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31st August 2001 This weeks news | Past News | Send news

Editors Note
This week we have updated the "Readers Comments" page with a number of new comments sent to us by happy accordionists and enthusiasts around the world. We have also updated the "Competitions & Festivals Held on a Regular Basis" section of the Yellow Pages.

If you would like to submit a comment or details of an event or festival for either of these sections please email Christine at:

Wayne Knights Webmaster


This Weeks News

11th Annual Cotati Accordion Festival - USA

Sourdough SlimMichael & Steve TruccoContributed by Jon Hammond

The theme of this year's 11th Annual Cotati Accordion Festival was "2001: an Accordion Odyssey". The festival took place on August 25th and 26th in Plaza Park, Cotati and at the entrance to the park is a life-size statue of deceased local accordion hero, Jim Boggio, to whom the festival is dedicated.

Joe SmiellAnoushThis year the Honarary Director of the festival was Joe Smiell, who performed with his son, Joe Jnr. and daughter-in-law who accompanied him on his button accordion which dates back to the 1800's. An entertaining performance was given by Sourdough Slim who made accordion history by being the first known accordionist to simultaneously twirl a lariette, play the accordion, do a jig, and yodel! Sourdough Slim also entertained with Blackwood Tom and this is the 7th consecutive year they have played at the Festival. Over 2,000 people enjoyed their renditions of old cowpoke favorites such as, "Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas" and a Cole Porter composition, "Don't Fence Me In".

Other performers included Rene Pena-Govea with her family band-Los Campas, the Balkan folk dance group, Anoush, and the father and son duo of Steve & Michael Trucco.


Summer Seminar and Festival in Palanga - Lithuania

Contributed by Vladimir Ushakov

The 7th Annual Summer Accordion Seminar and Festival was held in Palanga from August 8th to 16th, organized by the Lithuanian Academy of music, the Lithuanian Accordion Association and the Lithuanian Musical Union. Accordionists and teachers from all over Lithuania took part in the seminar, which included a massed orchestra (conducted by Professors Ricardas Sviackevicius and Eduardas Gabnys) that performed at the final concert. Soloists Zita Abromavichiute and Gennady Savkov also played at this concert.

The seminar also included open lessons, master-classes and lectures with tutors Alexander Dmitriev, Elena Dmitrieva, Vladimir Ushakov, Eduardas Gabnys, Ricardas Sviackevicius, Gennady Savkov, Zita Abromavichiute, Elisabeth Glauber and Raymond Bodell.

A variety of concerts were held with performances by students of various musical schools and colleges of Lithuania (Vilnius, Kaunas, Shiauliaj & Klaipeda), Alexander Dmitriev (Russia), Peter Gerter (Germany), Henn Rebanne (Estonia), Svetlana Stavitskaya (Latvia), Eduardas Gabnys and Gennady Savkov (Lithuania), Vladimir Ushakov and Sergei Likhachev (Russia). Concert halls were filled to overflowing at each concert, which shows the popularity of the accordion in Lithuania.

All festival participants were awarded certificates and the lecturers and teachers were given honourable diplomas.

Carrefour Mondial de l'Accordéon Festival - Canada

The 13th Carrefour Mondial de l'Accordéon festival began in Montmagny, Quebec on August 30th and will run until September 3rd. The festival will include a variety of outdoor concerts, exhibitions, conferences, dances and opening and closing events. The Accordion Museum has various exhibits highlighting the history of the accordion and musicians and conferences will be held each morning. The museum houses a collection of 130 music instruments, of which 113 are owned by the museum, including a very rare melophone, a harmonieflute, a very unique type of bass, and Asian instruments which show the use of the free reed, dating back 4,000 years.

