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Gisela Hans
Gisela Hans

Gisela hails from Cape Town, South Africa where she started playing the violin at the tender age of 4 yrs. Throughout her schooling, her violin playing flourished, and she quickly developed a distinctive flair and individual playing style of her own which she retains today.


She was awarded a coveted full scholarship from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music to study at the RSAMD in Glasgow, and graduated in 2004 With a BMus (Hons).


During her 4 years at the RSAMD, she was approached by the renowned Scottish band Belle and Sebastian, to be a session player. Subsequent tours with them took her all over the world and she has played to sell-out crowds in USA, Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, Japan and Australia.


She has also played at several festivals, including Glastonbury (UK), Fuji Festival (Japan) and Benicassim (Spain). Album appearances and live studio and television recordings followed, with Gisela even landing a starring role in the music video for the single ‘Wrapped Up In Books’. She has been fortunate to have performed with the legendary Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys.


An experienced and well-travelled performer, Gisela now combines a busy and varied freelance career with tutoring violin for North Ayrshire Music Service and playing with the multi award winning Wedding String Quartet, Capella.

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Gregor Blamey

Gregor plays accordion and piano and is the musical powerhouse of Shimmy Grand. All of the arrangements are Gregor’s work and his creativity is the basis of our unique sound. Gregor began playing piano at the age of seven and after studying at the Junior Department of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama was accepted into the Senior Department and gained a BA Honours degree in 2003. After graduating, he studied jazz piano for two years at St Andrew’s University and went on to become an employee of ‘Carnaval Cruise Lines’ as a show-band musician and cocktail pianist.


Gregor has enjoyed a varied musical career over the last few years: pianist with the Scottish Tango Ensemble, collaborating artist with Scots Fiddler, Alastair Savage, accompanist with numerous professional companies, ensembles and soloists, performing solo recitals and concertos for various music groups and playing throughout Scotland as a wedding and event pianist.


Gregor’s Grandparents were close personal friends to the late Sir Jimmy Shand Snr, meaning the accordion has never been far from his heart with Scottish dance music and ceilidh dancing a constant source of enjoyment.


As well as being a founding member of Shimmy Grand, Gregor is pianist and accordionist with Pacific Wedding Band and Band Sergeant Major of the Highland Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Gregor also enjoys teaching piano and is currently employed by Falkirk Council and Dollar Academy.

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Gerry Sludden

Gerry is the percussionist with the band, playing cajon and drums. He is also the DJ, compere and ceilidh dance caller, and ensures that everyone knows exactly how to perform each dance with his relaxed, humorous style.


Gerry began his musical journey as a cornet player in the brass band world before joining the Highland Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland with whom he has performed all over the world on trumpet, euphonium and percussion.


While performing in the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo in 2005, he developed an interest in the evocative sounds of world percussion, leading specifically to learning the cajon. Along with Gregor, Gerry began working on arrangements for ceilidh band which utilised the cajon – it was this project that led to Shimmy Grand being formed in 2011.

A Design and Technology teacher by day, Gerry designs and manufactures the Cajons he plays, fine tuning the sound with the type of wood used in each one.

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