Trio Tsuica began in 2010 with three musicians on violin, accordion, and cimbalom. In need of a firm foundation, the group soon added a bassist. Since “Tsuica Quartet” just doesn’t roll off the tongue the same way, the ensemble became Portland’s only four-member trio.

Brent Geary

Violin

Brent has been playing the violin since the age of nine (with the usual breaks, of course, for school, work, eating, sleeping, and so on). He studied classical music at SUNY Fredonia in western New York. Brent’s musical explorations took a turn to the east in 2005, when he joined Portland’s Balkan dance band, Kafana Klub. A few years later he bravely plunged into Romanian and Hungarian music, when three-quarters of Paul’s band from Seattle got stranded by a flood, leaving only Paul to play a concert in Portland. Brent, Kathy, and Peter stepped up to to the stage to fill the gap, and the rest is history. In addition to violin in Trio Tsuica, Brent plays kemençe in the Greek duo, Gin & Pontic.

Kathy Fors

Accordion

Originally trained as a pianist, Kathy took up the accordion in the 1990s. She was a founding member of the folk dance band Kafana Klub and has played on the Portland Balkan music scene for many years. In addition to Trio Tsuica, Kathy plays with the Krebsić Orkestar, a 14-piece Balkan brass band, as well as the decidedly non-Balkan café music band Padam Padam. She is a former member of the board of directors of Balkan Festivals Northwest, a nonprofit organization with the mission of promoting the culture and music of the Balkans. Kathy Is also a DJ at KBOO-FM Community Radio

Paul Beck

Cimbalom

Paul began his musical studies hitting tuned water glasses in Mrs. Ristad’s preschool music class. He eventually worked his way up to hitting percussion instruments for a music degree at the University of Colorado. Paul saw a cimbalom for the first time on a family trip to Hungary, but it was more than 30 years before he got to hit one. In the instrument he finds the ideal combination of inexplicable string layout, extended tuning sessions, and heavy lifting. Paul is the only musician in the band who was never a member of Kafana Klub, but he does admit to having sat in with them on a couple of occasions. Demand for cimbalom players being what it is, he makes his living as an author of children’s nonfiction books.

Peter Whitmore

Electric bass

The most musically erudite member of the group, Peter holds a master's degree in composition from the University of Victoria. He was a member of the music faculty at Marylhurst University until that august institution's demise in 2018. He has performed with a number of Portland music and dance ensembles, including 3 Leg Torso and the Accidental Ensemble, and in musical productions with the Broadway Rose and Lakewood Theater Companies. Peter played in the first performance of the emergency band that later became Trio Tsuica (see Brent's bio, above), but his musical endeavors took him in other directions until the band’s acute need for a lower end brought him back to the trio, already in progress.


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