Festival guest artists include accordionists from England, USA, Bulgaria, Colombia, France, Italy, Portugal, Russia and Canada. For further details email:

Musicians Union Concert - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

On September 1st the Japan Musicians Union will hold a concert entitled "Music Fair III" at Cleo Osaka Nishi, Konohana Ward, Osaka. For further information phone accordionist Hisaji Sugimura at: +81 6-6622-4445

Successful 8th Beijing International Accordion Festival - China

Contributed by Li Cong

The successful five-day Beijing International Accordion Festival ended on August 14th with a final concert which had over 500 accordion guests in attendance. The concert included the presentation of awards and prizes followed by performances by prize winners. In addition performances were given by Jiang Jie (President of the festival), American accordionists Dan and Kim Christian (who played the popular "Beer Barrel Polka") and leading Beijing accordionists.

Mika VayrynenDuring the festival, solo concerts were given by Mika Vayrynen (Finland), Alexandre Skliarov (Russia) and Sergey Naik, which were all well received.


10 years and under: 1st - Fu Zi Ran
12 years and under: 1st - Zhang Xiao Yi
15 years and under: 1st - N. B. Nekrasov (Russia)
17 years and under: 1st - Dai Yu
Open Class: 1st - Tang Jia
Artist Class: 1st - Liu Dong
12 years and under Ensemble Class: 1st - Guo Xiao Ou & Huang Xing Ning
15 years and over Ensemble Class: 1st - Gu Jia, Chen Xuan, Yi Hang & Yu Fei
17 years and over Ensemble Class: 1st - Dong Liang Fei, Liu Dong & Sun Shao Qiang
Open Ensemble Class: 1st - Beijing Weiliang Accordion Art School Ensemble

The 9th International Accordion Festival will be held in August next year. For more information email Li Cong:

New Accordion Film - USA

A new film by Micki Goodman entitled "The Unforgivable Sin - Evidence" was completed earlier this year and is based on the theatre collaborations of accordionist/composer William Schimmel and dancer/choreographer Micki Goodman. The film received its first preview performance at the American Accordionists' Association master class and concert series in July and is the first in a series of films concerning the work of Schimmel and Goodman. It will be shown at various film and video festivals throughout the world. For further details email:

Conservatory of Music Concert - Puerto Rico

Contributed by Jane Berkovitz

The Accordion Association Orchestra of Puerto Rico has been evaluated and accepted by the Puerto Rico Institute of Culture. This is a prestigious acknowledgment that the Orchestra is an official representative of the organization which represents and guards the culture of Puerto Rico.

The orchestra has been invited to perform on September 23rd at the Conservatory of Music which hosts a monthly concert that has become an acclaimed family event. Their repertoire will include classical and popular pieces which will give the public the opportunity to appreciate the versatility of the accordion. For further details email:

"Sound Ways" 13th International New Music Festival - Russia

Sergej TchirkovMatthias MuellerThe "Sound Ways" 13th International New Music Festival will be held in St. Petersburg from November 18th to 25th. This annual festival is widely recognized as one of the most important new music events to take place in Eastern Europe. This year the festival will include a variety of concerts given by internationally reputed ensembles and soloists such as the Chamber ensemble of Zurich Conservatoire, Moscow New Music Ensemble, Berliner Clavier Duo, John Palmer, Frank Michael, Reinhard Wolschina, Matthias Mueller and many others.

The opening concert will include the premiere of a new work by Alexander Radvilovitch entitled "Simfonia Sacrae" (for accordion, violin, tuba and choir) performed by the St. Petersburg Youth Chamber Choir, Chamber Ensemble of St. Petersburg Philharmony and accordionist Sergej Tchirkov.

Sergej will also take part in five concerts, including the Russian premiere of Luciano Berio's "Sequenza XIII" and an evening dedicated to Sofia Gubaidulina (at which Sergej will perform both solo, in duo with Swiss cellist Annina Voellmy, and in trio with violinist Michail Kroutik).

