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04 June 2004 This weeks news | Past News  | Send news

This Weeks News

  • 'A to Z of Accordion' Book by Rob Howard - UK
  • World Premiere - Finland
  • Fort Bend County Accordion Club Activities - USA
  • Stockport Accordion Club June Events - UK
  • Café Accordion Orchestra Tour Dates - USA
  • Traditional Music and Dance Workshops by Carrefour mondial de l'accordéon - Canada
  • Accordions on the Water! - Lithuania
  • Zanchini Concert Dates - Italy
  • Airbag Festival - Belgium
  • Anna Massie's "Glad Company" CD - Scotland
  • Dan and Kim Christian Survey - USA
  • Accordion Club Centre 50th Birthday and Paris-Moscow Duo - France
  • Large Crowds Attend Toowoomba Accordion Festival - Australia
  • Join USAF Strolling Strings - USA
  • Accordionist Wins Instrumentalist Award - Macedonia
  • Australian International Accordion Championships - Australia
  • Quote of the Week
  • CD Review
  • Site Updates
  • SilvioDePra

    "A to Z of Accordion" Book by Rob Howard - UK

    The "A to Z of Accordion", a book by Rob Howard is a very impressive must-read and must-have for every accordionist and enthusiasts wanting to learn more about accordion in Great Britain.

    Retailing at £15, plus £4 postage, the book is the first its kind and is proving popular in the United Kingdom. Written in the format of an encyclopaedia, the "A to Z of Accordion" covers all sorts of UK accordion related material from player biographies, definitions of instrument types, archive magazine articles, contemporary articles to lists of British solo accordion champions since 1935.

    For further information, email


    World Premiere - Finland
    Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

    Accordionist Mika Väyrynen will be participating in the world premiere of 'Barabbas Dialogues' by world famous composer Aulis Sallinen on the 11th June in Naantali. This new work is for 7 players and 5 singers and is a very big work of over 50 minute's duration.

    The accordion has a very central part in this piece and the musical material is partly the same as Sallinen used in his Concerto 'Barabbas Variations' for accordion and orchestra. After this world premiere, this piece will be recorded for the German Label CPO. The performance includes, among others, such world-class musicians as Arto Noras (cello) and Ralf Gothoni (conductor and piano) .

    Fort Bend County Accordion Club Activites - USA

    The Fort Bend County Accordion Club, Texas, founded in December 2003 by Mario Pedone has just launched its new website. The club aims to bring together accordion players and music lovers in the southwest Houston Area so that they can increase public awareness of the accordion as a serious musical instrument, encourage accordion players of all skill levels to continue their progress, promote performance of all types of music on the accordion and promote the accordion through public service and performances. The FBC Accordion Club next meets on 6th June, 2 pm, the Terrace, First Colony at Lexington Boulevard, Sugar Land. They meet and again on 1st August.

    For further information, email

    Stockport Accordion Club June Events - UK

    The Stockport Accordion Club from Cheadle Heath, Stockport has some interesting events lined up for the coming months.
    15th June - SAC plays host to a demonstration evening for the Roland organ company, displaying the V Accordion at 8pm, St John Ambulance Brigade HQ, Edgeley Road, Cheadle Heath. The demonstrator is Romano Viazzini.
    13th July - Ken Astin, well known in Blackpool as an organist, but whose first love was the accordion, makes his debut as guest artist for the club.
    24th to 28th September. The SAC Orchestra has been booked to appear at the next Pakefield Accordion Festival.

    For further information, email Rob Howard

    Ángel Luis Castaño

    Café Accordion Orchestra Tour Dates - USA

    The Café Accordion Orchestra (CAO), popular for its eclectic mix of French musette, vintage swing, Latin and European dance music styles have released their gig schedule for the next few months. CAO's repertoire is that of a "Bal Musette" orchestra, through which they recreate the music that was popular in Parisian dance halls, cafés and bistros in the 1920's through 1950's.

    Café Accordion Orchestra is lead by Daniel Newton on accordion and vocals, with Brian Barnes on guitar and vocals, Eric Mohring on mandolin, fiddle and vocals, Erik Lillestol on bass violin, and Joe Steinger on percussion. The members have a combined total of over a century of experience and they now have four CDs including their most recent release, "Live!"

    June Concert Dates:
    - June 4 Friday, 2:30-4, Edina Art Fair, 50th and France, Mpls
    - June 5 Saturday, 8:15-8:45pm, Acadia Cafe-"One Week Live at Beaner's" 1931 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis
    - June 9 Wednesday, 8:30-11pm, Dixie's on Grand, St.Paul
    - June 11-13 Friday-Sunday, Smoky Hill River Festival, Salina, Kansas
    - June 18 Friday, 7:30pm, The Chickadee Cottage Restaurant in "The Roost", Woodbury, MN
    - June 22 Tuesday, 7:30pm, Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis
    - June 25 Friday, 8:00pm, Norshor Theater, Duluth, MN
    - June 26 Saturday, 12:30-2:30pm, Polkafest- Ironworld, Chisholm, MN
    - June 27 Sunday, 12noon-1:00pm, Hot Summer Jazz Fest,13th & Nicollet Mall, Mpls


    Traditional Music and Dance Workshops by Carrefour mondial de l'accordéon - Canada

    The Carrefour mondial de l'accordéon presents the Traditional Music and Dance Workshops to be held at Ireland, Québec from 31st August to 3rd September. The Workshops are a lead up to the 16th annual edition of the Carrefour mondial de l'accordéon to be held in Montmagny, Quebec the following week.
    The dance workshops will be unique in that it will allow participants to improve their playing style and rhythmic forms on the accordion, violin, jig and dance.

