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10th May 2002 This weeks news | Past News | Send news

Editors Note
This week we have updated the Readers Comments section of Accordions Worldwide. This section includes recent comments we have received from our readers. If you would like to comment about the Accordions Worldwide site, please send an email to:

Wayne Knights Webmaster



This Weeks News


Australian International Accordion Championships and Festival - Australia

Contributed by Tania Lukic-Marx

The Australian International Accordion Championships and Festival organized by the Australian Accordion Teachers Association, will take place at the Ninavah Sports and Community Club in Edensor Park from May 24th to 26th. The event will include competitions in a variety of age groups for soloists, duos, groups and orchestras.

Guest artists include Mario Massineo, Cathie Travers, ASA Orchestra, Sydney Balalaika orchestra (with soloist Milica Obradovic), winner of the Coupe Mondiale Piano Accordion Class Branko Dzinovic as well as well known NZ accordion entertainer Lionel Reekie. In addition the AATA will be Honouring Peter Piccini and adding him to their Roll of Honour. Tania Lukic-Marx will give a speech about Peter during the Gala Concert on Sunday. The AATA have also organized a trophy for Peter in appreciation of his contribution to the accordion in Australia. Unfortunately Peter is unable to attend this event, so Mario Massineo will accept the trophy on Peter's behalf.

The competition time table will be on line at the AATA website 3 to 4 days before the competition begins. For details email:


Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

Jimmy Shand Memorial Fundraising Concert - Scotland

Kenny ThomsonContributed by Stuart Thomson

A project to have a Memorial Sculpture to the late accordionist Sir Jimmy Shand erected in Auchtermuchty, Fife (where he spent the major part of his life) is now underway. Many events have been organised, in order to raise funds for this worthwhile cause. On May 24th a concert will be held in The Concert Hall, Troon, Ayrshire with entertainment provided by two bands - David Ross & his Band (David plays the Shand Morino, as designed by Sir Jimmy Shand) & Kenny Thomson & the Wardlaw Scottish Dance Band. For this special occasion, Kenny Thomson will play an early "Piano" Morino model dating from 1939.

For further details email:



"Musical Premiers" Festival - Ukraine

Vladimir ZubitskyThe "Musical Premiers" Festival was held in Kiev from April 11th to 19th and included the premier Ukrainian performance of "Rossiniana", concerto for accordion and large symphony orchestra. Accordionist Vladimir Zubitsky performed this work with the State Symphony Orchestra of Ukrainian Radio (conducted by V. Runchak). The concert was broadcast on Ukrainian Radio.


Icelandic Accordion Festival - Iceland

The "Landsmot harmonikuunnenda á Islandi" (Icelandic Accordion Festival) will be held in Ísafjörður from July 4th to 7th organized by Petur Bjarnason. Musician and composer Baldur Geirmundsson has written and arranged a Festival song, which will be played by all festival participants in a massed orchestra. The event will also feature concerts by groups from many of the 19 accordion clubs in Iceland plus guest performers Lars Karlsson and Annika Anderson from Sweden.

This is the first year the event has been held on an international scale as in the past it was mainly a "meeting place" for Icelandic accordionists and enthusiasts. In conjunction with the festival the Asgeir Sigurdssons Accordion Museum will officially open to the public on July 7th. The Museum features an exhibition of the record collection of Sigurjon Samuelsson, who owns one of the largest collection of records (from the beginning of last century), among them many rare accordion records. For further festival information email:

Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

Concert to Honour Piazzolla - Portugal

Artur Fernandes (concertina) will perform with the group "4Portango" at the Auditório do Cefas in Agueda on May 11th. The group also includes Paulo Belchior (piano), Luís Cardoso (saxophone), Bitocas and Carlos Marques (clarinet).

The concert, which is organized by the D'Orfeu - Associação Cultural and supported by the Ministry of Culture and Portuguese Institute of Performing Arts, will be held in honour of the 10th anniversary of the death of Astor Piazzolla and include a program of tango music. For further details email:


5th Annual Ashkenaz Dance-A-Thon - USA

The 5th Annual Ashkenaz Dance-A-Thon will be held at the Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center in Berkeley, California on May 18th. Ten bands will provide a variety of music such as cajun, Caribbean, African, Balkan and swing for 12 hours of dancing. Accordion based bands include "Tee Fee" (swamp boogie band with piano accordion), "Zydeco Flames" (hot piano accordion a la Clifton Chenier), "Creole Belles" (old time one-row diatonic Cajun accordion) and "Edessa" (sinuous Balkan melodies on the piano accordion).

