Flemming Oppenhagen Behrend, Danish Troubadour
By Debbie Lemhouse
The definition of a troubadour is someone who is a composer and performer. This describes Flemming quite well as he both composes his own music and plays the guitar! Flemming started playing folk music at the age of 15 and was inspired by folk singers like Donovan and John Denver. He says he and his school mates would get together and listen to LP’s of popular music of the 60’s. He started performing folk music in his mid-twenties and says he “has enjoyed making people happy with my music ever since!”
Although Flemming grew up in Denmark, he and his wife live in Olympia, Washington, where he works as a counselor. He met his wife in Germany where he was studying dental technology. They immigrated to the United States in 1980. He travels to Denmark every year to visit family including his sister who is a well-known actress in TV and movies in Denmark. In addition to his counseling, he is active in working as a volunteer hospice worker in an area hospital.
Flemming’s music is mostly from Denmark but he also mixes Scandinavian tunes with German and American music into his performances. He also plays and sings traditional Irish and American folk songs and many of his tunes are sung in Danish. He likes to keep his music traditional and writes his own songs. Several of his songs have been played on the radio in both Seattle and Copenhagen, Denmark. Five years ago he provided music for a TV program on Danish television. He recorded songs in his studio and emailed them to the producer. Flemming says “it was a silly show but it was fun to be a part of it!”
Two of the events that Flemming has performed for are Viking Days at the Nordic Heritage Museum and the North West Beer Hall but he has also performed at many other venues. He has recorded several CD’s which will be available during Festival.
Flemming practices one hour per day to keep his set list solid and up to date. Although he has performed with other musicians, he likes to perform solo as it gives him the freedom to choose exactly what he likes to sing. You can check out some of his music by going to YouTube and typing in Flemming Behrend or keep in touch with him through his Facebook page.
This is Flemming’s third appearance at the Junction City Scandinavian Festival and he says that “performing music gives me a tremendous happiness and there is nothing better in this world than to look at a smiling face who likes music, no matter how big or small a crowd”!
Flemming will be performing on Saturday Aug. 12th at the Archway Stage from 1:30 – 2:30 pm. You don’t want to miss this talented performer sing and play for the Festival audience.