    The program offers participants the opportunity to experience and discover the strong history of music from the Montmagny region. Guest artists participating in the event include John Whelan on the accordion, Eric Merrill on violin, Dance and Jig artist Maureen Berry, Béatrice Fontaine and Patrick Morency. They guest artists will offer classes where participants can expand upon their existing knowledge, perfect their style, develop new techniques and widen their repertoire. All classes will be held in locales situated in Old Montmagny. Created in 1989, the Carrefour mondial de l'accordéon is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to make all of the many forms of the accordion know by showcasing the plethora of musical styles it is associated with.

    For further information, email

    Accordions on the Water! - Lithuania
    Contributed by Raimondas Sviackevicius

    The Lithuanian public were treated to a rare form of music recently when a group of accordionists staged the "Music For Accordions on the Water" last weekend. This project, organised by the Lithuanian Composers Union in collaboration with Raimondas Sviackevicius began at a recent contemporary music festival called the "Druskomanija '04". The idea was to promote Lithuanian modern music as well as contemporary repertoire for accordion.

    A group of accordionists led by Sviackevicius and including Modus Quintet and students of the Lithuanian Academy of Music played works by Lithuanian composers such as Feliksas Bajoras, Loreta Narvilaite, Jonas Tamulionis, Antanas A.Budriunas while travelling in water bikes and boats on the water. The compositions were played in canon, unison, and continuously amongst the performers using the echo of the lake and wind to amplify and carry the music.

    Zanchini Concert Dates - Italy
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    Italian jazz accordionist Simone Zanchini has released his new concert dates for the next three months.

    Concert dates are:
    June 6, Imola, Terre di Mezzo Quintetto
    June 10 Milano, Catholic University 5.00pm, Zanchini-Marzi Duo
    June 15 Bologna, Chiostro Chiesa S.Stefano, Tere di Mezzo Quartetto
    July 9, Bergamo, Terre di Mezzo Trio
    July 15 Zara, Tamara Obrovac Transhistria Ensemble
    July 16 Grado, Tamara Obrovac Transhistria Ensemble
    July 18 Legnano, Terre di Mezzo Trio
    August 8 Trento, Quartetto di sax

    Las Vegas Convention

    Airbag Festival - Belgium

    International composer/accordionist Guy Klucevsek will make three appearances at the Airbag Accordion Festival in Brügge, Belgium next week.Klucevsek's performances include a solo concert on 8th June, a duo concert with composer/saxophonist Phillip Johnston on 15th June and a performance with Phillip Johnston's score for F. M. Murnau's silent-film classic Faust on 16th June. Surrounding those dates, Klucevsek and Johnston will tour Europe with the duo and Faust projects, with stops in Bremen, Venice, Rome, Ljubljana and Antwerp. The Airbag Festival is currently well on its way with performances almost every day for a month. The festival also has an exhibition about Belgian accordions, famous Belgian players and Belgian accordion publications.

    For further information, email

    French Translators

    Anna Massie's "Glad Company" CD - Scotland

    The all girl folk band Anna Massie, awarded last year the BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award, have just released their debut CD "Glad Company". With leader Anna Massie on guitar, fiddle, mandolin and similar stringed instruments, Jenn Butterworth on vocals and Maiearad Green on accordion, the CD combines traditional music with formal training. These young Scots seem to have worked out a way of mixing the two so the traditional music is only enhanced. The sets of tunes have all been arranged inventively by Massie and her two band-mates who look about sixteen on the record cover but are a few years older.

    Story by Graham McDonald of the Canberra Times.

    Dan and Kim Christian Survey - USA

    One thing the accordion needs is an audience and while we have excellent teachers and performers, we need to expand our musical outlets. This is a chance for accordionists in North America to support those who want to make a living playing the accordion.

    Dan and Kim Christian are in the process of booking a permanent stage which features accordion live music in Branson, Missouri. Although they plan to be the mainstay performers, the Christian's intend to invite other artists regularly. Dan and Kim have done their homework and have the ball rolling but are now faced with a feasibility study for which they need help from accordion enthusiasts.

    Your job - if you live in North America or might visit the USA in the near future: Go to the following site; and fill out the marketing survey. Answer it the best you can because if the results look positive, the Christian Family will continue working on this project. Otherwise, it dies.

    For further information, email

    Accordion Club Centre 50th Birthday and Paris-Moscow Duo - France

    The Paris-Moscow Duo of Domi Emorine and Roman Jbanov are still hard at work touring France with their latest stop being at the Accordion Club Centre on 22nd to 23rd May for the clubs 50th birthday celebrations.

