John Sanders: Gypsy Reeds, Strings & Skins
- Georgies Maksoum
- Beguine Des Reves Brises
- Musette Africain
- El Manshya
- Little Moon
- Flor Amarosa
- Uncomfortable Friend
- Armandos Rhumba
- China Bend
I've been working as a jazz pianist for about 15 years. I've always had an interest in other instruments and have played much guitar, bass, Japanese koto, harmonica, melodica, etc. over the years.Two years ago I served as musical director for our collegeâs production of Cabaret. The score is written for accordion throughout, but there is one tune at the end of the first act that really demands it. We had no accordionist, so I picked up a cheap used one online and learned the tune. Iâve been playing the accordion ever since.
The Gypsy Reeds, Strings and Skins project began with open-ended accordion and Egyptian tabla jams in my basement. George and I have a similar approach to time and groove and whenever one of us would start on something, the other could naturally jump right in. Georgie's Maksoum, Uncomfortable Friend and most of the La Partida arrangement came from these jams. I met George, by the way, through my wife's work in the Seattle Belly Dance community. (Search: Dahlia Belly Dance Seattle)
Saul and I have known each other since college in the mid-90's and have talked about doing an atypical project for a long time. We've tossed around combinations of ukulele, clarinet, guitar, chromonica, melodica, mandolin. When the jams with George were starting to turn into songs, I knew Saul and the clarinet were going to be perfect for the melodies. Saul is one of the most melodic people I know.
I know Jon from my grad school and adjunct faculty days at Central Washington University. He teaches applied bass there. We've played in a variety of settings over the years and I knew his creativity would fit right into this project.
We're planning a CD release party in late summer of 2009. Please follow my links to my website or myspace page and send me a message. I'll get you on the mailing list and keep you up to date!