Come Dance with Us: The Muckrakers Return to Lillehammer!

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A bit of magic: a chaotic jam turned into a night of great music as The Muckrakers met in Lillehammer, 2008.

If you’ve been to any of the last four Global Investigative Journalism Conferences, chances are you saw GIJN’s own band, The Muckrakers. Formed at a jam at the first Lillehammer conference in 2008, the group quickly came together with a hard-drinking crowd of journalists from around the world for a great night of R&B, blues, and rock.

Since then, The Muckrakers have played to packed crowds at every Global Investigative Journalism Conference, rockin’ the house in Geneva, Kiev, and Rio.

Drawn from four countries, The Muckrakers showcases the talents of four veteran musicians – Ana Simonovska on vocals (Macedonia), Mark Hunter on guitar (France/US), Dave Kaplan on harmonica (US), and Geir Aage Vollan on bass (Norway). This is the band’s reunion gig, as they return to where it all began seven years ago.

Work hard, play hard: Journalists from around the world dancin’ to The Muckrakers in the basement bar at GIJC 2008.

The band starts Friday night at 10 pm, so bring your dancing shoes and come party. The Muckrakers will burn through a hard-driving blend of classic R&B, cool soul, and boogie-woogie blues. This year they’ll be featuring tunes from Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Martha Reeves, Elmore James, Wilson Picket… and don’t forget Dylan and The Stones.

The Muckrakers are:

Ana Simonovska, vocals and rhythm guitar
Powerhouse singer Ana Simonovska’s musical skills were honed at the Conservatory and Faculty of Music Arts in her native Skopje, Macedonia. After graduation she played and recorded her own songs with a Macedonian rock band before going solo. After years as a TV journalist in Skopje, she studied music in Vienna, and is now based in Moscow.


Mark Lee Hunter, slide guitar and vocals

Mark HunterAce guitarist Hunter has toured with Fontilla Timmons, studied with Bob Brozman, learned licks at the feet of John Lee Hooker, performed with musicians like the great Mexican guitarist Gil Gutierrez, and recorded with disco artist Kim Dorell and harmonica virtuoso Richard Hunter. Based in Paris, Hunter teaches journalism at INSEAD, a leading business graduate school.

Dave Kaplan, harmonica

Dave KaplanAcclaimed harmonicist Dave Kaplan learned to play blues in his native Chicago. He’s spent over 30 years playing in blues, rock, and jazz bands. Known for blazing fast runs, Kaplan has performed worldwide. His work as a journalist, meanwhile, has won more than 20 awards. Based in Wash., D.C., he now works as director of our conference co-host, the Global Investigative Journalism Network.

Geir Aage Vollan, bass

GeddyB-1 (2)Playing with The Muckrakers will be two Norwegian musicians on bass and drums. The band is delighted to welcome back one of its original members, veteran bassman Geir Aage Vollan, who played with the group at its first gig in 2008. Geir is a native of Lillehammer.

Need more info? Write us at See you at the gig!


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