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16 April 2004 This weeks news | Past News  | Send news

Editors Note

Major world electronics music company, Roland of Japan, has decided to introduce a new instrument - the accordion - a very positive step. Roland has strong confidence when it invests substantial sums in research, design, development and marketing of their new Roland FR7.

If Roland can appeal to young people to pick up the accordion, they will quickly find the expressive qualities of the bellows are unique. No other instrument can duplicate such dynamic expression. The visual aspects of the accordion, fingers clearly seen, bellows moving, are additional positives that will help Roland enjoy success. These are real differences for young musicians looking for exciting new sounds, style and performance appeal.

We warmly welcome Roland to our exciting world of the accordion. Roland can have a lasting positive influence on the future promotion and development of the accordion. We wish them every success.

Harley Jones
Acccordions Worldwide Director

This Weeks News

Frankfurt Musikmesse 2004 - Germany
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Pictures from the Musikmesse
Solid visitor and exhibitor numbers were the result of the 25th International Musikmesse and the 10th Prolight + Sound Trade Fair, which took place at the Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre from 31st March to 3rd April. The four-day event saw 65,230 visitors from 87 countries attending - slightly increasing the visitor numbers.

There was growth in the number of trade visitors at both events, especially from the neighboring EU countries of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland and France, who account for around 30 percent of all visitors. The two fairs stamped its mark as being the leading events for the musical-instrument industry and the audio, lighting and event technology sector. The level of internationality at both fairs also increased on the exhibitor side: of the 2,116 companies represented, 1,362 come from outside Germany - from 50 nations - i.e., around 64 percent.

The Musikmesse is the world's biggest platform for music making and, as the leading trade fair for the music-instrument industry with partners from culture and educational policy, does all it can to promote the most important aspect of our cultural heritage that brings people together: music", says Wolfgang Lücke, Musikmesse Event Manager, explaining the aims of the fair.

Excellent weather conditions contributed to the success of the fairs, on the fairground and at the various music stages, such as the "Music Arena", "Agora Stage" in the marquee, the "Acoustic Village" and in Hall 3.1 where all the accordion related products where exposed.

Other highlights of this year's Musikmesse included the presentation of the Frankfurt Music Prize to German rock star Udo Lindenberg and a special prize to 'Prinzen' singer Sebastian Krumbiegel as Piano Player of the Year by the Association of the German Piano Industry (Fachverband der Deutschen Klavierindustrie) and many other awards.

The next Frankfurt International Musikmesse and Prolight+Sound will be 6-9th of April 2005 while the "Music China" exhibition is to take place at the new fairground SNIEC in Shanghai from the 20-23 of October 2004.

The Jazz Accordion Major now at Brooklyn Conservatory - USA

Five accordionists have become the first to apply for a place on the Brooklyn Conservatory's Jazz Accordion Studies in New York.

Successful accordionist and accordion tutor, Victor Prieto described the program saying, "You have to see (now) that the accordion is being treated as any other instrument."

At Brooklyn Conservatory, accordion is part of the piano department and the subjects are the same for both. The programs currently on offer are; the Diploma Program and the Graduate Diploma. While the Diploma is a four-year fulltime undergraduate study leading to the Professional Diploma, the graduate study is for two years resulting in a Graduate Diploma.

The prerequisite for entry into the Diploma is a high school diploma or equivalent degree. Students are also eligible for the programme after having had appreciable musical training. The Graduate Diploma program is open to students who have earned the Professional Diploma at Brookly Conservatory or a comparable baccalaureate-level music degree or diploma from another recognized school, university, or conservatory.

For more information, email

Soldier entertains with accordion - Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - "There's nothing more painful than hearing someone just learning to play the accordion," says Capt. Lou Giangiulio. But in the hands of a skilled player, he said, "it makes people smile."

He should know. Giangiulio, a doctor with the 10th Mountain Division's Forward Support Battalion hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan has been playing his accordion around the base since just before Christmas.
Hospital patients can frequently hear him playing in one of the small offices that borders the waiting area. Staff at the hospital say they have learnt to grow fond of Captain Giangiulio's music.

"You kind of grow fond of it and tired of it at the same time. Actually, he's pretty good," said medic Jamie Jameson. Jameson said Giangiulio takes requests from staff and patients and was even recently learning hip-hop hit "Hey Ya" by OutKast.

Captain Giangiulio spends his free time teaching the accordion to fellow US soldiers in Afghanistan. When he returns to West Point, USA later this year, he'll continue to pass on his accordion playing skills - this time to his kids. Their 3-year-old daughter, Francesca, received a toy accordion as a Christmas gift from his parents. "We're definitely going to teach it to her," he said.

By Jason Chudy, Stars and Stripes


Squeezerama II for May Play Day - USA

Accordionist Jim Coon's Squeezerama workshop is to be part of next months May Play Day in Michigan.
The Annual celebration is set to take place on May 1 and Coon's Squeezerama II workshop has been allocated an hour.