    The Duo performed as did the ACC group directed by Mr. Leger. Along with Jean Cocteau de Monts, the Paris-Moscow Duo conducted a master-class workshop for the Centre's younger members.

    During the master-class, the duo focused on equating accordion sound with expression. The master-class ended with a highly successful concert directed by the ACC's Michel Dien.

    Large Crowds Attend Toowoomba Accordion Festival - Australia
    Contributed by Allan Polley

    Toowoomba, Australia's largest inland city hosted the largest gathering of accordionists and enthusiasts seen in Australia in recent years at the Toowoomba Accordion Festival organized by Allan Polley. The accordion communities were treated to exciting concerts which drew large crowds, workshops, jam sessions and dancing on the weekend of 1st to 3rd May.

    Of particular significance was a workshop on the history of the accordion for which well known accordionist Bernadette Conlon demonstrated a range of instruments from an authentic Chinese Cheng, 1848 Wheatstone concertina, mini Wheatstone, French busson flutina, busson lap organ, diatonic, chromatic, piano and MIDI accordions, while Allan Polley outlined their contribution towards the development of the instruments of today.

    Saturday night's main event was a dance which featured Australian Bush Dancing to the accompaniment of John Colville (accordion) and a Bush Band. A highlight of the weekend was the Sunday concert featuring:
    -Bernadette Conlon on MIDI accordion performing requests and launching her 2 new CDs of 37 originals and arrangements by the great Pietro Frosini.
    -John Colville and band.
    -An orchestra of 25 diatonic accordionists.
    -Swiss, German, Italian, Scottish and Irish folk items from various accordionists.


    Join USAF Strolling Strings - USA

    The United States Air Force Band has an opening for an accordionist with the Air Force Strolling Strings.

    The Air Force Strings is one of the most diverse and flexible units of the United States Air Force Band which is regularly providing an enjoyable experience for VIP audiences visiting the USA. A key element of their mission is to entertain audiences at high-level protocol events in a formation known as The United States Air Force Strolling Strings, often at the White House. On other occasions it performs as The United States Air Force String Orchestra. Members of The Air Force Strings appear regularly as soloists, and in duo, trio and string quartet ensembles, to present chamber concert performances, and provide quality entertainment and ambient music for official protocol functions.

    The United States Air Force Strings is comprised of 22 world-class musicians, each of whom are outstanding performers who have studied and perfected their craft at leading colleges, universities and music conservatories around the world. Accordionists between the ages the ages of 17 and 35 who are interested in joining are to get in touch with Lou Couppola with their qualifications and he will put them in contact with the proper authorities.

    For further information, email

    Accordionist Wins Instrumentalist Award - Macedonia
    Contributed by Anica Karakutovska

    On 26th May at a concert held at the Army Hall in Skopje, Zoran Kirjakovski, accordion student of Professor Zorica Karakutovska, won the annual "Klimentina Rafajlovska" award for Best Instrumentalist in the Generation 2000/2004. In a competition of 8 instrumentalists, winners of special and first prizes on national and international competitions, a special jury declared accordionist Zoran Kirjakovski the winner of this prestigious award.
    The award included a special certificate and 500 Euro. Kirjakovski's win was a success not only for Zoran but also for the Macedonian accordion community. This year an award was the 10th anniversary of the "Klimentina Rafajlovska" Foundation and was the first time an accordionist has won this prestigious award!

    For further information, email


    Australian International Accordion Championships - Australia
    Contributed by Harley Jones

    The Australian International Accordion Championships were held on the 29th and 30th May in Sydney, organized by the AATA, President Tania Lukic-Marx.

    Special Guest Artist Pavel Mangasarian of Russia performed a variety program that had the enthusiastic audience on their feet applauding.
    Also appearing at the Gala Concert was the ASA Orchestra directed by Elizabeth Jones. Another concert highlight was a lovely quartet group from Beijing China that the audience enjoyed very much. Contestants from China, New Zealand and Australia took part in the top class with the results being:
    1st Hilary Thwaites (New Zealand), 2nd Ann-Elise Koerntjes (Australia) and 3rd Yan Li (China). Full results are online.


    Quote of the Week

    Teaching Quote of the Week Edited by Willoughby Walshe

    "Sata-Hame Soi Accordion Festival held annually the first week of July in Ikaalinen, is Finland's largest accordion festival. Part of the festival is devoted to the Golden and Silver Finish accordion championship finals. The competition has become such an important part of Finish culture that it is televised and broadcast lives nationwide."

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

    CD Review

    A new CD "Classical Accordion - Transcriptions" by Mika Väyrynen. Review by Prof. Joan C. Sommers.


    New & Updated Sites - Updated information on the 2004 Festival to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 21st - 25th July. - Monthly national news publication in the United States now featuring June edition. - New information on International Jazz Artist Simone Zanchini's upcoming concerts. - New information regarding French artist Jean Louis Noton. - Information on the recent Australian International Accordion Championships and winners.


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