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  21 January 2005This weeks news | Past News  | Send news
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This Weeks News

A to Z of the Accordion

International Entertainment Competition - Finland
Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

The Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival is pleased to announce a new International Accordion Competition called the 'Primus Ikaalinen' - to be held in Ikaalinen, Finland, on the 1st July 2005. Featuring entertainment music, prize money will total 7,000 Euros, with the final being broadcast on live TV while being accompanied by a professional band.

In order to take part in the competition, the contestant should play 4 or 5 pieces of his/her own choice and record it on a tape, video, CD, DVD or minidisk. The tape, a completed entry form and other attachments mentioned on the entry form should be sent to the organiser by the 31st January 2005. The Competition Committee will then select 8 to 10 contestants to take part in the competition in Ikaalinen. Selected finalists will be provided with free accommodation in Ikaalinen and a travel grant to attend the competition.

Primus Ikaalinen is part of the weeklong Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival featuring a large variety of accordion music, with different styles and versatile artists from both Finland and abroad. For complete competition information, please visit: or contact Festival Competition Organiser Minna Kulmala

Tsunami Relief Accordion Concert Re-scheduled, Oregon - USA

The concert in aid of Tsunami Relief funds, set for January 16th, as announced in last week's news, was regrettably postponed due to very bad weather, and has now been re-arranged for the following week. The basic details are therefore repeated in the next paragraph. The Rose City Accordion Club has organised a concert in aid of the Tsunami relief funds.

Top accordionists from around the Greater Portland area will contribute their talents for this important fundraising event. This concert takes place at The Milwaukie Center, 54440 SE Kellogg Creek Drive, Milwaukie, Oregon, January 23rd, commencing at 2pm. Suggested donations of $5 will be distributed between the American Red Cross and the Mercy Corps.
For further information email


Delicia Company Ceases Production - Czech Republic

The Delicia Company ceased production on December 31st 2004, ending 85 years of accordion manufacture. The company was founded in 1920 by Josef Keberle, and situated in the town of Hoøovice, in what was then the new state of Czechoslovakia (formed in 1919 as a result of the Treaty of Versailles).

Delicia were renowned for manufacturing modestly priced accordions that were robust and made with good quality reeds relative to price. Their accordions were sold in more than 40 countries worldwide, and were popular first choice purchases with many people who were new to the accordion due to their affordability and the wide choice of instruments available. Delicia also manufactured a wide range of guitars.
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Accordionist Appears in Hansel and Gretel, Northampton - UK
Contributed by Ron Bennett

London-based accordionist Lisa-Lee Leslie has recently completed 60 consecutive performances of the Royal & Derngate Theatres Production of the pantomime 'Hansel and Gretel'. The 3-piece band - who were visible on stage for most of the show - included a clarinet & double bass player in addition to Lisa-Lee on accordion. Accordionist Ron Bennett, who saw the show with wife Sue and young son George, commented: "This showed the versatility of the accordion to its maximum, as I am sure that a full orchestra could not have improved on this unique & full sound

"Lisa-Lee had an important and pivotal role in the band, who were in costume and very much a part of the show. I found it most interesting to see how her accordions were effectively amplified, as she had been 'wired-up' by the clever sound engineer with 'Sennheiser' radio microphones on each wrist (attached by micropore tape). The reason for this was that she had a number of accordion changes from scene to scene during the pantomime. Lisa used two accordions, one a 5 row (B system) accordion with stradella and free bass, and the second, a 4 row B system musette tuned accordion (as pictured)."

"The sound quality & performance from Lisa was of the highest standard, as she could be clearly heard from all corners of the auditorium. Her accordions sounded beautiful throughout her faultless performance - I didn't, however, envy her having to memorise the entire 2 hour plus score (in only 2 weeks) - surely a credit to the talented Lisa-Lee and her musical education and background. Well done Lisa - we are so proud of you!"

Giorgio Dellarole Concert, Milan - Italy

Accordionist Giorgio Dellarole is in concert at the Circolo Filogico Milanese, Via Clerici, Milan, on January 23rd, commencing at 4.30pm. His program will include Scarlatti, Bach, Pozzolli and Tschaikin.

Ángel Luis Castaño

Chango Spasiuk's New CD and BBC 'World Music' Award Nomination - Argentina
Contributed by Harley Jones

Accordionist Chango Spasiuk (pictured), a leading exponent of the indigenous Argentinean style of music known as Chamame, has recently released a new CD titled 'Tarefero De Mis Pagos'. Issued by Piranha Records, this is Chango Spasiuk's seventh recording, but his first major international release.

Chamame is a folk-based music with a history dating back centuries, and is a fusion of musical traditions of native Argentinean peoples, Spanish Creoles, and later European immigrants. The accordion and bandoneon have been the dominant instruments of this genre since the 19th Century.

The UK's BBC Radio 3 has recently nominated Chango Spasiuk, generally considered to be the leading accordionist of Chamame for over 25 years, for an award for its World Music Awards. Many musicologists regard Chango Spasiuk's contribution to the development of Chamame to be comparable to Astor Piazzolla's role in the development of tango.