"Hopefully it can all be covered in an hour," said an enthusiastic Coon when asked about the event. "All are welcome to come to it and join in with jamming, dancing and everything."

As with the first Squeezerama , Coon will use button concertinas, a two row Hohner Diatonic, a three row Morelli, 120 bass piano accordions, 3 row Russian Tula Bayan, and 4 row C system chromatic during his workshop. The event is organised by the Paint Creek Folklore Society.

For more information, email:


The Woman Who Played Seachange - Australia

Bernadette Conlon has won many Australian Titles and over one hundred state and national titles. Strangely, Bernadette's best known work was probably the simplest - the famous beginning of the theme song to the popular Australian TV series; "Seachange." Eoin Cameron asked Bernadette how she got that gig and it leads to a cute story. She was busking in Melbourne and was offered a job playing French style accordion for a clothing advertisement. The producer of that ad was Richard Pleasance who subsequently rang her when he needed accordion for "Seachange".

Eoin notes that Bernadette plays saxophone, flute, and violin as well as accordion. "Why pick the accordion?" he asks. Bernadette's response is that "Santa sent me an accordion" ...and that the accordion is a hell of a lot more straight forward than the violin."

Bernadette hasn't just stayed in Australia. She has been a frequent overseas traveller on scholarships and fellowships. She reckons the accordion is a beautiful adaptable instrument, and she has been thrilled with the career it has afforded her. In June , for example, she's off to the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention, interestingly, at the behest of two American tourists who also saw her busking.

From a radio report by Eoin Cameron, ABC Radio

Musical influences spur Irish band - Hawaii

Feelings of nostalgia can wash over you at the strangest of moments, as Dave King, frontman for the Los Angeles-based Irish folk-punk band Flogging Molly bears testament to when he describes his band's love for tradition celtic music.

"My music basically comes from my parents," he says when he finally picks up the phone, still recovering from a late night after the band's gig. "We had what we call 'hoolies' every weekend. My mother and father would bring back people to the flat, and there'd be tin whistles and guitars, and even though the house basically had only one room, there was a piano in it. Those memories are ingrained in my heart -- the atmosphere then was incredible."

His tradition music roots all came into focus when he found kindred spirits at a neighborhood Irish pub called Molly Malone's, where the band Flogging Molly was born.

"We all met in the bar and would play every Monday night," King remembers. "First off, it was me and a couple of guys, including Ted Hutt, who's since become our producer. Then we met Bridget (Regan, who plays fiddle, tin whistle and uillean pipes), and we got a little more traditional-sounding. Then we met George (Schwindt, drummer)… electric guitarist Dennis Casey, Matt Hensley on accordion, Bob Schmidt on mandolin and banjo, and bassist Nathen Maxwell.

"Irish music, in its purest, is really like punk rock music, what with all its energy and passion. At one time, the only thing the Irish people had was their music, people gathering together for the common good. So it seemed only natural to mix it with electric guitar, drums and bass."

Pascal Contet at the Berlin French Music Festival - Germany
Contributed by Jacques Doucelin

The first multi-field French Music Festival was a success in Berlin recently. This years festival was mirrored on the successes of musical events usually held in March, for the past three years.

Organised by the French Embassy, the festival attracted the likes of George Aperghis, Tristan Murail, special guest perfomer Pierre Swell, Sylvain Cambreling, the Intercontemporain Unit, the Sphota Quartet and successful accordionist Pascal Contet.

On the whole, 54 groups/performers were mobilized in one month in some seventeen places of the German capital.

Movers & Shakers Invade the NYC Rock Scene - USA

The popular accordion band, "Movers & Shakers" is set to invade the New York rock music community on Friday, 30th April at the Siberia Bar New York City.

"There's some of the gimmicky humor that many would find irresistible with an unconventional instrument, but especially on "Hey, Failure,"…kick up an old-fashioned rock din," say the Providence Journal about the band's style.

Formely the Benjamin Ickies Preservation Society, the band has been performing in the downtown and Brooklyn performance art scene for nearly two years. Now, with the a stripped-down name and powerful sound, the M&S are expected to "rock the house" with fun and feverish party-time accordion-fueled rock and roll. The band put a lot of energy into proving that it is possible for accordions and tubas to rock just as hard as anyone!

For more information, email


Lizzie Cook Band - New Zealand

Playing outdoors at the Art Centre Market in Christchurch can be tricky when it rains, or when the wind turns into a hurricane, but when it's sunny, even the chilly autumn air is bearable for fingers that need to race around on the accordion and play poetic phrases.

Accordionist band leader Lizzie Cook did not bank on the drummer falling off his bicycle onto a bridge and ending up with his arm in a sling! So for the next two weeks the band is a trio, as they have no plans to perform with a "one-armed" drummer.

