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      Los Angeles-based accordionist and steel drum player
      Ms. Gigi "Gee" Rabe has completed Ph.D. coursework in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and holds an M.A. degree in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and a B.M. degree in Performance with an emphasis in Commercial Music from California State University (CSU) Lo... read more
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      Bio

      Ms. Gigi "Gee" Rabe has completed Ph.D. coursework in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and holds an M.A. degree in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and a B.M. degree in Performance with an emphasis in Commercial Music from California State University (CSU) Long Beach. Her main research interests include music and religion, subcultural music, popular music and culture, youth and music, smooth jazz, worldbeat, tango, the international music industry, Balkan music, and Caribbean music, especially ska and steel band music. She has given papers at conferences, including the Society for Ethnomusicology and the British Forum for Ethnomusicology. Academic awards she has received include a UCLA University stipend; UCLA’s Thayer Special Collections Fellowship, and the UCLA Fine Arts Trust Award. She was also the recipient of a grant from UCLA’s Institute of American Cultures and the Center for African American Studies.

      AMs. Gigi "Gee" Rabe has completed Ph.D. coursework in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and holds an M.A. degree in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and a B.M. degree in Performance with an emphasis in Commercial Music from California State University (CSU) Long Beach. Her main research interests include music and religion, subcultural music, popular music and culture, youth and music, smooth jazz, worldbeat, tango, the international music industry, Balkan music, and Caribbean music, especially ska and steel band music. She has given papers at conferences, including the Society for Ethnomusicology and the British Forum for Ethnomusicology. Academic awards she has received include a UCLA University stipend; UCLA’s Thayer Special Collections Fellowship, and the UCLA Fine Arts Trust Award. She was also the recipient of a grant from UCLA’s Institute of American Cultures and the Center for African American Studies.
      Ms. Gigi "Gee" Rabe has completed Ph.D. coursework in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and holds an M.A. degree in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and a B.M. degree in Performance with an emphasis in Commercial Music from California State University (CSU) Long Beach. Her main research interests include music and religion, subcultural music, popular music and culture, youth and music, smooth jazz, worldbeat, tango, the international music industry, Balkan music, and Caribbean music, especially ska and steel band music. She has given papers at conferences, including the Society for Ethnomusicology and the British Forum for Ethnomusicology. Academic awards she has received include a UCLA University stipend; UCLA’s Thayer Special Collections Fellowship, and the UCLA Fine Arts Trust Award. She was also the recipient of a grant from UCLA’s Institute of American Cultures and the Center for African American Studies.

      An accordionist since 1975, Ms. Rabe has won major awards for her performance, including the Accordion Federation of North America's virtuoso (Western classical) and virtuoso jazz competitions in 1984 and 1985 respectively. Her teachers have included Glenn Stead and LaVoy Halle (Western classical); Frank Marocco (jazz); Pepe Motta (Argentinean tango); Milen Slavov, Petar Ralchev, and Ivan Milev (Bulgarian accordion); and Sunny Sauceda (Tex-Mex). In 2002, her article "Aspects of Regional Difference and Performance Technique in Bulgarian Accordion Music" was published in the journal Musical Performance and she is presently working on a musical analysis of Balkan accordion performance. Ms. Rabe is diverse in her performance styles, from strolling and playing Italian and French popular songs to work in Oktoberfest and Irish bands. In the fall of 2007 she was the accordionist in the Getty Villa production “Tug of War,” which received outstanding national reviews, was featured on a segment of the CBS News Sunday Morning, and was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the top ten productions in Los Angeles in 2007.

      As a steel pannist, Ms. Rabe has performed professionally since 1986 and has worked and studied with Trinidad’s famous Len "Boogsie" Sharpe and Robert Greenidge. She has also recorded for television, radio, and film. She appeared on the last season of the television sitcom “Friends,” where she was cast in the role of “Marjorie,” Phoebe’s eccentric friend who plays the steel drum for her wedding. In addition to playing steel drums, Ms. Rabe has studied Latin percussion with master percussionist Francisco Aguabella.

      As a teaching associate in the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology, Ms. Rabe has taught discussion classes on the subjects of music of Mexico and the Caribbean, music of Europe and the Americas, the Cultural History of Rap, and South American music. She has been a lecturer at CSU Northridge since 1995, starting their steel band program, which is one of the largest steel band programs on the west coast. In addition, she has taught the first online music course at CSUN. She is also a faculty member at Santa Monica College.

      Aside from music, Ms. Rabe is a certified personal trainer with a long term goal to compete in Masters Figure competitions with the goal of earning a pro card. She also enjoys hiking, swimming, and animals.

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