Born in Birmingham in 13 July 1936, Ron Beecham taught there for many years before his marriage to Elaine. They continued with teaching both in Birmingham and establishing the renowned Accordion School in Colchester where he and Elaine settled and raised their 2 sons Craig and Lloyd and one daughter Tara.
In 1972 he was elected Chairman of the National Accordion Organisation of the UK an office he served for the following three years before becoming General Secretary from 1975-1983. He was elected an NAO Deputy President in 1985. Ron attended the CIA Coupe Mondiale as an adjudicator in 1979 when the event was held in Cannes France and later hosted the CIA winter congress in Colchester.
Together with Elaine he has travelled throughout the world with the renowned Colchester Accordion Orchestra.
He passed away, suffering from an extremely aggressive cancer of the bladder and liver, in hospital with his family at his bedside on the 20th June 2006. The funeral will be held on Monday 3rd July 1.15pm at Colchester Crematorium.
He will be sadly missed by his wife Elaine, his three children Craig, Lloyd and Tara, son-in law Darren, grand daughter Darcy and all that knew him.
Lips had a very successful week recently. After performing E.
Podgaits LIPS CONCERT with the Beethoven Symphony Orchestra,
conducted by Roman Kofman, in Bonn he went to Tilburg in the Netherlands
where he was invited to give a master class and concert at the conservatory.
The visit to Tilburg was followed by two well-acclaimed solo recitals,
organized by Gabriel and Michel Veit, near Mulhouse, and in the
Protestant Church of Bischwiller, north of Strasbourg in France.
Lips concert program included works by L. Boellmann, S.
Gubaidulina, A. Khatchaturian, E. Derbenko, F. Schubert, G. Gershwin,
A. Piazzolla, J. Strauss, and others.
In July Lips
will be visiting Austria to give a master class in Imst - application
still possible! and a recital in Graz.
Hammonds New CD, New York USA
and broadcaster Jon Hammonds new CD NDR SESSIONS Projekt
features the soulful sound of his custom-made Excelsior
model AC/R tone chamber accordion and Hammond organ. The repertoire
is jazz standards plus some original pieces written by Jon, and the
recording was made during a recent trip to Germany. The tracks include:
My One and Only Love, Satin Doll, Theme from
Black Orpheus, Blues in the Night, Skylark,
Polka Dots and Moonbeams, Besame Mucho, Easy
Living, No X-Cess Baggage Blues, Our Day Will
Come, The More I See You and Payphone Johnny.
Jon Hammond will be performing with his trio at a fund raising
event on July 15th for CHRS (California Historical Radio Society),
between 10am and 2pm, in the parking lot of the original studios of
KRE Radio on the wetlands of Berkeley California. The well-known radio
broadcaster Wolfman Jack was filmed there in the 1973 movie American
Graffiti, starring Richard Dreyfuss and Ron Howard, and it has
been a working transmitter since the 1930s. In between the live musical
performances there will be an auction of collectable antique radios.
du Soleil Require an Accordionist, Montreal Canada Contributed by Rob
du Soleil, the international circus company founded in Montreal
in 1984, is looking for a professional standard accordionist to
work as an accompanist.
Cirque du Soleil employs
several large-scale touring and resident troupes, operating in most
parts of the world. Founded by accordionist Guy Laliberté
and a small group of other street performers jugglers, acrobats
and mime artistes.
Cirque du Soleil was a new concept in circus entertainment, with
no animals or ringmaster, but a fast-moving choreographed show incorporating
gymnastic-type acts, dancers and clowns, with a musical backdrop
featuring original music.
Grande (1930-2006), Tennessee - USA Contributed
Johnny Grande was a founder member of Bill Haley and the Comets, playing
accordion or piano on a string of singles: Shake, Rattle and
Roll, See You Later, Alligator and, most famous
of all, Rock Around the Clock that changed the face of
popular music in the mid-1950s.
