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Maren Christensen: Bio

Maren grew up in Seattle, Washington and got her first guitar when she was ten. She taught herself how to play by listening to records and figuring out chords from charts. She played her guitar all over Seattle, the epicenter of Folk Music and Rock and Roll. Within the first year of having her guitar she wrote her first song and she has been writing ever since. Her music reflects the experiences of living in a complicated world. It has heart with a dynamic groove that will touch your soul. It is both personal and universal. Her lyrics are direct, poetic and clever. The lyrical intimacies in her songwriting speaks to all of us as if we were speaking to ourselves. Her songs captivate us with delicate intrigue and charm while reminding us that our own dreams and hearts desires can be real regardless of how complex the world may seem around us. For a number of years, Maren pursued a law career and while feeling like she was always in a “fight” she decided to retire from law and follow her heart and love for writing music and playing her guitar. Her recent work, Finally Red, incorporates her love for percussion, her sense of rhythm and with the sensibility and sincerity of Folk Music. We’re calling it 21st Century Folk with a World Groove. Maren currently resides in Missoula, Montana.

The Really Big Small Band

Laura Hibbs - Accordion Player

Laura started picking out songs on the family piano when she was tall enough to reach the keys. By age 12 she had moved on to the accordion and has been squeezing the keys ever since. Living in Boise Idaho provided unique access to Basque traditional music, which opened her to other traditional forms- Appalachian, Irish, and her current favorite, Eastern European/ Klezmer. Other influences over time have come from such diverse sources as Bob Wills, the Anonymous 4, Ute Lemper, and the Moody Blues. Her favorite accordionist is still Nova Devonie, from the band Ranch Romance. Laura spends half her year living and working on a wilderness ranch in Wyoming, and the remainder in Missoula, Montana.

Caleb Van Gelder - Percussionist

Born and raised in Wyoming, percussionist/musician Caleb D. Van Gelder's life has been a continuous quest for vision, growth, and mastery in music, and really he's just getting started. He began his musical journey at the age of seven with piano and percussion in elementary school. At the age of twelve he received his first drum set. His constant desire for musical & self growth led him to study Jazz and Latin percussion at age 14 with the renowned jazz drummer Ronnie Bedford from New York City, who has played & recorded with the likes of Joe Pass, Sarah Vaughn, Benny Goodman, Buddy DeFranco, & Pee Wee Russell. A true jazz musician at heart Caleb's artistic uniqueness lies in his dynamic sound, authenticity and creativity. A sensitive, colorful and innovative drummer, Caleb mixes different textures and tones on the drums and cymbals to produce beautiful colors and images. A versatile musician, Caleb approaches each genre in its authentic context, yet complements it through incorporating various styles in an ingenious manner to create an interesting and organic sound.You can hear him playing anything from straight-ahead blues, & jazz, to bluegrass.

Pete Hand - Double Bass and Electric Bass Player

Pete Hand has always been a bass player. He likes to make music that touches listeners and makes them,"sheik their booty." Currently playing with a number of groups in Western Montana, Pete also teaches bass so others may pursue their bass-ness.