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26 March 2004 This weeks news | Past News | Send news

Editors Note

Please don't forget to take part in our "Technology and the Accordion" survey if you have not already done so.

Another technology is covered in the news this week. Radio station broadcast of accordion music via the internet. This is a relatively new commercial development with an exciting potential for the future. Enjoy the music and while you are listening, don't forget to fill in the "Technology and the Accordion" survey. Thanks.

Harley Jones
Acccordions Worldwide Director

This Weeks News

Allan Polley presents Toowoomba Accordion Festival 2004 - Australia

A weekend of fun and entertainment is coming up for accordionists and music lovers in Toowoomba on Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd May.

Organized and presented by Allan Polley, the festival will take place at the Martin Luther Primary School. There are to be concerts, Irish dances, soloists, duos & ensembles, demonstrations and workshops, bush bands, folk groups, concertinas and harmonicas. There will be a special dance on Saturday night. Accordionist Bernadette Conlon is a special guest at the festival.

For further information, email


AN-tifonal and sensational success in Great Britain - UK
Contributed by Hazel Sheppard

The British debut of Duo AN-tifon (Angel Luis Castaño, accordion & Ananda Sukarlan, piano) was a huge success. They performed at the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh on March 15th before an enthusiastic audience. The next day, the 3 most important Scottish newspapers (The Scotsman, The Herald and Evening News) each gave 4 stars in their reviews.

The duos by the Spanish composers David del Puerto ("Diario"), Polo Vallejo ("In the Darkness") and the Scottish Iain Matheson were the most impressive both for public and for the critics. They wrote: "Castaño has been instrumental in bringing the accordion to the forefront of serious music and his virtuoso performance last night showed why.... Sukarlan's performance was unparalleled. Music and performance of this quality creates an ideal cornerstone for a tradition of such an unusual instrumental combination" (Martin Lenon, Evening News).

On Sunday the 21st, this concert has been selected as "The Best Classical music concert of the week" by the biggest British newspaper, The Guardian. Angel Luis Castaño and Ananda Sukarlan are members of Musica Presente, whose aim is to promote Spanish music all over the world.


IV International Festival of Accordion Music - Poland

The IV International Festival of Accordion Music is set to take place on 23rd to 26th September in Koszalin says Artur Zajkowski, the artistic operator. The festival is organized by the Local Centre of Culture in Koszalin and promoted by accordion band "AKORD" who say the event will be a great opportunity to present accordion.

The main instrument in the competing bands is accordion although the organizers have allowed other instruments in order to promote the presentation of different types of music such as jazz, classic, and others. Entry is open to all interested bands. There are prizes and diplomas for the most interesting presentations.

For further information email


2004 Texas Accordion Association National "Homecoming" Convention - USA

This year's TAA Festival in tribute of Maestro Anthony Galla-Rini's 100th birthday was held at the Omni Hotel in Richardson, Texas. There were over 200 participants presenting an outstanding array of talented accordionists and workshop leaders who gave everyone countless hours of great enjoyment. The week's activities began on Wednesday a welcome dinner. Thursday's activities included a 6 am wakeup call for the Dallas area morning TV show which was promoting the convention. That plus other media attention boosted attendances throughout the event. This year there were four orchestras led by Alice Aman, Mary Medrick, Dan and Kim Christian, and Auckland Symphony Director (New Zealand) Gary Daverne. The different levels and types of music presented by each orchestra provided many opportunities for involvement by all accordionists. Friday morning set the fast pace for accordion extravaganza with workshops by MIDI accordionist Betty Jo Simon while Ron Pivovar's workshop showed us the Slovenian style and emphasized the harmony and unique style of Lojze Slak. Gordon Kohl showed participants how to embellish their own style of playing with transitions that appeal to the audience. Nick Ballarini demonstrated a new Petosa accordion and gave a lesson on Accordion 101: what to look for in an accordion, demonstrating different sounds and types of accordion models.

Stas Venglevski of Milwaukee, President of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, and jazz artist John Simkus of Chicago teamed together to reveal a smooth duet style with seamless coordination between bayan and piano accordion. Jane Christison returned to TAA to show us more about Music with a Smile with her toe-tapping enthusiastic workshop teaching about presentation and personal marketing. Marilyn Monsivais of Houston gave an audience participation workshop on rhythm and demonstrated styles of playing the accordion and the "stump fiddle". Later the "K" Trio gave a master workshop on trio performance, Tony Lovello, the Liberace of the accordion, presented with unbounded energy a workshop performance that everyone loved, showing flashing beginnings and endings in classic Lovello style. Henry Doktorski introduced Vaudeville Accordion Classics with music from Guido Deiro.

