Finlandia Fridays was visited this week by musician Jonathan Rundman. Rundman is the musician in residence this year for Heikinpäivä. Originally from Ishpeming, Rundman currently lives in the Twin Cities and makes a living off being a singer-songwriter. Rundman stated that he always wanted to be a musician, even when he was little, and was glad his career kick started in the 90’s, before streaming was around. Heikinpäivä, and other small festivals, are great for independent artists because it allows the artists to increase their fan bases, mentioned Rundman.
Rundman will be performing at the Chapel of St. Matthew at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the door. Rundman will be playing a variety of acoustic instruments and “try to channel his ancient Finnish folk roots.”
This past week, Rundman hosted two workshops, one on songwriting and the second on Finnish folk music, with a particular focus on the harmonium. Rundman discussed that he loves being able to share his abilities, while also demonstrating how to make ancestral music in the modern day.
Rundman has Finlandia roots, several of his family members attended the college, and he was born in the Jutila Center, which was formerly a hopsital. While he himself never attended FinnU, Rundman spent a week out of every summer on campus for various summer programs.
Rundman also stated that his Lutheran heritage is important to him, and the church was where he was inspired to become a musician, always being encouraged to perform when and where needed.
Born and raised in the isolated Finnish-American communities of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Jonathan Rundman has been writing songs and performing across the country since he was 18 years old. He emerged on the national music scene as a Chicago-based touring artist, generating rave reviews in Billboard, The New York Times, Performing Songwriter, Paste, and countless regional publications. Now living in Minneapolis, he continues to tour and record.
In 1999, the Finnish Theme Committee of the City of Hancock created a new Finnish-American celebration – Heikinpäivä. The celebration’s themes are taken from Finnish folk saying associated with the name day for Heikki (Henrik’s day — 19 January).
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