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‘Crazy Fingers’ to perform to Canby

August 6, 2011
By Cindy Votruba ( , Marshall Independent

He's played with some big names in comedy and now he's coming to Canby.

The Sons of Norway Vennskap Lodge 1-554 is sponsoring pianist Gordy "Crazy Fingers" Lindquist in concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Canby.

Lindquist of Bottineau, N.D. has shared the stage with many well-known comedic greats, including Bob Hope and George Burns.

Dorothy Zimmerman is the president of the Sons of Norway Vennskap Lodge 1-554, which includes Canby, Minneota and Hendricks. She said the organization is celebrating 35 years and Lindquist's concert is just one of many special events the lodge does.

"As president, you try to do something special and make your mark," Zimmerman said. And that can be done with programs and additional speakers during the year, she said.

But getting the money to put on such events can be tough, she said.

"We actually wrote two grants this year," Zimmerman said. One was a cultural heritage grant for a Norwegian folk dancing course. "We were fortunate to receive the cultural heritage grant."

Lindquist's appearance is due in part to a Sons of Norway Foundation grant, Zimmerman said. For more than 50 years, Lindquist has performed all over, and traveled with the Myron Floren Band to Norway. He has also performed with the likes of Burns, Hope, Jack Benny and Red Skelton. He's also played at the Scandinavian Host Fest in Minot, N.D. for the last 25 years. He taught music at a college for 34 years. Lindquist said he started playing piano at age 5 and was 10 years old when he started taking lessons.

Lindquist said he plays about 150 shows a year.

"I?add a lot of comedy to my piano-playing,"?he said. "I like to see people laugh. I?do crazy things, play upside down."

He said he got the idea for playing the piano upside down from the movie "Amadeus."

"I went home and tried it,"?he said.

How he got to back up Burns and Hope and the other comedians was at Host Fest. Certain musicians were asked to be part of a band to play music for the performers.

Lindquist said he went to Norway in 1985 with the Myron Floren Band.

"That was one of my best moments of my career, getting to travel with Myron Floren,"?he said. "That was quite an experience."

He said he has a lot of fun with all styles of piano music, from old-time waltzes to standards to a "little bit of everything."

Zimmerman said her lodge is encouraging music teachers to send their students to the concert.

"It's humor and (his) being a fantastic pianist," Zimmerman said.

Besides the music students, the Canby, Hendricks and Minneota Sons of Norway has sent invitations to surrounding Sons of Norway lodges, including Granite Falls and Montevideo, Zimmerman said.

Lindquist has been highly praised by those who have seen him perform, Zimmerman said, including a recent concert with Vining's Sons of Norway lodge.

"The people enjoyed it so much, they want him back," Zimmerman said. "We feel pretty good about planning fun entertainment for families."



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