Ross Sutter

The Sutter Brothers

For more than thirty years, The Sutter Brothers have performed lively
shows that integrate Bart’s original poems with Ross’ versions of traditional
Scandinavian songs and tunes. Whether they’re entertaining at the American
Swedish Institute in Minneapolis or the Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield,
Wisconsin, the International Poetry Forum in Pittsburgh or a tiny public
library, their programs are always strongly colored by their rural background
and their Scandinavian heritage.
Ross has won the Sally Award for his work in arts education and three
grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board. He has appeared on A Prairie
Home Companion and at The Winnipeg Folk Festival, among hundreds of
other venues. For several years now, he has led the Swedish Midsommar
Festival in New York City. The author of eight books, Bart has won the
Minnesota Book Award three times and was named the first Poet Laureate
of Duluth. He has also written for public radio and has had four plays
produced, including, most recently, Cow Calls in Dalarna, about the
summer pasture camps of Sweden.
Though Ross and Bart have established individual reputations, they
especially enjoy performing as a pair. In 2014, they earned an Arts Tour
Minnesota grant to take their show throughout the state, and in 2015 they
went international, performing at several locations in Sweden, including the
village from which their paternal grandfather emigrated as a boy. Both
brothers are featured in the documentary series Pretty Much 100%
Scandinavian by the Swedish film company Camera Q.

Greet the Folks at Home

The Sutter Brothers integrate Bart’s original poems with Ross’
versions of songs and tunes from the folk tradition to explore the experience
of Scandinavian immigrants and their descendants. Because they learned
their first songs and stories about “the old country” from their maternal
grandmother, their show has a strong feminine emphasis, including work
that yearns for lost relationships, celebrates a babysitter as an earth goddess,
and honors the Norwegian accordionist, Irene Tillung.

Children’s Program

Ross Sutter will present a program of Swedish songs, song games and
instruments which will engage and delight the whole family. Ross has taught
Swedish songs and games at schools, festivals, libraries and camps for over
thirty years including the Midsommar Festival in New York City’s Battery
Park, Norsk Høstfest in Minot, North Dakota and the Scandinavian Festival
in Thousand Oaks, California. Ross regularly presents his program at the
American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis where director Bruce Karstadt
once said, “It was obvious to me that the children (and parents) thoroughly
enjoyed your program. You have a wonderful style in relating to children,
especially in your song games.