No Feta Cheese
An American in Finland, a Finnish contemporary jazz band and corporate sabotage all combine to make No Feta Cheese, a unique journey through a land of endless lakes, forests and quiet people. Karl Hafstad, a Norwegian-American, left his quiet life in Boise, Idaho, for a job in the Scandinavian music business. Peter Bengstromm was a boss unlike any he had ever had. Although he appeared to be a playboy and a sports addict, he was actually implementing a secret plan that could devastate musicians and record stores throughout Europe and Scandinavia. Skiing, tennis and meeting beautiful women all seemed to be higher priorities for Peter, than his career in music marketing, for Polydonn Records. Karl could tell something was going on behind the scenes, that just didnt make sense. Mina Tervonen had a voice like no one else and wanted to make a name for her band, along with Pekka, Teemu and Hannu, beyond their small town in central Finland. Karl shared the challenging and difficult journey of adapting to Scandinavian life with two American friends. Karen Dosher was an old college friend and an investment consultant for an American venture capitol firm. Gerald Bingham was a professional basketball player in the European League, playing for a team in Warsaw. It would be his last shot to make a living from his athletic talent, before returning to a dreary life, back in Baltimore. They learned that their employers had quite a different sense of ethics and that working and living in Europe was dramatically different than being a tourist in Stockholm or Milan. While the band toured all over Europe, only Karl knew that the future of the band and an entire segment of the Scandinavian music industry could collapse in a matter of weeks. He was faced with one of the toughest decisions of his life, which could dramatically change his life in ways he could only imagine. Selling records and managing a jazz band, developed into something that was both exciting and eventually terrifying.
He was in a country that few Americans knew much about. It was truly off the beaten path and not on the way to anywhere, except for Russia. The quiet, reserved temperament of the Finns along with their love of nature, made them quite a contrast to the Americans Karl saw in the airport, the day he moved to Helsinki. Living in Finland changed Karl forever. On that amazing summer night in August, Karl found himself with a life he never dreamed of.