Festhalle 2023 Performers
Festhalle Schedule (PDF) - Click Here
(Competition and Performance Schedule)
Joey Miskulin is a multiple Grammy Award winning American accordionist and producer. In a music career spanning more than six decades, Joey has collaborated with a range of artists including Frankie Yankovic, Johnny Cash, John Denver, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Paul McCartney, Ricky Skaggs, U2, Shania Twain, as well as many others. He is a member of the Grammy Winning Grand Ole Opry quartet "Riders In The Sky." Miskulin is an award winning performer, studio musician, and record producer.
Alicia Jo Straka
Alicia Jo Straka (previously Alicia Baker) is a professional accordionist, singer, pianist, and composer from Portland, OR, currently residing in Denver, CO. Throughout her career, Alicia has won multiple International accordion competitions, worked as an artist for the prestigious Roland Corporation, sung leading operatic roles, and has performed at many notable venues including Carnegie Weill Hall and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Thanks to her love of academia, Alicia has earned 3 Bachelor of arts degrees from Oregon State University; piano performance, vocal performance, and choral music education, in addition to a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from University of Colorado Boulder - all of which were funded by full-ride scholarships. Versatility has always been a point of pride, which is highlighted through her diverse repertoire; jazz, Parisienne, pop, funk, opera, polka, and techno; to name a few. Alicia currently spends her time performing, teaching private students, composing and arranging. Most recently, she crowd-funded, recorded, and designed her new album called “Doin’ Just Fine”, which features original music composed in the French jazz genre. You can pick up a copy, and find additional information, at her website: www.aliciajostraka.com .
Andy studied accordion starting at the age of five. He graduated with a B.A. in Music from Seattle University and studied composition at the University of Washington, Graduate School of Music.
He was the featured performer at the Space Needle Restaurant in Seattle, for 11 years, and has performing experience in radio, television, movies and concerts.
He has performed with or for many artists, including Lawrence Welk, Myron Floren, Dick Contino, Frank Yankovich, Liberace, Burl Ives, The Vienna Boy's Choir, King Hussein of Jordan, and the King and Queen of Norway.
He continues to perform and teaches Master Classes. He’s adjudicated and performed at music festivals in Leavenworth, Seattle, Portland, Spokane, Yakima, Vancouver, BC and Victoria, BC.
He has a knack for playing just what his audience loves to hear. Accompanying Andy will be one of our favorites, John Giuliani with his bass.
Andy Gonzalez and Juan Barco
“I am from Dona, Texas. I started playing in the dance halls at the age of 16. I have performed with Juan Barco at Seattle’s Folklife, Bumper Shoot, Bite of Seattle Festivals, Butte Montana National Folklife, New York International Gathering of Poets, Los Angeles MacArthur Park, Levitt Pavilion, Seattle’s Town Hall Accordi-O- Rama celebrations, Leavenworth Accordion Festival, Ballard Seafood Fest, Summer Concert Series of Washington State Parks, the opening of the Benaroya Symphony Hall, and numerous schools and universities thoughout the Northwest. Also included are community dances, weddings and quinciañeras with the Tejano flavor.”
Singer and songwriter Juan Barco, born in Lytle, Texas, brings an enormous wealth of experience to the Tejano folk music for which he is so well-known in the Northwest and his native Texas. His songs are colored by his childhood experiences in the migrant labor camps of the South and the Midwest, his service in the military at the Army Firing Range in Yakima, his rich musical family background, and by his twenty years as a caseworker for the Washington State Department of Health and Human ...
Bio to come:
Max Kyllonen is a highly virtuostic button box player. He lives in Leavenworth, WA.
Toby and Lyle Duo
(Frank Yankovic Tribute)
Lyle Schaefer and Toby Hanson are each accomplished bandleaders and accordionists in their own right. Lyle started his professional career in the early 1970s, playing in restaurants and for various private establishments. Toby started much the same way twenty years later. Each of them has worked hard to hone their craft and bring out the fun and excitement inherent in every polka. Equally adept at either lead or second, Toby and Lyle switch off effortlessly to create a whirling flurry of notes, reminiscent of the finest accordion duos in the Cleveland-style tradition going all the way back to Yankovic and Pecon. Die-hard polka fans and newcomers alike will both love the polka stylings of Lyle and Toby.