Set to play their usual mixture of evocative originals, instrumentals and songs, the Lizzie Cook Band performs at the Christchurch Arts Centre:
Sat 17 April, 1pm
Sat 1 May, 1pm
Sun 9 May, 1pm
Sun 23 May, 12pm

Lizzie Cook is also performing solo during the Christchurch Accordion Society Concert at the Karoro Learning Centre, Greymouth on 22nd May.

International Accordion Festival - Brazil

The Annual Buenos Aires International Accordion Festival will not be held this year, as scheduled.
The festival, which usually takes place around the third week of April each year has been postponed to the same time next year. Festival organiser, Amadeo Menduina. Mr Menduina said the festival is being postponed "due to circumstances beyond our reach."

For more information, email

Tampa Bay Accordion Festival - USA

The Tampa Bay Accordion Association if proud to present during its May 19 Festival an evening of great enjoyment, featuring Peter Soave and Dino Valle. The two will be special guest performers at the festival, taking a short detour from their successful international careers.

Peter Soave is one of the most recognized concert accordionists in the world who tours internationally as guest artist with leading symphonies, and who will be performing with the Orlando Symphony Orchestra during May. Soave is a multiple international competition winner, including the Coupe Mondiale, the Trofeo Mondiale and Grand Prix in Italy: an achievement for a virtuoso of any instrument.

Peter will perform classical, musette, swing styles and more on the bayan accordion as well as Argentinian tangos on the original instrument, the bandoneon. In addition to Peter's performance is Dino Valle, a world-class baritone, who will perform classic Italian and Neapolitan songs, as well as famous arias.

For more information, email

New Zealand & South Pacific Accordion Festival - New Zealand

The closing date for the New Zealand & South Pacific Accordion Festival Competitions are drawing nearer. On 30th April, entries must reach the competition secretary and the organisers.

The largest annual accordion event in the Southern Hemisphere, the South Pacific Accordion Championships and the New Zealand Accordion Championships and Festival offers five performance categories: International Championship, New Zealand Championship, Standard, Qualified and Festival. Each performance category includes a selection of classes.

For more information, email:

3rd European Accordion Festival - Czechslovakia
contributed by Pavel Švarc

Norwegian accordionists, Oslo Trekkspillklubb with the services of conductor E. Bergene was the winner at the 3rd European Accordion Festival, held in the Prague on 9th - 11th April.

Trekkspillklubb's and Bergene's combined outstanding performance won, not only the admiration of the international jury, but of the whole audience as well. Also performing exceptionally at the festival was the AO Desselina from Belgium, who won 2nd place and the AO Euphonia Berlin from Germany 3rd place.

In the "Unterhaltungsmusik" category for the best accordion orchestra, the winning combination was "Usmev" Trencianska Teplice from Slovakia. The winner of the junior category was "AevrAeak" and the junior outstanding AO was Okud Istra Pula from Croatia.

For more information, email


Roland's New V-Accordions Represent New Milestone

Roland is pleased to introduce two new milestones in accordion and digital musical instrument history ; the FR-5 and FR-7 V-Accordions. Building on theRoland V-technology, these lightweight, professionally-modeled instruments incorporate new Physical Behavior Modeling (PBM) technology in a traditional accordion design that delivers powerful performance features and superior sound quality.

Newly developed PBM algorithms faithfully reproduce the characteristics and nuances of an authentic accordion by controlling the waves, dynamics, tone character or pitch of each single reed sound individually based on the movement of bellows detected by high-resolution pressure sensor.

PBM recreates the true acoustic nuances such as the stopping growling noise in the low bass footages or closing valve mechanical noises. The musette tuning note-by-note micro-tuning feature allows a single
V-Accordion to authentically reproduce many different accordion types.

Both instruments are lightweight and portable, with an onboard digital amplifier, featuring up to 30 different accordion sounds and 22 Roland orchestral sounds.


Quote of the Week

Did You Know? by Willoughby Walshe

International Competition for Bayan and Accordion Soloists is organized every five years by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation in Moscow at the Russian Gnesin Academy of Music. On a par with the most famous piano competitions in the world, it is open to players of every nationality from 17 to 32 years of age. Participants receive free room and board. Prizes are worth around $11,000. First prize winners receive video and recording contracts as well as concert engagements.

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


CD Review

New CD "The Heart of the Andes" by Guy Klucevsek.
CD reviewed by Professor Joan Cochran Sommers.

New Sites new site about the "Akkordeon Ensemble of Aosta" (ITALY). a site about key figures in the Spanish music world

Updated Sites Silvio de Par advertising the Beautiful Music CD Una Sera con Silvio De Pra

http://www.cavagnolo.coml updated information regarding Cavagnolo Accordions from France site about Italian performer Simone Zanchini, check out his upcoming concert dates. see Italian performer Giorgio Dellarole's new concert dates Paris-Moscou Duo's site with new information.


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