A special concert on November 26th will take place at the JFC Jazz Club, and include performances by Kontratrio, James Clapperton, Andreas Gutzwiller, Frank Michael, Sergej Tchirkov, Reinhard Wolschina, Elena Antonenko, Alexandra Savina and others. For more information email:


23rd International Jazz Festival - Austria

Kimmo PohjonenContributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif Manager of Friedrich Lips Productions

The 23rd International Jazz Festival was held in Saalfelden (Austria) from August 24th to 26th. The accordion has been always represented at this festival in past years by accordionists such as Richard Galliano, Klaus Paier, etc. This year accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen (Finland) performed his unusual show which included many differing tune experiments and light effects (light design by Ari Virtanen). Other entertainers included Jean-Louis Matinier (accordion) and Renaud Garcia-Fons (double bass) from France who joined jazz and folkore elements to passages influenced by tango and flamenco.

9th Accordion Meeting - Italy

Gianluca CampiContributed by Carlo Fortunato

The 9th Inter-regional Accordion Meeting of Rigoroso di Arquata Scrivia, held on August 2nd in the province of Alessandria, was once again very successful with positive newspaper reviews. This festival, which is open to accordion enthusiasts and anyone with a passion for the instrument, attracted over 1,000 accordion lovers from several regions including Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy and Emilia.

This year's event reiterated important concepts regarding the accordion, especially those which concern its image. It is not by wearing a tuxedo that one raises the prestige of the accordion. The ingredients needed are commitment, a serious cultural approach and the performer's ability to develop a specific style.

This was well demonstrated in the performances of the guests. These included Gianluca Campi (1st place at the 2000 Trofee Mondiale de l'Accordeon in Alcobaca, Portugal), Athos Bassissi (who performed swing music and Argentinean tangos) and Romeo Aichino, whose simple yet effective style included a series of French swing-waltz pieces.

Yuri Yunakov Ensemble Concert - USA

Contributed by Joyce Clyde

The Yuri Yunakov Ensemble will perform two concerts of Bulgarian and Romani music with Bulgarian accordionist Ivan Milev during September. The ensemble includes saxophone, accordion, clarinet, trumpet, vocals, synthesizer and drums. Their first performance will be held at the Slavonic Center in San Francisco on September 14th and the second will be held at the Custom House Plaza, Monterey World Music Festival in Monterey, California on September 16th. For further details phone: +1 510 841-0934

Traditional Bielefeld Irish Sessions - Germany

Traditional Bielefeld Irish concertina music sessions resumed at the Café Biscuit, Stieghorst Centre this month. The event will be held regularly on the first Sunday of each month and musicians who enjoy listening to or playing Irish music are welcome to attend. For further details email:

Kirkpatrick at Royal Oak - England

John Kirkpatrick will play the concertina, melodeon and button accordion at the "Royal Oak" in Lewes on September 6th. This concert is the first in the new season of exciting concerts and events for the newly refurbished venue. For further details email:

Orchestra Concerts and Workshops - Fiji

The Akkordeon Landesjugendorchester Baden-WurttembergContributed by Christine Adams

The Akkordeon Landesjugendorchester Baden-Wurttemberg performed four concerts and gave workshops in Fiji as part of their USA/New Zealand/Fiji tour.

On August 13th the orchestra performed a free concert for school children at Natabua High School in Lautoka, followed by two concerts for the children at Swami Vivekananda College in Nadi on the 15th.


Anatoli Senine Concert - Netherlands

Contributed by Herman De heer Weyers

Anatoli Senine (bayan) will perform a solo concert at the Loge Silentium for the "Open Monumentendag" in Delft - centrum on September 8th. For further details email:

Sergey Naik Performs in Harebin - China

Sergey NaikoContributed by Li Yuan

Russian accordionist Sergey Naiko held a solo concert in the Harebin Concert Hall, Heilongjiang Province on August 8th, by invitation of the Heilongjiang Accordion Association. Hundreds people from all over the province attended and were not only impressed by Sergey's superb technique, but also learnt about the bayan and its rich sound and musical expression capabilities. Sergey played fifteen different styles of music at the concert.

