Päkkos Gustaf and Ellika Frisell

Posted 2015-04-16

Gustaf Päkkos (1916-2000) grew up and lived his whole life in the Swedish village Bingsjö in Dalarna. He was a fiddler and a farmer at the the Pekkos farm.

Gustaf played solo or preferably duo with one of his fellow musicians. He was also a fantastic dance musician with a magic sence of rythm. Later in his life Gustaf became a very appreciated teacher in workshops and he also gave concerts around Sweden and in USA. During Gustaf’s lifetime many musicians used to visit him and his wife Svea at the Pekkos farm to help with their work and to play with Gustaf. The Pekkos farm was always full of life with an open and welcoming feeling not least thanks to Svea who took care of the farm together with Gustaf.

For the folk musicians of today, Gustaf is a great inspiration and a role model. His music is part of the strong Bingsjö tradition but above all he was an expressive and personal musician of great artistry.
Apart from the intensity and the strong charge, his playing is characterized by complex rhytmical variation and advanced use of microtones and other stylistic means such as dynamic and intricate melodic phrasing.

Päkkos Gustaf has recieved a number of medals and awards, among them ”Illis quorum meruere laboresi”, a Swedish Royal medal awarded by the government in 1996 and Medal for musical promotion, the Royal Academy ‘s most prestigious award that is awarded ”to highly deserving individuals for significant contributions in the Swedish music scene” in 1998.

Ellika Frisell was born 1953 and brought up in Stockholm.
Later Ellika moved to Delsbo, a small village in the North of Sweden, cultivated vegetables and worked in a factory.
It was during that time, in the middle of the 70´s that Ellika began playing the fiddle and became village fiddler and dance musician.
She moved on to Dalarna where she discovered the wild music of Bingsjö along with fiddlers as Ole Hjort, Jonny Soling , Nils Agenmark and Gustaf Päkkos. They all became important musical companions and teachers to her.

Ellika has played in numerous folk music groups such as Filarfolket, Kapell Frisell, Den Fule, Rosenbergs Sjua and Padik (music from Baluchistan). She also often performs as a soloist or in various duos playing traditional folk music – with Mats Edén, Sven Ahlbäck, Sten Källman and Emma Reid.
A later collaboration (since 15 years) is an ongoing project where Swedish folkmusic meets Senegalese in the trio ELLIKA SOLO RAFAEL with Solo Cissokho (kora) and Rafael Sida (percussion). They have received BBC’s World Music Award and has released the album NOW on Country & Eastern.

Here is a video of music from the album, Pekkos Pers Brudmarsch, filmed at Pekkosgården in 1998 by Jonas Holmén, ten years after the album was recorded.


all records with Päkkos Gustaf and Ellika Frisell

more info

Päkkos Gustaf – discography:
Låtar från Rättvik, Boda och Bingsjö, Caprice records 1996
Päkkos Gustaf och Ole Hjorth, Giga 1996
Päkkos Gustaf,Bingsjö,  Giga 1982
Päkkoslåtar Päkkos Gustaf med Jonas Holmén och Ola Bäckström, Giga 2001

Ellika Frisell – discography:
Filarfolket: Filarfolket Live (1985)
Smuggel (1985)
Filarfolket 1980-90 (1990)
Ale Möller Bouzukispelman (1986)
Kapell Frisell: (1990)
Den Fule (1993)
Hästen och Tranan (1996)
Soloskiva: Tokpolska (1998)
Rosenbergs sjua R7 (1999)
Tretakt Takissaba with Solo Cissokho (2002)
PRAT soloskiva 2004 Abaraka’! / Tack! with Solo Cissokho 2005
NOW with Solo Cissokho and Rafael Sida 2013