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LIAC 2024  Workshop Information

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Gary Blair

Gary Blair has been playing accordion from the age of 8 having been taught by his father Jimmy. A regular winner of competitions through the UK, Gary has been judging accordion competitions since 1982 and has adjudicated at many festivals around the world.

His accordion travels have included performances in the USA, Canada, Italy, France, Siberia, Korea, China, Russia, India, and the UAE.

He continues to perform around the globe and is a teacher both in private and on the internet via Skype.

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Toby Hanson 

Toby Hanson  is an accordionist and bandleader who was born and raised in Graham, WA.  He attended Bethel High School and Cornish College of the Arts from which he graduated Magna cum laude in 1998 with a Bachelor of Music Degree in classical composition.  He works in all areas of the musical and performing arts: as a bandleader, arranger, conductor, composer, recording artist, producer, and podcaster.  Equally at home in front of audiences from the most sophisticated to the most folksy, Mr. Hanson is a consummate performer, always striving to give his audiences an authentic and engaging performance.  Whether hosting his polka radio show on or performing for a crowd of delighted dancers, Toby is always eager to share his love of music with the world.

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Andy Mirkovich

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.

David Lange

David Lange  began playing the accordion at the age of five. He studied and competed throughout his late teens, initially under the guidance of Fred Pulaski at the American Conservatory of Music in Tacoma, WA. After three additional teachers, he embarked on several years of jazz studies with his most influential teacher, Kenny Olendorf. David majored in music at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, where Dr. Leroy Ostransky's teachings in theory and jazz history left a significant impact on him. After two years at UPS, he transferred to the University of Washington, financing his education by playing in bands.
In his third year of college, David hit the road with a trio, touring with various bands for the next five years. Growing weary of the constant travel, he established a small garage recording studio in Tacoma in 1980. While working in Tacoma he started building from the ground up a new studio in Edgewood WA, finished in 1990. As an engineer, he occasionally played keyboards or accordion for clients. One notable instance was his contribution to Pearl Django's 1997 recording, 'Mystery Pacific.' Subsequently, he guested on all their following recordings and officially joined the group in 2007. Besides playing on 10 Pearl Django CDs, he has contributed accordion skills to numerous other projects. In 2007, David released his first solo project, 'Almost Home,' and nearly a decade later, his second recording, 'Melange.' 

Jamie Maschler and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues

Creosote is the accordion duo of Jamie Maschler and Gabriel Hall-Rodrigues based out of Seattle, WA. Together they play a dynamic array of original and world music. Maschler and Rodrigues are both seasoned musicians and have individually and collectively mastered their craft of performing, composing and arranging on the accordion.  Expect to hear elegant and clever arrangements of new and old Brazilian and world music. 
Jamie is based in Seattle, WA where she studied accordion under three-time Latin Grammy Nominee Jovino Santos Neto at Cornish College of the Arts. Brazilian culture inspires her current projects; Seattle’s only forró band - En Canto, and accordion duo with Gabe-Hall Rodrigues - Creosote. 
Gabe Hall-Rodrigues is an Arizona-native accordionist, pianist and vocalist currently residing in Seattle, WA. He began playing the piano at age 7 and quickly realized his love for music and performing. In 2010, after only studying the accordion for a year, Gabe won the American Accordionists’ Association’s Virtuoso Solo Competition. 

Cooksie Kramer

Cooksie Kaserzon Kramer (A.T.C.L.  L.T.C.L.  A.B.C.A.  L.B.C.A.) is originally from South Africa. Cooksie opened and ran the largest Music Studio in Johannesburg with three Accordion Orchestras, Junior, Intermediate and Advanced. Cooksie won the South African Accordion Championship and went to New York to represent South Africa and participate in the Coupe Mondiale in 1959 (check out her You-Tube Videos). She now resides in Kirkland, WA where she teaches Piano, Accordion and Organ. She is Leader and Conductor of the Northwest Accordionaires accordion orchestra. She is also the creator and President of the Eastside Jazz Club.

Beverley Fess

Beverley Fess is a Master accordion and piano teacher from Okotoks, Alberta, Canada. Classically trained, she started playing the accordion at age 6, was teaching by age 14 and conducting by age 17.  She competed extensively and has had many award-winning students and ensembles. Besides teaching and performing, Bev is the conductor of the Spokane Accordion Ensemble. 

Beverley is very proud of helping develop Michael Bridge to international competition level.  She has trained teachers, adjudicated at accordion music festivals, served as conductor of several accordion ensembles and orchestras, served as a music examiner, sat on the executive committees of several accordion associations and runs frequent workshops. She is a founding member and current board member of the Accordion Association of Calgary, member of numerous other accordion associations and a current board member of the ATG.

Bev has dedicated  most of her life to music education and promoting the accordion.  Beverley recently celebrated 50 years of accordion teaching.  In recognition of her time and dedication to the instrument was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Accordions & Teachers Guild International in 2016 and was awarded the Art Van Damme Education Award at the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention also in 2016.

See the workshop schedule link above

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