Chemnitzer Concertina Jam - USA

A Chemnitzer Concertina jam will be held at the Addison Town Hall, Allenton, Wisconsin from August 31st to September 2nd. Hundreds of box players are expected to attend impromptu jam sessions on multiple stages, in parking lots, sidewalks, park benches etc. For further details phone Lloyd Conrath at: +1 262 255 3454


East European News Updated

The East European News has been updated to include new information on concerts, festivals and CD releases in Eastern Europe. If you would like to contribute an item for this news please email Sergej Tchirkov at:

Orchestra Tours Australia

Contributed by Christine Adams

New Zealand group, the North Shore Accordion Orchestra (conducted by Lionel Reekie) will tour the Gold Coast in Australia from September 7th to 11th. The orchestra includes a group of enthusiastic accordionists aged from 10 to 16 years who will perform at the "Sea World" fun park and entertain at a concert hosted by the Queensland Accordion Club. For further details email:

"Voglia d'Arte" Music School Successes - Italy

Grandi EmozioniBernardo Di BonaventuraAccordionist Bernardo Di Bonaventura and "Grandi Emozioni" (a group featuring Antonio and Luca Mancini) have just completed their debut albums. These musicians, all students at Renzo Ruggieri's "Voglia d'Arte" music school, graduated from the entertainment music class with very high marks and were offered a recording deal by the Musicomania label, which is also going to look after the distribution of their works. Both albums feature tracks of various genres, ranging from variety to piano bar style, all performed with personality and flare. These soloists are past winners of national and international competitions. For further information please email:

"Voglia d'Arte" music school students also took part in "Quando c'è musica" (When There is Music), a television show aired by the "Digital TV" local channel. This was followed by the school's end-of-year recital, which was held in Roseto degli Abruzzi (Italy). The concert featured all of the students, who performed in front of a prestigious examination board including musicians Livio Bollani and Nicola Penna. The exams held on this day saw Moreno Straccialini, Antonio Mancini and Andrea Sottanelli successfully complete the entertainment music course.

All Japan Festival - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

The All Japan Festival, which began on August 29th will close today. The event, which was held at the Osaka Temmangu Shrine in Osaka, included performances by accordion soloists and traditional bands..

Arbroath Accordion & Fiddle Club Meeting - Scotland

Contributed by Sheona Smith

The Arbroath Accordion & Fiddle Club will hold their next meeting at the Viewfield Hotel, Arbroath, Angus on September 2nd with guest Bruce Lindsay. The club holds regular meetings on the first Sunday of each month. For further details email:

"The Sounds of Italy" Entertains in Orlando - USA

Jimmy Bubaloni"The Sounds of Italy" (which includes accordionist Jimmy Bubaloni) will entertain diners at the MaMa Dellas Restaurant in the Portifino Bay Hotel, Universal Studio, Orlando, Florida on Friday and Saturday evenings. The group, which includes Italian vocalists, perform a variety of popular songs such as "Come back to Sorrento", "Arivaderci Roma", "That's Amore", "Roman Guitar" and many more. For further details email:

New Article

A new Article entitled Piazzolliana by Vladimir Ushakov is now online in English and Russian.


New Sites/Updated Sites
Updated contact information for accordionist and teacher Wu Jie
Updated information on French accordionist Grégory Frenard
Updated information on accordionist, teacher and composer, Vladimir Zubitsky including new sound files
Updated and new information on accordion manufacturer, Fratelli Alessandrini in Italian, English and German languages

Accordion Information Required

AccordionGreg would like some information on the 120 bass piano accordion pictured, made in Italy. The instrument has no manufactures name on it. If can help with its identity please email:

Antique Accordion Information

AccordionYvonne Meschke would like information (such as - is it of German or Italian origin) on a 48 bass Firotti piano accordion, which she believes is over 50 years old. Email:


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