Submitted by Sandy Graham
Rarely Seen Footage of Sweden’s icon Ted Gärdestadand Canada’s Treasure Lisa Hartt Resurfaces
No stranger to success, and the challenges of mental health and wellness that come with being in the spotlight, Lisa Hartt was recently asked to perform in Rinkaby, Sweden for the Lilla By Festivalen, a small boutique festival nestled in a family friendly setting. As well, Lisa will appear on a panel as an Ambassador for the Drive Foundation Canada to discuss mental wellness in the music industry.
Lisa is of Viking heritage, her father Jan Eisenhardt was Danish, a sports pioneer and superstar. He was a tireless advocate for health having run the Brolebet “Bridge run” in 2000 from Denmark to Sweden on the newly completed bridge at 94 years of age. Posthumously inducted to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 2015, Major Eisenhardt is also a member of the Order of Canada, one of Canada’s most prestigious Awards given to Canadians of Excellence.
“I have always been proud of being half Dane and have wanted to return to Scandinavia to sing and share my joy at being a Viking. I have some relatives still living in Denmark and Sweden and I would love to get to know them better. Sadly, I never learned to speak the language, as my Mother was an “English only kind of girl, however, it is never too late. I am so looking forward to singing in the land of my forebears.”
Lisa Hartt has worked with, recorded with and toured with some of the world’s most legendary artists, including Anne Murray, Ken Tobias, Gino Vannelli, April Wine, Rayburn Blake of Mashmakhan, The Lisa Hartt Band, Phil Ramone, David Foster, Maurice White and Natalie Cole, and recently resurfaced performances with Ted Gärdestad.
Television was always a big part of Lisa’s career and participating in the 1979 show “Lyssna Till Musiken” or “Listen to the Music” with Ted Gärdestad and herself as co-hosts, was a never to be forgotten journey. A close friendship developed on the set in both Sweden and Canada that had the young singers sharing stories and their personal lives at length in the time between takes on the sets. While they talked about their lives, Lisa spoke about her brother Chris, who was suffering from a mental breakdown, been diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, and was being treated in an institution in Montreal, Quebec. Ted shared his fears and dreams with Lisa about his time with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his own journey to the edge of darkness. He always said that writing was “a kind of therapy” for him and that is why he was so prolific. As with Lisa’s brother, neither Ted nor Chris were ever able to come to terms with their brain chemistry challenges, and both died far too young. Ted Gärdestad passed away in 1997 at the tender age of 42, Christopher Eisenhardt died in 2015 was 63 years of age.
While going through her files, Lisa found footage of both herself and Ted, and showed it to the Swedish/Canadian booking team and the folks at Lilla By Festivalen, never realizing she had in her possession cherished footage and heritage of a Swedish icon. As the story developed Lennart Ostlund, Ted’s Engineer and close friend at Polar Studios, Stockholm back in the day, was shown the footage, and the serendipitous journey began from there.
Watch the promo reel here: https://youtu.be/MTZ8FWBNH5M
“I have always cherished the time I spent in Sweden with Ted and the team and the close talks we had about our love lives, our spiritual leanings and our songwriting. I truly loved Ted as a brother, and to discover how his story is so important in the Swedish musical lexicon makes me so happy that I archived this footage and it has found its way into light once more to show his artistry and global reach. I am so glad to be celebrating this wonderful man and returning to my roots.”
Now Lisa Hartt, Lennart Ostlund and Janne Schaffer (another legendary guitarist in his own right) have made plans to perform and reunite at Lilla By Festivalen, August 25-26, 2023 in Rinkaby, Sweden. More details will be announced soon @ https://www.lillabyfestivalen.se/
In Sweden, Ted Gärdestadis an icon. A national treasure. His songs are sung at weddings, funerals, and parties. Some stanzas have become classic words used on Swedish coins, “Sun, Wind, and Water”. My Brother Ted – A Feature Movie Documentary is about to be released, is a touching declaration of love from a loving, big brother to a little brother. Parts of the film team, Anna Widerberg and Frederik Ydhag will participate in the LillaBy Festival to talk about the project to have the opportunity to meet and interview Canadian Lisa Hartt.
It is particularly serendipitous that two of the film’s participants, Janne Schaffer and Lennart Östlund, music icons in their own right, will also be taking part and performing at Lilla By Festivalen, August 26 and 27, 2023 in Rinkaby, Sweden.
Footage and videos of both Lisa Hartt and Ted Gärdestad, will be featured on the main stage, with his songs and Lisa’s being performed. Further details coming soon.
Lisa Hartt is also set to release her new EP August, 2023 called Arrival. The first single, “Don’t Tell Me How I Feel”, a song written and dedicated to her brother Christopher, was released in October 2023.
For further information in Canada: