Buy tickets for 10th Annual Accordion Noir Festival: Grudge Match

The Accordion Noir Festival wraps with a revival of this fan favourite mash-up of music, competition and spur-of-the-moment theatre. Initially conceived as a comedic battle between the musically maligned, this year’s edition shakes things up by embedding the accordion into trendy ‘hipster’ genres including Team Trad, Team Musical Theatre and Team Silicon Valley North. Featuring a stellar cast of Vancouver musicians and multidisciplinary artists who trash-talk as well as they play, the Grudge Match promises to be a stirring argument for accordion supremacy and a very good time. Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Ave., Doors 730, Show 8:00-11:00pm.

Barbara Adler (Vancouver)

Host, Producer, Vice President of Cheating

Barbara Adler is an interdisciplinary artist whose work brings together literary performance, composition, and live event production to explore the intersections between text, music, sound and theatre. A prolific rule-flouter, Barbara invented the Underdog Instrument Grudge Match as a forum for accordion boosterism, and as a means to bring together artists and audiences across different genres and disciplines. Previous editions of the Grudge Match focussed on proving the accordion’s supremacy over similarly ‘underdog’ instruments like the ukelele (done). This year, our goal is to correct the shortcomings of some of today’s most trendy musical forms by -- finally -- adding accordion.

Steve "Jazz Hands" Charles  (Team Musical Theatre)

Accordion, Banjo, Bigger-than-life Choreography, Believer

Steven Charles Every morning, Steve begins with a smoothie and a vocal warm-up and down the various E major scales. A strong supporter of calisthenics and reharmonizing Happy Birthday 'for the kids', SJC loves to laugh and be the center of attention. Although not a trained dancer, he does it a lot, and with great abandon. Can anyone spell Sondheim? I think what this moment needs is for you to suspend your disbelief and take part in the great circle of love.

Jeff Gladstone (Team Musical Theatre)

Theatre Artist, Improvisor, Upright Bass, Vocalist, Bad Ideas

Jeff Gladstone Jeff Gladstone got his start in Calgary at the world renowned Loose Moose Theatre before he moved to Vancouver in 2000 and began making a name for himself as an actor, improvisor, composer and producer. He has performed across the country, been a part of the development of countless new works, and worked alongside some of the top artists in improv, theatre and music. Jeff is a mainstage ensemble member for Vancouver TheatreSports League, a Bard on the Beach alumnus, and was the founding Curator and Artistic Director of Here Be Monsters Festival,which showcased hundreds of new artists through Theatre Under The Gun. He performs regularly with his band Jeff Gladstone & The Bad Ideas.

Ben Rogalsky (Team Musical Theatre)

Mandolin, Theatre Magic, Accordion

Ben Rogalsky Ben is a wandering multi-instrumentalist, learning music from all over the world. He plays Javanese gamelan, writes and performs music for dance and theatre, and creates laptop music. As the Technical Director at Simon Fraser University's School for the Contemporary Arts, Ben is privy to a secret world of  of lighting instruments, hydraulic lifts, and fire safety procedures. Besides worksafe legislation, Ben is also a master of dreamy vocals, smoke machines, and various string instruments including tenor banjo, mandolin and guitar. He has also been known to flaunt an accordion, which is completely up to code.

Megan Gerbrandt (Team Trad)

Accordion, One M'am Band, Winning

Megan Gerbrandt Originally from Alberta, now living on Pender Island, Megan Gerbrandt is a fearless accordion busker and multi-instrument who quite literally stops traffic with her art. She has juggled at stoplights to amuse drivers, mastered simultaneous accordion\horn playing and recently brought the house down at the City of Vancouver’s Public Salon series. Megan is the title champion of the 2016 Accordion Noir Battle of the Buskers, a competition that rivalled even the Grudge Match in its ruthlessness.

Juhli Conlinn (Team Trad)

Vocals - Mellozoo - Sneak Attacks

Juhli Conlinn Though she smiles frequently and is a committed vegetarian, Juhli is in fact a merciless vocal shark known for her versatility and for truly terrifying mellozoo solos.Juhli is also gifted and engaging performer who lends her talents to multiple projects including singing back up with Rykka (with whom she won the PEAK Performance Project in 2013), CR Avery, Ben Rogers, and with Jaclyn Guillou on What a Difference a Day Makes: A Tribute to Dinah Washington, a television special produced by the CBC.

Bonnie Northgraves (Team Trad)

 Vocals, Trumpet, Triple Threat

Bonnie Northgraves In 2015, Bonnie achieved Peak Sass, and has never looked back. She is a triple-threat pianist, trumpet player, and vocalist from Chilliwack, BC.  Currently, Bonnie teaches voice, piano, and brass lessons privately and performs at many local establishments and functions throughout Vancouver in a variety of contexts, including jazz groups, theatre productions, and as a supporting musician for various original projects.

Jen Hodge (Team Trad)

Upright Bass, Auxiliary Percussion, All Star

Most often seen with a pack of swing dancers in tow, Jen is a benevolent queen to a generation of millennials who love bustles, corsets and suspenders. One of the city’s most sought-after musicians, Jen works both a bandleader (Jen Hodge All Stars, Company B Jazz Band, etc) and a sideman (Diane Lines’ JUMP!, Universal Gospel Choir, Bria Skonberg, etc).  Comfortable - and typically excited! - in a huge variety of musical settings, Jen has performed all over Canada, the USA, France, and in the Caribbean, and appears on more than a dozen albums.

Mili Hong  (Team Trad)

 Jazz Chops, Alt Rock Street Cred

Mili Hong began playing drums at the age of 16. She spent most of her life in South Korea until her early 20s, when she moved to Vancouver, Canada to study at Capilano University, where she received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies.  While playing in Capilano University’s “A” band, under the direction of Juno award winning Brad Turner, she had the chance to play with notable guest artists such as Ian Froman, Mike Murley, and Randy Brecker. Mili is becoming an important member of Vancouver’s Jazz scene through her playing in the Leo Bae Trio and the Eli Davidovici Band, but has also been involved in her alternative rock project, Moondle.

Stefan Smulovitz (Team Silicon Valley North)

Digital Accordion Necromancer, Laptop Artist, Viola

Award-winning technologist, composer, violist, and laptop artist Stefan Smulovitz has performed with leading improvisers around the world and created more than 50 live film scores. He is one of Canada’s most in demand composers for dance and is recognized for his groundbreaking interactive work with Radix Theatre. Kenaxis — Stefan’s game-changing music software — is used around the world and his Mad Scientist Machine LED light cueing system has opened new possibilities for global collaborations. Recently Stefan travelled to Bhutan to collect sounds and create a score for the award-winning documentary “Power of the River”.

More artists to be announced soon.

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