Purveyors of Gypsy Swing, Sydney act The Squeezebox trio take the driving rhythms of 1930’s Django Rienhardt and combine it with the intensity of Eastern European Balkan music to give one hell of an energetic performance. Add in a few Russian drinking songs, some Disney film classics, more than enough self-deprecating humor and there you have it. Thomas Hodson draws on his time spent touring Europe to bring out the niches of the Balkan tradition, while Javen Sanchez sets a solid Gypsy Jazz foundation with a flamenco flare. Finally, Michael O’Donnell’s draws eclectic mix of gypsy and bluegrass violin to provide some gorgeous melodies over the bands well-arranged three-part harmonies. After making their debut festival performance at Canberra National Folk Festival 2014, the boys got a taste for the festival circuit, performing concerts all over metropolitan and region NSW and Victoria. The last two years have seen them touring on the strength of their “Frogstamp” EP, both performing demonstrating workshops at Bendigo Blues & Roots (VIC), Gulgong Folk Festival (NSW), Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival (NSW), Perisher Peak Festival (NSW), Illawarra Folk Festival (NSW), JazzBANG, Planet Dungog and many more. Finally, after the successful launch of their debut album “And a Hotplate”; SBT recently embarked on an extensive 25 date New Zealand tour headlining the Whare Flats Folk Festival. The album features a myriad of special guests to help Squeezebox present the best of their most recent touring material, including Hodson’s bizarrely original compositions, which are juxtaposed by a selection of great swing tunes spanning from the 1920’s right up till the present. The boys now have their sights set on the Great White North for an extensive Canadian tour later this year Thomas Hodson – Accordion
Thomas started his musical education on guitar in 2004 and switched to piano in early 2008. Deciding to pursue music Thomas chose to study at University playing piano from classical, to jazz, to funk. He eventually turned his focus to folk music in late 2011 after an ill-advised purchase of a 30 year old Weltmeister accordion which he has been playing ever since. 2014 introduced him to U.S. balkan band The Underscore Orkestra, and a tour of Australia and Europe from Ireland to Bulgaria. Whilst overseas studied and learnt from Dimos Vougioukas (Greece), the London Klezmer Quartet (England) and Marius Manole from acclaimed international Romanian traditional band Taraf de Haidouks. Thomas has also shared the stage with many local musicians in groups like Balkaniki, Patrizia Biondi and the Cats of Mystery Lane, The Rusty Spring Syncopators, Viktoria Bolonina and Travelaz. He currently resides in Sydney composing, practicing and frequenting to town with his accordion. Michael O’Donnell – Violin
Michael O’Donnell has been playing jazz in one form or another since he was 15. After beginning on the bass he now majors on violin and viola with a focus on the gypsy jazz tradition. He graduated his Bachelor of Music in 2012 and is furthering his education under Jess Randall of The Crooked Fiddle Band as well as several of Sydney’s finest jazz musicians. He also has plenty of performing experience sharing the stage with acts such as Juke Baritone and the Swamp Dogs and Edema Ruh. Michael also teaches privately and arranges music for his Orchestra; Pickpockets and Rascals who perform twice every year. Javen Sanchez – Guitar Javen Sanchez is a studying musician who’s been playing the guitar for 8 years. Through these eight years he has been exploring many different styles of the instrument like flamenco, blues, jazz, pop rock and has come to loving his new passion; Gypsy Jazz. Javen studied at UWS where he graduated with a Bachelor of music; in addition it is also where he met his two band members. Javen is currently studying to become a music teacher at ACU undergoing a Diploma of education to support his love for music through imparting his experiences and knowledge onto his students.