Episode 46: Toby Hanson

Show Notes

Episode 46 of the Exploring Washington State features Toby Hanson.  Toby is an accordion player who specializes in Social Dance Music.


Toby Hanson Accordion Player

Toby grew up in Pierce County. He was first exposed to the accordion at family gatherings as a child.  Being too small at the time to play an accordion, Toby started his music journey learning piano. Later he graduated with a Bachelor  of Music degree from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.

Toby plays accordion and piano in multiple musical acts.  He has a Polka band The Smilin' Scandinavians. The band has been together since 1995 and has an impressive resume of performances across the Pacific Northwest.

He also performs with The Valse Cafe Orchestra. The orchestra performs post modern renditions of dance hall music for dancers and other romantics.

You can also find Toby playing accordion in The Jangles, performing hick Jazz and Cowboy classics.

One could say his dance card is full. During our conversation we hear stories about Toby's journey with the accordion and he shares technical information on how the instrument works. About 75% of the way through I ask Toby to play one of his accordions and he graciously agrees. Toby performs Frankie Yankovic's Just Because.

It is obvious that Toby is comfortable in front of an audience and behind a microphone. I enjoyed our conversation and I know you will as well. After you listen to this episode make sure you go enjoy some Social Dance Music!

Some of the Places, Bands, and People  Mentioned in this Episode

The Smilin' Scandinavians

The Jangles

Cowgirls Dream

The Valse Cafe Orchestra

 Century Ballroom

Petosa Accordions

Each episode we will have a chat with someone who has a great story to share about Washington State. From artists, to business owners.  Musicians to athletes Exploring Washington State will showcase the beauty and creativity here in Washington State.

You can find all our podcast episodes on our Exploring Washington State Podcast Page.

If you have any suggestions for guests for a future episode, please send us an email.


Want other great ideas of places to visit, or to find out more about people who are making amazing things in Washington State  visit Explore Washington State.

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1 Comment

  1. Nancy Gibson on April 24, 2021 at 5:17 am

    How about French Musette and his extraordinary duet arrangement of Under Paris Skies, with Magnate-style base solo? Toby is a superb arranger. Ask him about his Bach-type arrangement of Blessed Redeemer?

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