Todd Hildreth

Accordion

Todd Hildreth
Todd took to the accordion at age 10, knowing little about the instrument other than his aunt had one just sitting around and that no one else he knew played one. He progressed quickly, at age 12 he caught a glimpse of Jerry Lee Lewis on television and put the accordion aside for awhile in favor of the piano. He enrolled at Bellarmine University where his intention was to teach English in high school. He became drawn to the sounds of the Jazz he heard while cutting through the music building on his way to classes. By the end of his first semester, he became overcome by the love of Jazz piano. After graduation, he entered the world of the professional musician, playing Jazz, commercial and Liturgical music for a living. In 1992, he formed the Java Men, an all original organ trio with Craig Wagner on guitar and Ray Rizzo on drums, and joined the indie rock band King Kong, who went on to perform at Lollapalooza in 1996. He has backed Aretha Franklin, The Coasters, Martha and the Vandellas and even Bob from Sesame Street. He has recorded with Nora Jones, Bonnie Prince Billy, Ben Sollee and Jim James and performed comedy with Stephanie Courtney (Flo fro the Progressive commercials) He is on the faculty of Bellarmine University as well as the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops and is musical director for the annual Crusade for Children telethon. Todd returned to the accordion in the year 2003 after hearing a local classical accordion group Inspired to try his hand at accordion Jazz, he formed Squeeze-bot originally as a quartet with guitar, bass and drums, but how it evolved to the accordion, banjo, tuba and tiny drums is another story.