Peter Ostroushko, one of the finest mandolin and fiddle players in acoustic music, returns to town on Fri., Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m. He’s bringing special guest Dan Chouinard to perform with him.
Ostroushko’s tours have taken him to clubs, performing arts centers, music festivals and theatres across North America and Europe, and he has earned an international reputation as a versatile and dazzling musician and composer. He is at his most passionate playing a rich ethnic mix of music, at the heart of which is his Ukrainian heritage. His term for his mixture of musical styles is “sluz duz,” a phrase roughly meaning “over the edge” or “off his rocker.”
His album, “The Mando Chronicles” was three years in the making. It is a 3 CD set Ostroushko calls, “a labor of love that I’m very proud of. It’s kind of a history of the mandolin as it relates to my own journey of playing the instrument. It has Classical, American Old Time, Brazilian, Irish, Ragtime, my own Ukrainian Roots music and much, much more.”
For more than 25 years Ostroushko was a frequent performer on A Prairie Home Companion, and for a few seasons, he did a stint as Music Director for the popular radio show. He’s appeared on Austin City Limits, Late Night with David Letterman, even Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.
He has recorded with artists such as Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Greg Brown, and Taj Mahal. His first recording session was contributing the mandolin parts for Bob Dylan’s epochal Blood on the Tracks. As a composer, Ostroushko has written works that have been performed by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Sinfonia, the Rochester (Minnesota) Symphony Orchestra, and more.
Chouinard is an accomplished pianist and accordionist, as well as a talented storyteller. A Minneapolis native, he plays, tours and records regularly with an ever-expanding roster of local and national performers. He is the creator and host of live shows for Minnesota Public Radio, the Minnesota Historical Society and many others. When not performing he can be found bicycling interesting places with tent and accordion.