Saturday morning was a full presentation with workshops from Jim Wadowick of the Alabama Accordion Association and owner of Ja-Mar Music. Jim Wadowick and Jim Rommel gave an unforgettable presentation of ragtime and the MIDI accordion with tuba accompaniment by Rommel. Later Jim Rommel showed participants How to Really Play a Polka and sing at the same time! Tom Sullivan gave a workshop on Workshops. Joe Cardinale taught us to play rhythm with percussion, and Mark Halata gave us Texas-Moravian Accordion music. Visiting accordionists, Havard and Karen Svendsrud of Norway
demonstrated a superb style on bayan accordion with solo and duet performances that brought the audience to their feet. Dan & Kim Christian presented Musical Styles for Every Accordion showing their versatility and talent in working with young performers. Additionally, Betty Jo Simon, Tony Lovello, Mike Sullivan, Jane Christison, and Nick Ballarini gave additional workshops allowing everyone an opportunity to share ideas.

The Friday evening performances were best remembered by the performance by Russian bayan players Stas Venglevski of Milwaukee, Greg and Yelena Fainstein of Dallas and Anatoliy Yegorov of San Antonio who gave us a surprise performance of superb Russian folk music that kept the audience applauding for several minutes. The 2004 Texas Accordion Convention was one to be remembered. So many wonderful times with so many great workshops and performers.

Jim Wadowick's new CD of ragtime classics titled an "Endangered Species" - USA

Alabama accordionist, Jim Wadowick, executive director of the Alabama Accordionists' Association, has just released a CD which proved a hit at last weeks TAA convention. Wadowick has produced a compilation of ten of the most popular ragtime classics including: Twelfth St. Rag, Dill Pickles, Spaghetti Rag, The Entertainer, Maple Leaf Rag, Solace, Texas Rag (an original by Wadowick), Sweet Georgia Brown, Kitten on the Keys, and Dizzy Fingers. The last two numbers are not technically rags, but rather "piano novelties" which were popular right after the rag time era, which lasted from roughly 1895 to 1917.

For the recording, Wadowick used an old Excelsior with midi running an Orla sound module to produces the piano sounds. "Endangered Species" sold well at the TAA convention where Wadowick gave two lectures on ragtime history and performed at each workshop. Wadowick is now forming a ragtime trio to perform with tuba and banjo on April 3 for the annual Troyfest in Troy, Alabama.

For further information, email 


New CD by Christa Behnke - Germany

Christa Behnke has released a new CD titled "Virtouses Akkordeon".

Behnke, says her CD has a great variety of music "from classical to anything!"

For more information, please email


A Tex Mex Night to Marimba - USA

There's a school of thought that folkloric music concerts are like PBS documentaries: educational but not really that entertaining. Such was not the case with the lively "Masters of Mexican Music" cross-border revue that made a stop Tuesday night at the Clarice Smith Center's Dekelboum Concert Hall. While none of the veteran combos conjured MTV en Español sonics or visuals, they showed that traditional approaches can still deliver the fun and romance more often associated with contemporary pop music.

Trio Chalchihuecan, from the Gulf of Mexico port city of Veracruz, opened with a set of jarocho music. Resplendent in white cowboy hats and red bandanna neckties, the combo rendered "La Bamba," counterbalancing the lush notes of a tall Mexican harp with fast-tempo vocals and rough-edged rhythm and melody from the banjo-size jarana and requito guitars.

Texas-born Mingo Saldivar and his band, all in black clothes, followed with roadhouse-style conjunto. Forget that Pepsi commercial imagining a young Jimi Hendrix passing up the accordion for the guitar -- the charismatic Saldivar's pumping button-accordion playing is anything but schlocky, and his Tejano-meets-country-meets-polka interpretations of Johnny Cash brought a little grit to the upscale room.

Marimba Chiapas, a trio, uses one instrument, a six-foot-long xylophone. Their mallet-tapping syncopation quieted the tempo before the sombrero- and brown-velvet-clad mariachi ensemble Los Camperos de Nati Cano brought it back up. With powerhouse trumpet blasts, lilting violins, strummed vihuela (an ancestor of the guitar) and operatic vocals, this large outfit inspired with joyous party tunes and sentimental slow dance numbers.