The event will raise funds for Berkeley's non-profit Music & Dance Community Center. This enables the centre to present live music six nights a week at reasonable prices for all ages, benefit events for many Bay Area grassroots organizations, plus numerous world dance classes. For details email:


New Projects for Renzo Ruggieri - Italy

Namaste TrioJazz accordionist Renzo Ruggieri recently took part in a promotional tour for the new CD by Italian singer-songwriter Giovanni Seneca, entitled "Margini Abitabili". The group, which included Seneca (guitar and vocals), Ruggieri (accordion) and Emiliano Rodriguez (saxophone), performed at the "Il Posto delle Fragole" in Rome and played live on the national radio channel RAI 3 during the "La Stanza della Musica" show.

Renzo RuggieriFollowing this, the "Musica Experimento" association of Montopoli di Sabina (province of Rome) and its artistic director, Enrico Cocco, organised a concert featuring the Namaste Trio, which includes Guido Arbonelli (clarinet), Cinzia Genderian (vocals) and Renzo Ruggieri (accordion). Their program, entitled "Songs del mondo" (Songs from Around the World) showcased pieces by Bernstein, Beggio, Carmichall, Galliano, Gershwin, Piazzolla and others.

Renzo Ruggieri was also invited by the Teramo provincial council to be the guest of honour at the gala presentation of a new CD-ROM devoted to the landscapes of the Abruzzo region. The evening was attended by RAI TV presenter Tiberio Timperi, "Spazio Tre" theatre group, Cherubino quintet, local group "Lu Passagalle", as well as major local authorities.


Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

Polish Accordion Trio Performs in Austria

Contributed by Rita Thomas

The Polish accordion trio "Ars Harmonica" will perform a concert entitled "Eastern Europe between Classic and Folk" at the Festsaal Amtshaus in Vienna on May 23rd.

The trio includes Piotr Chololowicz (bayan), Jakub Mietla (chromatic button accordion) and Piotr Biazik (bass accordion & button accordion). Their program will include works by Bach, Vivaldi, Gridin, Chatschaturjan, Piazzolla, Grekow and Chololowicz (Kyrillikata).

For further information email:



Bulgarian Accordionist Tours USA

Peter RalchevWell known Bulgarian accordionist Petur Ralchev will tour the USA this month giving a concert at the Arlington Community Church in Kensington, California on May 25th. At this concert, Peter will be accompanied by Anthony Michaels (keyboards), who is also the tour organizer.

Petur will also give a number of workshops and private lessons while in the USA. For further details email:



Music for a Jewish Silent Film - Italy

Claudio JacomucciContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

On April 25th Claudio Jacomucci (accordion) and Marco Dalpane (piano) performed the soundtrack of the silent film "Jewish Happiness" (A. Granowski, 1925) at the Lumiere Cinema in Bologna. The music, composed by the two musicians, is inspired by traditional Jewish music and in particular by the pieces collected by Ukrainian musicologist Beregovski..


Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

Accordionist Works with Fazer Artists Management - Finland

Mika Väyrynen is now working with the respected agency, "Fazer Artists Management Inc.", located in Helsinki, Finland. "Fazer" will now organize all of Mika's concert bookings. This company is over 100 years old and has co-operated with many world-famous artists such as Sviatoslaw Richter, Emil Gilels, Natalie Gutman and Grigori Sokolow, to name a few. It also manages several famous conductors and instrumentalists, from Finland and abroad. For concert booking information email:


Colombian Accordionist Celebrates 30th Anniversary in Mexico

Lacides RomeroOn April 20th and 21st Colombian accordionist Lácides Romero performed at a celebration at the Museum of Popular Cultures in Mexico City to commemorate 30 years of his artistic career. Over 200 people attended the concert and were impressed by his interpretations of works by Scarlatti, Piazzolla, Handel, Camargo, Nazareth and Haydn. The program finished with "Colombian Variations to the Carnival of Venice".

Romero plays a unique accordion which he modified acoustically and mechanically to allow him to play transcriptions from the Baroque period to the 20th century.

Romero was invited to Mexico by the National Council for the Culture and the Arts and received a tribute to his work from the Association of Friends of Colombia.



1st Annual California Folk Festival - USAl

The 1st Annual California Folk Festival will be held at the Folsom Community Center in Folsom, California on May 11th. The event will include a variety of workshops, jam sessions, dancing and concerts. Accordionist Sue Crawford will perform Mexican music to accompany Cynthia Llano. "Marley's Ghost" will provide cajun music. For ticket information phone: +1 916-355-7299

Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

Kells Music Festival - Ireland

Ian WatsonContributed by Owen Murray

The Kells Music Festival was held in the historic town of Kells, near Dublin in the Republic of Ireland on May 4th and 5th organised by Gerry Kelly and the Oristown Accordion Orchestra. The successful event included competitions for classical accordion, classical piano and traditional/folk instruments. The jury consisted of specialists in various areas, including Irish pianist Colma Brisco (Professor at Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin) and UK accordionist Ian Watson (Teacher at Surrey University, England). Over 400 accordionists took part in the competitions including over 50 competitors in the beginner section.

