Combining innovative instrumentation and an ever-curious sense of improvisation with a deep
love for traditional Nordic music, Groupa plays some of the most exciting folk music of our
time. Using instruments such as mouth harp, overtone flutes, viola d’amore, bells, stones, wood,
and melodeon, they draw fresh colors and explore new musical dimensions. In the sounds of
Groupa, you will find a composed picture of the traditions of yesterday, the whims of today, and
the possibilities of tomorrow.
The original band was founded as a five-piece in 1980. Through intense gigging and the releases
of their first albums – Av bara farten (1983), Vildhonung (1985) and Utan sans (1988), Groupa
became a vanguard of the progressive folk music scene in Sweden, along with other groups like
Filarfolket. Mats Edén (fiddle, viola d’amore, hardanger fiddle, accordion) is the artistic hub and
the only remaining member from its beginnings in 1980. Since then, many highly acclaimed
musicians have taken part in the journey that is Groupa’s career: Leif Stinnerbom, Inger
Stinnerbom, Bill McChesney, Thomas Gabrielsson, Hållbus Totte Mattson, Gustav Hylén,
Rickard Åström, Tina Quartey, Helge Norbakken, Sofia Karlsson.
Over the years the band has collaborated with Ale Möller, Alag M’bye, Lena Willemark, the
chamber orchestra Musica Vitae, Ingfrid Breie Nyhus, Guro Kvifte Nesheim amongst others.
The band currently consists of Edén along with Jonas Simonson (flutes, bass clarinet), and Terje
Isungset (drums, percussion, mouth harp), who joined in 1983 and 1997 respectively.
In 1987 Groupa received the ”Volkkunstpreis F V S zu Hamburg”. Come the next decade, the
band could be enjoyed in numerous Swedish towns, performing as one of the pillars that made
up the collaborative touring project Folkmusiktältet during the summer of 1990. The following
year they were awarded a Grammy for their fourth album Månskratt, featuring Lena Willemark
as guest vocalist. The motivation of the jury read: ”For pulling the old woolly feeling off folk
music with a curious smile!” Some 25 years later, the same album was named the sixth most
significant Swedish folk music album ever by the magazine Lira. Groupa received a second
Grammy in 1996 for their album Imeland. This time in competition with best-selling artists
Rikard Wolff and Stefan Sundström.
In 1997, Groupa was joined by Terje Isungset who added a unique rhythmic sensitivity as well as
a range of unusual timbres from materials such as wood, stone and even ice, used by this
Norwegian master of experimental percussion music. One reviewer wrote refering to Isungset’s
addition to the band: “… high-energy jew’s-harp zizz as well as percussion, like an earthquake in
As a quintet featuring singer Sofia Karlsson, Groupa released two albums: Lavalek in 1999 and Fjalar in 2002.
“On top of that are the just-right vocals of the other newish Groupanaut, Sofia Karlsson, who
like Isungset is now fully integrated and takes an equal part in arranging and composition. With
her, the band has turned another corner in its long and continuously interesting career, the
backbone of Swedish new-roots since the early 1980s.” Andrew Cronshaw, fROOTS Magazine,
“Lavalek is the most expansive and curious excursion the band has ever taken, working with a
broader ambiance, an interesting mix of gentle, natural acoustics and aggressive use of
percussion and electric keyboards.” Cliff Furnald, Roots World, about Lavalek.
Since 2007 Groupa has mainly worked as a trio. Their first trio album, Frost, was released in
2008. They have also engaged in collaborations with a number of other musicians.
In 2011, Groupa were joined by singer Lena Willemark on tour, performing with the Swedish
chamber orchestra Musica Vitae. The following year they performed a highly acclaimed
showcase at Womex in Thessaloniki.
In 2014, the album Silent Folk was released and received a great number of positive reviews. One
writer called Groupa’s music “minimalist music played to maximum effect.”
2016 saw the release of the album Kind of Folk – Vol. 1 Sweden, interpreting traditional Swedish
melodies, as well as presenting a few of their own tracks. Rootsworld’s reviewer said about the
album that “Groupa’s way of blending the old and traditional with the new and unusual is
In the summer of 2018, Groupa performed in concert together with Ingfrid Breie Nyhus and
Guro Kvifte Nesheim at the chamber music festival Musik i Äppelriket.
In the same year, Groupa continued exploring and reinventing Nordic folk music on their
eleventh album, Kind of Folk – Vol. 2 Norway.
Ever since the start, Groupa has been a very popular live band. The band tours Sweden,
Scandinavia and Europe extensively, and has appeared at the following festivals: Roskilde Festival,
Musik over Præstö fjord – Denmark, Folk Festival Dranouter and Gooikoorts – Belgium, Jazz &
Heritage festival New Orleans, Nordic Roots Festival, Minneapolis – USA, Folk Alliance,
Vancouver – Canada, Pontardawe and Wadebridge – UK, Leipzig Tanzhausfest, Rudolstadt Folk
Festival and folkBaltica – Germany, Violin and Village Festival in Maramures – Romania, Festival
Porta in Riga – Latvia, Kaustinen Folk Festival and Haapavesi Folk Festival – Finland, Falun Folk
Music Festival, Stockholm Water festival, Urkult vid Nämforsen, Hultsfredsfestivalen, Korrö-
stämman, Linköpings folkmusikfestival – Sweden and many others. Groupa has also toured India.