Dan Compton and Fran Slefer play traditional folk and dance music on fiddles, piano, guitar and button accordion. They specialize in the music of Ireland, the British Isles, Québec, Brittany, and other cold, damp places. They play for dances, concerts, and festivals around the Pacific Northwest, either as a duo or with other musical friends. In the past few years, they've ventured from their home in Portland, Oregon to play up, down, and beyond Oregon's Willamette Valley, as well as in Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, Washington State, and Québec. Dan plays fiddle, guitar, & mandolin. He has been active in the Pacific Northwest folk music scene for over 20 years, performing at many concerts, festivals, and music- and dance camps - as well as the odd pub gig, contradance and ceili. Dan also teaches extensively, does studio session work, and writes and performs music for film and theater. Dan's interest in fiddle music focuses on the styles of Ireland, Québec and Appalachia - as well as the dance music of Brittany - and he has collected much of this music in rambles to many of these places. These styles also surface in many of the tunes he writes. Many of his fiddle compositions are collected in the tunebook The Walk Home. Dan's playing is in particular influenced by fiddle players such as Kevin Burke, Lisa Ornstein, and Matt Cranitch. A lapsed classical guitarist (he has a master's degree!), Dan has long explored adapting traditional tunes to the guitar. Much of his work in this area - including his guitar compositions - explores the application of many techniques used in classical guitar music, as well as the use of alternate tunings. Dan is also no stranger to the guitar's ability to accompany traditional dance music. Fran plays button accordion, piano, and fiddle. She grew up in Limerick, Ireland, and lived in Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, and Dublin before moving to the United States. Fran began playing the piano at an early age, but left it behind for a number of years to explore instruments more commonly used in Irish traditional music, especially the fiddle. Her first fiddle teacher was Maire O'Keeffe from Tralee, Co. Kerry, and Fran picked up a number of unusual Kerry polkas and slides from her. From this beginning, Fran went on to play music from other parts of Ireland, Appalachia and Québec. Fran began C#/D button accordion while driving from Oregon to Québec a number of years ago - don't worry, she didn't do both at once. Since then, she has explored dance music from Ireland, Québec, France and Brittany, being especially influenced by the playing of Jacky Daly, Sharon Shannon, Andy Cutting and Yann-Fañch Perroches.
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