– John Doyle
“Not unlike new-grass pioneer Nickel Creek’s self-titled debut in that it takes refuge in a tradition, but uses that context to shine.” — The Portland Press Herald
THE PRESS GANG perform the instrumental dance music of Ireland on fiddle, accordion, and guitar. And now with the addition of former Bainbridge Islander Hanz Araki, the whole globe has opened up! Based in Portland, Maine, The Press Gang has become popular over the past four years for their skillful playing and deep understanding of the music–and for their humorous stage presence.
Hanz Araki is known worldwide for his fresh, detailed, and innovative approach to traditional Irish and Scottish music. The son of a Japanese shakuhachi Grand Master, Araki Kodo V, and an Irish-American mother, his musical sensibility is both inspired and disciplined and has made him a household name from the UK to Japan. After four years of concert appearances and teaching at the prestigious Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, Hanz returned to his hometown of Seattle, WA and found himself drawn to the world of Celtic music. He has toured nationally with The Paperboys. The penny-whistle and the Irish flute became his single-minded focus, and jigs and reels became a second language. He discovered his voice was as expressive an outlet as his pipes, and expanded his entire craft. Hanz lived on Bainbridge island for several years, as did his grandparents.
Christian “Junior” Stevens has become an influential member of the Irish Traditional Music community in America; particularly in New England where his proficiency at such a young age on both concertina and accordion was nothing short of phenomenal. Gracing stages across the country with some of the most talented artists in the world, he is an in-demand performer and teacher with an intensely dedicated following.
Alden Robinson learned the fiddle as a child in coastal Maine, and furthered his education in traditional music at University College, Co. Cork in Ireland. He quickly became recognizable as a new voice in Irish-American fiddle music and became a staple of the traditional music scene in New England. Alden continues to travel throughout the U.S. and Ireland to expand his already impressive repertoire; much to the delight of audiences and students of the craft from coast to coast.
Multi-instrumentalist Owen Marshall is one of the most highly sought-after accompanist in the United States. With his unique sense of harmony and rhythm, he has traveled and performed all over the world with many of the top acts in traditional music. A demanding schedule doesn’t interfere with his pursuit of new and innovative sounds as a bedrock accompanist with a style that never grows stale.
Don’t miss something Really Special as The Press Gang takes over The Treehouse!