Johnny Grande was born of Italian parentage in South Philadelphia,
and initially pursued non-musical careers driving coal wagons and
as a detective agency clerk. In his spare time, he played the accordion
with country or polka bands performing at Pennsylvania's Sleepy Hollow
In the late 1940s he joined Bill Haleys backing band, the Four
Aces of Western Swing, soon to be renamed the Saddlemen. At this point
Haley was a Country & Western singer, but in the early 1950s the
singer and band introduced a swing style that became known as Rock
'n Roll. In 1954 Bill Haley and the Comets, as they were then
known, began a brief but spectacular period as best selling recording
artistes. In 1956 Haley and the Comets starred in the film Rock
Around the Clock, in which Grande appears playing accordion
in the band.
The arrival of Elvis Presley in 1956 saw Bill Haley quickly eclipsed
from the pop music scene, and Grande left the band in 1962 to teach
music, and later become a restaurateur. In the late 1980s, after Haleys
death in 1981, Johnny Grande reformed the band as Bill Haleys
Comets, and began touring and recording once more.
Zoran Kirjakovski Concert, Skopje - Macedonia Contributed
by Anica Karakutovska
On May 23rd, at
Salon 19.19 in Skopje, as part of a series of concerts named Search
for New Stars, the Culture and Information Centre presented
accordionist Zoran Kirjakovski and his guests.
Zoran Kirjakovski, a student at the Faculty of Music-Skopje, in the
accordion class of Professor Zorica Karakutovska, is the winner of
a several international and national prizes. Zoran's solo program
included works by Scarlatti, Weber, Zubitski, Derbenko and Malih.
His special quests on the concert were his friends the accordion trio
Kirjakovski-Stamevski-Todorovski, winners of the national competition
for chamber music in 2005. The chamber ensemble performed Clowns,
by Elizabeta Ilievska, as the last work at the concert and this was
extremely well received by the audience.
The chamber ensemble, directed by Professor Zorica Karakutovska, consisted
of Zoran Kirjakovski - accordion, Vanco Arevski - flute, Sasko Temelkov
- clarinet, Kliment Todorovski - violin, Ljupco Milevski - cello,
Atanas Aleksov - xylophone, and Blagoja Antovski - vibraphone. For
this work Elizabeta Ilievska had received an award in the second Pre-art
competition for young composers 2006, held in Zurich, Switzerland.
Clowns will be performed by pre-art soloists and by the
ensemble Sonemus during September and October in Zurich, Basel, Geneva,
Sarajevo, Belgrade, Pristina and Skopje.
Additionally this week, Gary
Dahl has updated three arrangements - Les Bicyclettes De Belsize,
Pigalle, Under Paris Skies. Gary is offering free of charge, these
updated arrangements to anyone who has purchased the earlier version.
To get an updated arrangement, email email@example.com
and put in the subject MusicForAccordion.com updated arrangement and
you will receive the arrangement free of charge.
Castelfidardo - Thunder and lightning, but also...
showers and beautiful music. The second Springtime international
competition ‘Citta di Castelfidardo’
for accordion orchestras took place recently. The accordion
orchestra ‘Citta di Verona’ consisting of 20 players
and directed by Maestro Luciano Brutti, won Category B (orchestras
of medium level composed of young people or adults) with 18 marks
out of 20, having made a strong impression on the judges.
In Category A, for advanced level orchestras, who had to perform
a longer program (total 40 minutes), the Accordion Orquestra de
Sabadell, directed by Miguel Angel, (winner of the special AWW-Award)
was placed first with 18 marks, with against 17 marks
awarded to the 32 German players of the Harmonica-Orchester
of Uhingen. All placed orchestras have been awarded with trophies,
money scholarships and diplomas.
