Sprig of That
Folk / World / Residency
Sprig of That
Serendipity, a mutual friend, and a shared love of string band music brought Sprig of That together in Minneapolis in January of 2018. Since then, the trio has made a name for themselves in Minneapolis’ storied music scene and beyond, performing lush original works and fresh arrangements of folk favorites that have delighted audiences from Western Minnesota to New York City. Hailing from different musical upbringings, the trio distills a wide range of musical interests into a cohesive and joyful sound that is constantly evolving.
Influenced by groundbreaking works like Bela Fleck’s 2009 album The Melody of Rhythm (featuring percussionist Zakir Hussein and bassist Edgar Meyer), the group’s sound sits somewhere between Northern European fiddle styles, modern American string music, and the “indie classical” contemporary classical movement. Dazzling yet beautiful playing by Isabel Dammann on fiddle and Ilan Blanck on guitar set the stage for what truly brings Sprig of That’s music to life: the tabla. Krissy Bergmark’s at once melodic and rhythmic playing, anchored in the Indian Classical traditions of the instrument, stamps the music with the group’s unique signature. Whether improvising, performing completely through-composed pieces, or doing a mix of the two, Sprig of That draws on deep and varied musical traditions to play thoroughly modern music.
2020 will see Sprig wrap up its ambitious “Metro Blend: Twin Cities Composer Commissons” project. With support from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, the group commissioned eight musically and demographically diverse Twin Cities composers, resulting in eight distinct and compelling pieces. From structured improvisations to a meditation on life and death with Turkish lyrics, the music pushes Sprig in new and exciting directions. The project will culminate in a studio album comprising the new music, to be released in early 2021.
In barely three years, Sprig of That has wracked up an impressive resume of accomplishments as performers, composers, and teachers. They have found success at some of Minneapolis’s most important music venues like the Cedar Cultural Center, Icehouse, and the Hook and Ladder Theater, where they released their self titled debut EP. The EP, featuring original compositions and imaginative reworkings of classics like “Cluck Old Hen” solidifed their new and compelling sound. In 2019, they were chosen to spend a week in New York City as a part of Carnegie Hall and The Julliard School’s inaugural Audience Engagement Intensive, exploring different ways to connect with audiences and tell stories through music. The group spent the fall of 2019 on the road in Minnesota as a part of Minnesota Public Radio’s Class Notes program, where they presented concerts and workshops in schools for students from first through twelfth grade.