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Kay HickmanKay Howey Hickman is a classically trained pianist and violinist who grew up in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania and came to Texas in 1972.  She moved all over the south, following her doodlebugging husband and finally putting down roots in Wichita Falls.  She and her husband Jerry raised three children, and for many years was employed as a caseworker, issuing out state welfare benefits to needy clients.  She then became a Contract Manager for Long Term Care agencies, and then moved into Systems Analysis after that, which she continues to do. While volunteering at the Irish Festival in Dallas, Texas, she met an elderly gentleman who changed her life with his words.  He talked about how short life actually is and reminded her to enjoy every minute of it.  She took it to heart. 

At the same festival, she was instantly mesmerized by Sharon Shannon and the instrument Sharon played so well - the diatonic accordion.  Kay decided to learn to play and taught herself - with the help of many Internet friends.  She began with the Breton and French styles, with tablature and tunes that good friends were so happy to share.  She quickly learned to play by ear, however, making it much easier to decipher other tunes that are not written in any musical format.  Kay moved to the Austin, Texas area in 1999.  She quickly hooked up with Pete Nalda to form Street Squeeze, and they began busking on the streets of Austin, playing for spare change and smiles.  Kay is a prolific composer.  She has created dozens of her own tunes in multiple styles, and in tribute to many of her friends and family who influenced her playing in one way or another.  She also plays various styles from many different countries of the world. 

 

Pete NaldaPete Nalda is of Basque heritage and grew up on a ranch in New Mexico. Early in his life he took a keen interest in music, as he was exposed to a variety of instruments and styles by hearing his grandfather and father play music. Pete's mother's side of the family was also very musically inclined and his Mamma Jewell was an exceptional pianist and organist, and this also influenced his exceptional musical talents. He is self taught and went pro right after learning to play. He is skilled at improvisational instrumentation, and his interpretations are always full of surprises. Pete is an accordion virtuoso - piano, diatonic and chromatic - and is also proficient with any keyboard instrument. His styles are varied. He performs all kinds of traditional folk music, but also plays jazz, punk, rock and even country & western. Pete has the amazing ability to listen to a tune and immediately transform it, adding his own unique brand of magic. He has been a session musician while also playing in other Austin bands - namely, Rumbullion and Bellevue Jubilee. Pete has also recorded with the punk band Out of the Fire, alternative songwriter Bruce Joyner, and blues bands King Slim and Dewayne Davis. Besides playing music, Pete has done technical support for Apple Computer and these days plays around with computer graphics.  Pete and his guidedog, Romance, are well known all over the city of Austin.

 

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