The Senior Recital accordion section was won by Irish accordionist Emma Rafferty. Each of the adjudicators selected the best performances from the day to play again at the evening gala concert (5 accordionists, 3 pianists and 5 folk musicians) and from here an overall winner and runner-up were chosen. Robert Kiernan (accordion) was the overall classical winner. He received a stunning crystal trophy and a cash bursary.

Plans for the 2003 festival are already underway due to the success of this year's event. For details email Gerry Kelly at:



Church Concert - Netherlands

Accordéon Mélancolique which includes accordionists Jean-Pierre Guiran and Cherie de Boer will perform a concert at the beautiful wooden "Doopsgezinde" Church "de Vermaning" in Zaandam on May 31st. Organizers will put sand on the church floor, an old tradition that enables it to be cleaned more easily after the event.

The duo's repertoire will include pieces from their new CD "Parade des Poules" such as "Helena", "Mango" and "Petite Fleur". For details email:


Gala Accordion Event - France

A Gala Accordion Event will be held at the Salle des Fêtes in Bessé sur Braye on May 12th. The event will include performances by accordionists Angélique, Cédric Saillard and Benedicte Jeulin. For further details email:

Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

Pilgrim Church Concert - USA

The Beltway Balalaikas (which includes accordionist and bayanist Jim Vandelly) performed at the Pilgrim Church in Wheaton, Maryland on March 9th. Over 100 people packed the small church to hear the ensemble which also includes contrabass balalaika, balalaika and domra. In addition Jim gave a bayan solo.

The Beltway Balalaikas will "warm up the audience" for the Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra's May 11th concert at the Ernst Cultural Center of Northern Virginia Community College. The group will play in the lobby, entertaining patrons as they arrive for the concert. Jim will then remain in the lobby as the "Lonely Accordion" playing the bayan as the other members of the ensemble file out, one-by-one, to prepare for the full concert. For concert details email:



FisAlMuseo Continues in Alessandria - Italy

Tiziano ChiappelliContributed by Carlo Fortunato

Following the great success of the concert held on April 17th at Palafiera in Alessandria by accordionists Cervetto, Campi, Bassissi and Valenti, eclectic jazz accordionist Tiziano Chiappelli will play at the auditorium of the local Ethnographic Museum on May 13th, presenting the instrument under a new, unusual light.

The event will be preceded by a talk by Carlo Fortunato on the history of the accordion in Piedmont. This presentation, based on Fortunato's own meticulous research, will focus among other things on the vicissitudes of local manufacturers during the last century.



Clarion Folk College Festival - USA

A fun weekend of workshops, jam sessions, concerts, and coached group playing for folk musicians of all instruments and levels will take place at the Clarion University Campus, Clarion, Western Pennsylvania from May 17th to 19th. The focus of the event will be group playing with an emphasis on arranging and performing folk music. Many workshops will be open to all instruments including the accordion such as Celtic Tunes, Western Swing, Jigs, Classical Tunes, Canadian Tunes, Easy Old-Time Tunes, Backing up a Song, Wonderful Waltzes, Playing Together Rhythmically, Chord Progressions, Old-Time Songs, Swinging Rhythm Section, Master class in Arranging, How to Practice, How to Jam, and more.

A key part of the weekend will be "Folk Bands," where participants will be divided into small bands. Each band will have rehearsal time together over the course of the weekend. On Sunday afternoon, bands will be given the opportunity to perform. To register, email Kris Stiglitz at:


Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

New CD "The Big Day In" - Scotland

Simon Thoumire (concertina) and David Milligan (jazz pianist) have joined together to complete their CD "The Big Day In" produced by Footstompin' Records. The CD includes a mix of traditional pieces, tunes by young Scottish composers (Rory Campbell and Clare McLaughlin), own compositions, "fast and furious tunes" and "breathtakingly beautiful slow pieces" such as "Joseph's Jig" and "Corrina's Touch". For further details email:



New Accordion USA National News Online

A new edition of the Accordion USA, United States National Accordion News is now online. If you would like to contribute an item for this news either send it via the online submit form or email Kevin Friedrich at:



New Sites/Updated Sites Updated information on professional New Zealand entertainer, vocalist and teacher Lionel Reekie Information on the Bridlington International Accordion Festival held from October 17th to 20th and organized by Loretta Rolston


Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

Accordion Information Required

Jim Vandelly (USA) would like to contact Goncalo Pescada (Algarve, Portugal) regarding a bayan workshop. His email address came back undeliverable. If you can help, email:



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