie Home Companion. They can be heard together on the CDs Hambo in the Snow and Hambo in the Barn. Andrea, widely known for her versatile fiddling, is a 1984 graduate of Malungs Folkhögskola, and studied intensively with elder fiddlers Päkkos Gustaf and Nils Agenmark. Loretta is America’s foremost player of the hardingfele (Hardanger fiddle), an ornately-decorated Norwegian folk violin with sympathetic strings and a 300-year-old tradition. She has studied with numerous master fiddlers in Norway and placed highly in Norwegian fiddle competitions. Charlie is an award-winning performer and producer of traditional and acoustic music. He is a long-time member of Spælimenninir, a folk band based in the Faroe Islands.
Charlie Pilzer – Bio
Musician. Producer. Sound engineer. Event organizer. Charlie Pilzer is a busy man, always devoting himself to creating award-winning Scandinavian, Celtic, folk, and acoustic music and sharing his love of the traditions with audiences, listeners, and other musicians around the world.
Well known as a dance musician (piano and bass) for New England folk dances, Charlie began his involvement with Scandinavian music in 1978, when he met the Faroe Islands-based band Spælimenninir (“the folk musicians”) during their first U.S. tour. Reflecting the international group’s membership (Faroese, Danish, Swedish, and American), Spælimenninir’s repertoire is pan-Scandinavian, with a good helping of American contra dance music.
Spælimenninir is heard throughout the public radio system in Europe and the U.S. with frequent appearances on Radio Danmark, and on Garrison Keillor ‘s “A Prairie Home Companion”. The band is a festival favorite, appearing at the Tønder Folk and Jazz Festival in Denmark, the Festival Belle Isle in France, and the prestigious Edinburgh Folk Festival, as well as festivals in the Shetland and Orkney Islands, and numerous events in the U.S. and Canada.
Charlie’s performing and touring with a pan-Scandinavian band made him ideally qualified to work with two of America’s finest performers of Scandinavian fiddle music, Andrea Hoag and Loretta Kelley, on a pair of highly acclaimed CDs of traditional and recently-composed Scandinavian tunes. Hambo in the Barn (1996) and Hambo in the Snow (2006) were released on the Azalea City Recordings label, a musicians’ cooperative which Charlie helped found. Hambo in the Snow was nominated for a 2007 GRAMMY Award as Best Traditional World Music Album.
In addition to being a performer, Charlie is a strong supporter of promoting folk music and dance as part of everday life. He has been on the staff at camps run by the Country Dance & Song Society and the Christmas Country Dance School at Berea College, and has served as program director for the CDSS Family Week program at Pinewoods Camp. Involved with the Washington Revels for years, Charlie is currently an Artistic Associate for Music.
When not performing, Charlie is chief engineer at Airshow in Takoma Park, MD. His success with mastering all the genres of music made in the mid-Atlantic region – from gospel to folk, world music to alternative – can be attributed to his broad base of experience and musical knowledge. Charlie’s attention to detail is well known and is best exemplified in the audio restoration of vintage recordings. In addition to mastering GRAMMY-winning and nominated projects, Charlie received a GRAMMY for mastering and restoration on the Anthology of American Folk Music (1997).
Following his belief that one should give back to one’s community, Charlie is a proud member of Local 1000 of the American Federation of Musicians and serves on the local’s executive board. He is a former board member of the Folk Alliance. served on the Board of Governors for the Washington, DC Chapter of NARAS and works on projects for the Folklore Society of Greater Washington.