Pianist Joe Strachan is a 2013 graduate of the University of Minnesota, and was the pianist for the third edition of the Dakota Combo (2008-09) while attending Northfield High School. A former student of Laura Caviani and Bryan Nichols, he first studied classical music, switching to jazz in eighth grade. After a year at Lawrence Conservatory of Music, he transferred to the U of M in Minneapolis where he found more performance opportunities, appearing at the Artists Quarter, Dakota and Studio Z and playing with John Raymond, Jake Baldwin, Alicia Steele, the Jazz Wonderband and more. More recently he has performed with the Adam Meckler Orchestra, Pete Whitman X-Tet, Endeavors, Jake Baldwin’s Quintet, and as part of the Off the Cuff improvisation series at the Aster Cafe.
“Meet James Buckley, the hardest-working musician in the Twin Cities” -Erin Roof, Citypages. James performed live with Lizzo on The Late Show with Steven Colbert, December 2016. As the mainstay bassist for The Pines, James has been touring internationally with the indie-folk group and appears on their Red House Records releases "Tremolo", "Dark So Gold", "Pasture: Folk Songs", and "Above The Prairie". James recorded bass with Minneapolis super-group, "Gayngs" on their "The Last Prom on Earth" album, and played their performance at First Avenue, along with Coachella Music Festival April 2011. James co-founded and was bassist for Minneapolis' circuit-bending noisy pop-funk trio Mystery Palace, fronted and produced by Ryan Olcott of 12 Rods fame. James appears live and on recordings with Emmy Award-Winning, Universal Records Artists, The Blenders. James performed with Har Mar Superstar for an extensive world tour, highlighted by a live television performance on "Le Petit Journal" in Paris, France. Most recently, James performed upright and electric bass with Grammy Award-winning artist, Bon Iver, on his album, 22, A Million.