By Steve Kiviat of the Washington


Accordion Audition for Tokyo Disney Sea Park - Japan and USA

Walt Disney Entertainment auditioned for accordionists on March 15th in Orlando Florida. They are wanting an accordionist to perform at the Japanese Disney Sea Park in Tokyo.

With emphasis on a musician's ability to improvise within the parameters of the musical styles, Disney is searching for performers able to play Italian pop songs and some light opera with vocalist. Selected candidates will be offered a six month contract in Tokyo from May to November 2004.

Concert of Hope to raise disease funds

The Accordion Pops Orchestra, led by Daniel Desiderio will stage a performance, titled "A Concert of Hope" in Philadephis, USA on April 17th to raise funds to go towards funding research necessary to finding a cure for ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Made up of 35 accordionists, the Accordion Pops Orchestra is sure to delight with a repertoire spanning classical pieces to Broadway show tunes. The Accordion Pops will be joined by guest soloists Carmen Carrozza, Erin Dougherty (piano), Rodolfo Veneziano (tenor), and The 'K' Trio.The highlight of the evening will be the premier performance of an original composition, "Hope", by a musician afflicted with ALS. All proceeds from the concert will benefit the ALS Hope Foundation.

For further information, email:


Finn to give Workshop

Paul Finn, accordionists of the British Boyband, Teada -voted "Best Traditional Newcomers 2003" by the Irish Music Magazine was in Baltimore, Washington D.C on Tuesday for a box workshop hosted by Tony Ziselberger.

Téada's characteristic lively blend of instrumentals and vocals in the traditional Irish idiom has seen the band evolve into one of the busiest bands in the traditional music scene in recent times. Having first come to attention through an appearance on the innovative Irish television series, Flosc, in 2001, téada, went on to undertake highly successful tours of the United States and Finland and Germany throughout their initial year as a band.

For further information:


Listen to accordion music on the internet - UK

For three years now, a radio station playing 100% accordion music has been broadcasting via the Internet. Since it was started in March 2001 by David Batty of Leyland Accordion Club, Lancashire, England, the station has attracted listeners worldwide.

The station which can be found at requires no special software as listeners without a suitable player are offered a free player as a download to allow you to not only listen to the output, but also to see the artist and title displayed on screen and the station welcomes accordionists to send their CD's to be added to the material broadcast. The output is carefully chosen from the CD's received to give a broad cross section of accordion material with minimal bias towards style, country of origin or any other criteria.

Artist name and track titles are broadcast along with the music to allow listeners to identify players they like. A 'buy' button next to each track being played, if clicked, takes the listener on to the Internet to search for the CD via website. Founder David Batty said "Accordion Radio provides accordionists with a continuous stream of accordion music output, whilst at the same time giving players a worldwide audience for their material."

The radio is streamed 24 hours per day at a rate of 24kbps which is about 70% of the speed of a 56k modems throughput. This speed was chosen so that anyone with a 56k modem can listen in without interruption even if the internet is suffering from some congestion at the time. According to David Batty, "Accordion Radio has been broadcasting via the Internet with the content being 'consumed' on computers." With recent advances in technology, listeners can even get accordion radio on their mobile phones.

For further information, email

Stolen Accordion - England

The only red Borsini K8 accordion in England was stolen on March 7. For information on its whereabouts, please email Robert Rolston of Rolston Accordions Accordions Worldwide has a site where you can also list your stolen accordions, free of charge. These lists can help locate your accordion and discourage future theft.

For further information, email


Join the Akkordeon-Spielgemeinschaft Neukölln - Germany

The Akkordeon-Spielgemeinschaft Neukölln e.V. Orchestra from Berlin with a long tradition is expanding their orchestra and looking to find accordion players as well as keyboard and percussion musicians. Their musical program ranges from pop to classic and is presented in concerts, presentations, travels. There is common rehearsing and enjoyful time during their meetings.

For further information, phone Mr. Bräutigam +49/030/834 76 72


Quote of the Week

Did You Know? by Willoughby Walshe

Listen to the playing of outstanding organists and observe how they use registers on their instrument to interpret compositions.

Find out more….. "Walshe Essential Guide to Accordion and Harmonica Events"


CD Review

New CD "The Moon is Blue" by Kenny and Mary Kotwitz.


New Sites New site about performer Joe Martino Jean Marc Fabiano - French solo performer, conductor, conservatory professor

Updated Sites Silvio de Par advertising the Beautiful Music CD Una Sera con Silvio De Pra with information about Beltuna artists. new site with new products and information


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