John Spiers, known better in folk circles as Squeezy, has made a name for himself as one of the leading melodeon players of his generation. Well known for his long-standing duo partnership with Jon Boden as well as being a key member of Bellowhead, the most successful folk band in recent history. John was also a member of Eliza Carthy’s band for five years, featuring on her 2002 Mercury nominated album, Anglicana.
Mixing infectious dance tunes with incredibly sensitive and moving slow airs on a mind-boggling range of different squeezeboxes, John’s solo shows are a mixture of traditional material and his own more intricate compositions interspersed with an easy-going, humorous and informative banter.
*Because John is always such a popular tutor, we’re limiting you to just one of his units over the weekend, to give as many people as possible an opportunity to work with him.
Mel Biggs is a musician, artist and melodeon tutor based in Derbyshire, England. Renowned the world over for her perceptive, patient and mindful manner in teaching groups and individuals, Mel is a leading light in the world of melodeon tuition; both on and off-line. Having been teaching since 2009, Mel has an ever expanding toolkit of techniques at her disposal which she uses to adapt to every new teaching scenario. You can expect a bespoke blend of learning-by-ear, call and response playing, pattern recognition and tune deconstruction and notation in moderation. Mel is a consummate performer, vocalist and accompanist and can be seen on stage as one third of Anglo-European trio Moirai.
Although happy to bash out some great dance tunes with her ceilidh band Rapscallion, Issy is best known for her uniquely lyrical and musical style of playing, shaped by her own, often complex tunes, and sensitive song accompaniment. She is a very experienced and popular tutor who has never forgotten what it is like to be a beginner.
Steve Dumpleton lives in Sheffield and has been playing the melodeon and anglo concertina for over 30 years. He is an experienced teacher of both instruments and has frequently been a workshop tutor at various events including Melodeons at Witney, Melodeons and More in Suffolk and Whitby Folk Week.
Steve specialises in playing for dancing and is a regular musician for the Sheffield women’s dance team Lizzie Dripping, fenland-based Ouse Washes Molly Dancers and local ceilidh bands. His style of playing is firmly rooted in the English dance tradition, particularly from the south and east of England, his original home. Additionally, a few years living near Carmarthen developed his love of traditional Welsh music. Steve also brings the experience and discipline of over 40 years as a classical clarinettist into fusion with folk traditions. He strives to bring rhythmic vitality coupled with melodic phrasing into his playing and into his teaching.