Spotlight: The Kruger Brothers at Caffe Lena – Albany Times Union

You could view the musical path of the Kruger Brothers as an unintended consequence of the rise of global commerce. According to their website, the brothers, natives of Switzerland, were introduced to American folk music by their father, who, the website says “would bring folk music records when he returned to Switzerland from business trips to the United States.” The youngsters — Jens and Uwe — grew fond of what they heard on those records, and as teenagers traveled around Europe busking before landing a recording contract and a show on Swiss radio. They met bass player Joel Landsberg, a New York City native whose musical background included classical and jazz, and formed a trio in 1995 — Jens on banjo, Uwe on guitar, Landsberg on bass and all three singing. The trio moved to the United States in 2002 and is based in North Carolina. An admirer of composers like Bartok and Dvorak who famously incorporated folk music into classical works, Jens, the group’s primary composer, has written several commissioned pieces that the trio has performed with orchestral ensembles. Their website says the Kruger Brothers “personify the spirit of exploration and innovation that forms the core of the American musical tradition. Their original music is crafted around their discerning taste, and the result is unpretentious, cultivated, and delightfully fresh.” Their website,, offers a sampler of their top tracks.

7 p.m. Sunday. $30. Caffe Lena, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs. 518-583-0022.

— Joe Stalvey