Hansi started his musical career at age 7 on the violin and had his first taste of public performance with the Waterloo Region Catholic School Orchestra in the Second Violin Section, under the direction of Mr. Mike Bergauer. Performances included an annual visit to the University of Waterloo Humanities Theatre, where family and friends were in attendance.
Growing up as a teenager, Hansi was introduced to the Lawrence Welk television show and was inspired by Henry Cuesta, to learn the clarinet. Hansi’s parents were happy to oblige and encouraged this new direction. Soon after, Hansi’s Uncle John, who himself had been playing in a dance band, and had become a source of inspiration, introduced Hansi to two brothers, one who played the drums and the other, the accordion. Hansi switched to the tenor saxophone and so, at age 15, these three formed a band and played together for twenty years. Other musicians followed including trumpet players, and for a short time, his brother Paul on the bass guitar and vocals.
In 1996, Hansi was lucky enough to join Uncle John’s band, the Romeros, whom he’d idolized over the years, and thanks to his leadership, and his brother Marty’s amazing sax playing, really grew as a horn player. He had the honour of playing on a float in the K-W Oktoberfest parade with Uncle John, Alf and special guest Walter Ostanek.
He filled in over the years with such bands as The Saxons, who he recorded an album with, the Hornets, and The Esquires. It was during one of these shows with the Esquires that Hansi met Alf and in 2009, they formed their own group, along with other musical veterans, Murray, Jim and Fred, as Twin City Alpine Echo, boasting over 200 combined years of local musical involvement. They have already won the Kitchener- Waterloo Oktoberfest “Ein Prosit Award” in 2010 and 2012.
Hansi would like to thank his parents for their encouragement and support from day one, all his family and friends for always coming out to see them play, Uncle John for setting the example, and all of our fans for their continued support.
“Thank you for dancing to our music!”