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