Dragan Vasiljevic Concerts - Spain, USA
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Dragan Vasiljevic, one of the world´s leading young accordionists, originally from Serbia and now living in Spain, is in the process of developing an international concert career. He has the following concert appearances:-
January 21st - Almeria, Spain
28th - Almendralejo - Badajoz, Spain
February 17th - Alcaj, Spain
23rd - Badajoz, Spain
May 24th - Alt-Spice Festival, New York, USA. Solo and chamber music with students from Zaragoza Conservatory (Spain).
May 26th/27th - Concert in Miami, Florida, with students from Zaragoza Conservatory.

For further information email
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Accordionist Commemorated with Special CD - UK
Contributed by Rob Howard

The late Stuart Thomas, from Manchester, England, was an accordionist well known for playing at accordion festivals and clubs during the 1980s and 1990s. Although not famed as a concert performer, Stuart was usually to be found at the trade stands, playing accordion classics and musette music with considerable flair, and was often surrounded by admirers of his fine technique.

Stuart died in tragic circumstances in June 2000, and the recent issue of a CD produced from a homemade tape recording has commemorated his playing. Scottish accordionist Alan Helm, who knew Stuart Thomas well, has digitally remastered this poor quality recording, removing the imperfections and greatly enhancing the sound quality. He has added in accompaniment of his own, using bass guitar, on some of the ten tracks.

For further information email


Accordion Rama

Literary Lunchtime Lecture and Accordions, Dresden - Germany
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

On January 23rd, at 11.30am, the German actor Herbert Graedtke will deliver a lecture on a literary theme during a lunchtime meal at the German - Russian Cultural Institute, Dresden. The Accordion Harmonists, a duo from Dresden, will also give a musical performance.

For further information email

Lark Camp World Music and Dance Camp, California - USA

The 25th Lark Camp World Music and Dance Camp takes place from July 29th to August 6th, at the Mendocino Woodlands State Park in Northern California. This large-scale event encompasses music and dance from many worldwide traditions, and there are a large number of instrumental, vocal and dance teachers involved.

The teachers of free reed instruments include Dan Newton - picture right (musette, tango, folk and American) and Simo Tesla (Serbian) - piano accordions; Nils Olof Söderbäck (Swedish and Klezmer), Vicki Yancy (French) and Evo Bluestein (Cajun and Zydeco), Alan Keith (Scottish, Irish and French) - button accordions; Jack Gilder - picture left (Irish) - Anglo concertina.

For more information about the camp or booking email

Ángel Luis Castaño

Gary Blair's Tour of Southern England - UK

Popular Scottish accordionist Gary Blair embarks on his annual tour of Southern England, February 11th to 20th.
11th - Crawley Accordion Orchestra with Harry Hussey, Cranleigh Arts Centre, Surrey.
12th - Mid Sussex Caledonian Society - Ceilidh/Dance, Ditchling, Sussex
13th - Basingstoke Accordion Club, Ceilidh/Concert
14th - Uxbridge Accordion Club, West Drayton, Middlesex
15th - Club Accord, Birmingham
16th - Private Function
17th - Harlow Accordion Club - concert presented by Jean Hanger, Harlow, Essex
18th - Accordion Variety Show, Allendale Centre, Womborne, Dorset
19th - Ovingdean Village Hall - Village Ceilidh, Brighton, East Sussex
20th - Burgess Hill, Sussex - Scottish Fun Party Night, Burgess Hill, West Sussex. Also featuring the brilliant Ricky T Sargent & Shaz, Cockney Capers'.

For further information email Ron Bennett

National and International Competition, Atri - Italy
Contributed by Renzo Ruggieri

The third edition International Competition of Atri will take place June 29th, 30th and May 1st. The sections include Classic Accordion, Accordion Variété, Pianoforte and Keyboard. The artistic directors are Professors Renata Tepore and Rinaldo Tepore.

For further information email

Amélie-Les-Crayons on TV - France

Entertainer Amélie-Les-Crayons and her band, featuring Michel on accordion, will appear on the television channel France 3 on January 30th, at 12.50am. Amelie has won several awards in France and also in Montreal, Canada.

Information Required

Debra Miller has inherited an accordion and the only information she has is that there is a label that says 'Joseph Jiran 1333 W. 18th, Chicago'. Can anyone provide any further information? Email:

CD Review

A new CD Review of Yehuda Oppenheimer. Review by Paolo Picchio

New & Updated Sites - The German music sheet-Publisher has updated their site with new prices. The United States National Accordion News January edition is now online. The January news marks the 5th Anniversary of the US Accordion News site, which receives in excess of 10,000 visitors per month, as readers search for USA accordion news, accordion articles, festival, calendar and updated listings and contact information for accordion clubs and associations across the United States.

Gary Dahl
Yuri & Vadim Fjodorov
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