Sabes Jewish Community Center in Minneapolis invited Saana Ensemble to perform a concert to celebrate its current photography exhibition of Jews in Finland (a tiny minority - 1500 Jews in a nation of 5.3 million). Dina Kantor, originallly from Mpls, is the featured artist. We loved the venue and sold a bunch of CDs! The concert was also a warm up for Saana's trip to Finnfest in San Diego this week. All of sudden it is so cool in MN that a warm up of 80 F in sunny CA will feel so good...
Last weekend we drove six hours towards Frederick, South Dakota. You wouldn't believe how much fun we had once we decided to shoot a video while traveling -in a car. Of course, most of us had seen the Porkka Playboys video and were truly inspired by it. We actually shoot several acts, maybe we can come up with a real video sometime soon! I do have to say that at least one of our fans thought we looked better than the Porkka Playboys. Take that as a compliment, I guess.
Frederick hosts a Finnish festival every year and what an effort that must be for a small community. We were welcomed by a master weaver Annikki Marttila and her two daughters who had done a lot for the festival. Our hosts were Cathy and John and their darling seven Britney spaniels, whom we sang "I have a secret for you". What an enthusiastic audience they were, almost reading from our lips the whole song! The dogs, I mean.
On Saturday night at dusk, they fired up the "kokko", a huge bonfire which was set on a raft in the river. We sang some Finnish songs while watching it. Lovely indeed.
About a month ago, we noticed that our Facebook page will soon be archived. When we created that page, fan pages for bands were non-existing. They popped out some time ago, but we felt the group will be fine to stay in touch with our fans. Well, now we know it isn't going to be enough, as FB will "archive" it and we will lose all our group members, photos and posts. We now have a new Saana Ensemble BAND page on FB, so please LIKE that. We can't let you go now that the new CD is right here...We also created a cool band page
http://www.reverbnation.com/saanaensemble. It's like MySpace with sound samples and much more. How do you like it?
Back to CD...We'll soon e-mail all of you on our e-list about how to order On the Bridge (that's the title).
We finished recording ("tracking" in studio lingo) our CD this afternoon, well before schedule! We started at Wild Sound Studio earlier this month with some a cappella songs and now we added the musicians and worked on the rest of the vocals. Outside it was very cold but cozy and comfy in the studio. The musicians, Dan, Joel, Sara, Peter, and Marc (also our producer) really blew us away, not to mention Matt of Wild Sound. All of them were instantly given Finnish nicknames (except Sara who is already Finnish enough). We hope to do a CD release concert in Twin Cities in early spring. This is all very exciting...
Snow started to fall as we drove to NY Mills for our holiday concert on Friday. This was our fourth time there! By the time we got there, NY Mills looked like a scene from a Christmas movie. Across the street at Eagle's Cafe there was a Finnish themed dinner which was very good, especially the rhubarb soup! The Cultural Center is a quaint venue with lovely acoustics and audience and we hope to go back next year.