Itchy Fingers

Multi-instrumentalists Erik de Jong and Tijn Berends had been playing music together for several years at the sessions in O'Ceallaigh's Pub in Groningen, when they decided in early 2012 to combine their musical skills in this pocket-sized band. More than seven years later, the fun is far from over. With their performances on the stages of various Dutch folk festivals (Elfia, Archeon Midwinterfair, Keltfest, Cadansa), ceilidh workshops, folkbals, listening concerts and of course still regularly at sessions, Erik and Tijn show that they still enjoy the music immensely . The various CDs of the duo (a third is currently being made) clearly show that the musical possibilities are far from exhausted, so for the time being this duo will keep on playing.

Erik de Jong is rightly known as one of the best accordionists in the Netherlands. He plays the piano accordion, bodhrán and tinwhistle, and is known for, among other things The Doggy Few, the Assassenachs and Whoops!. He also played with famous musicians such as Roy Gullane (Tannahill Weavers), Linde Nijland and Annemarie de Bie (Fling). Although he mainly plays Irish and Scottish music with Itchy Fingers, his repertoire is not limited to these - he is also not unknown in the balfolk, and with HoppaH! he even plays a piece of balkan music now and then.

Multi-instrumentalist Tijn Berends has been active in the Dutch folk scene since 2009. Where he once started with just a dusty toy harmonica, his range of instruments has expanded rapidly. When Tijn climbs the stage with Erik, a guitar, an Irish bouzouki, a concertina and of course his harmonica are waiting. And when playing all these instruments becomes too much for him, he always has his voice – an instrument in itself.

Besides Itchy Fingers, Tijn still plays in the formations Four of a Kind and Withershins.