Paolo Picchio - the artistic director comments: "The fact that the jury has decided to assign two first prizes and a second was not due to generosity, but was based on the artistic qualities”. The jury: President Maestro Riccardo Serenelli, originally from Castelfidardo, very active on an international level as accordion orchestra director, particularly in classical music; Maestro Ernesto Bellus, director of orchestras and founder of the Rossini Academy of Belluno; Maestro Rinaldo Strappati, teacher of brass at the conservatory Pergolesi di Fermo and teacher of advanced level courses, and director of ensembles and orchestras; Maestro Mirjana Petercol, Croatian by birth, concert artiste and accordion teacher in Germany, and Paolo Picchio, musicologist, publicist and composer. The next event in Castelfidardo is planned for July 7th and 8th when the international diatonic accordion festival will take place.
Concerts, London, Edinburgh UK Contributed
duo Mazaika Russian accordionist Igor Outkine and violinist Sarah
Harrison, augmented by Simon Moore (guitar) and Bernard ONeill
(double bass), perform at the Purcell Room, South Bank, London on
July 6th at 7.45pm.
Mazaika perform a dazzling mix of Russian folk songs, gypsy fiddle
music, Tangos from Russia and Argentina, Neapolitan songs, Hot Club
jazz and evocative original material.
Mazaika will perform as a duo in cabaret at the Edinburgh Festival
Fringe on August 28th at 3.45pm.
Renato Borghetti is from Rio Grande do Sul in Southern Brazil. Borghetti
has revised, adapted and modernized many of the native sounds of his
home country. His fast and playful tunes combine the sounds of the
Argentinian pampas with central European, Italian and French elements
into a sparkling, contemporary mixture of Tango, Polka, Tex Mex and
He also adapts elements of Brazilian and global pop, samba and jazz
into his unique style of accordion playing. And in spite of all experiments
he remains 100% gaucho with hat, long hair and wide trousers.
Borghettinho, as his fans like to call him, has been recording
for 20 years. He has shared the stage with Stephane Grapelli, Ron
Carter and Hermeto Pascoal, and is the first Brazilian musician to
achieve a golden record with purely instrumental music. Gauchos,
his first European CD, was released in 2005, nominated for the Preis
der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In 2006 Borghetti will be
back in Europe for the first time with renowned Brazilian pianist
Vitor Peixoto in the line up of the band.
June 18th to 19th United Islands Festival Prague, Czech Republic
23rd - Gallneukirchen (A), Gallnsteine, Austria
24th - Donauinselfest, Vienna
27th - Verona Jazz Festival, Italy
July 21st Muziekpublique, Brussels, Belgium
22nd Sehwirt, Pressbaum, Austria
25th - Xong Festival, Sent, Switzerland
26th - Seelax Festival, Bregenz, Austria
28th - Folkest Festival, Spilimbergo, Italy
29th - Schlossalm Bergstation, Bad Gastein, Austria
30th - Festival del Mondo, Reggio Emilia, Italy
31st - Mundus Festival, Italy
August 1st - Festival Trento Estate, Trento, Italy 3rd - Itinerari
Musicali, Serravalle, Italy
4th - Festival Val Tidone, Val Tidone, Italy
Festival New Zealand
Contributed by Rob
The 5th New Zealand Tango Festival takes place from June 29th to July
2nd, involving a range of dance tuition classes. The Funyi Tango Tro,
from Argentina, featuring Norberto Vogel on bandoneon, will be performing
throughout the festival. The trio have recently released a CD titled
Tangos paros Beunos Aires, and are making their second
visit to this festival.
KlezMORE Festival, Vienna - Austria
Contributed by Friedl Preisl
annual KlezMORE Festival, an international klezmer music, song and
dance event, takes place at various venues in Vienna from July 2nd
Most of the bands involved feature accordion, including the Klezmatics
(USA), Duo Lerner Y Moguilevsky (Argentina), Pressburger Klezmer Band
(Slovakia), Ensemble Klesmer Wien unplugged (Austria), Konsonans Retro
(Moldova), Khupe Trio (Netherlands/Germany/UK), Budowitz (USA/Hungary),
the Amsterdam Klezmer Band (Netherlands), and the Kohelet 3 (Germany/Austria).
for Accordion and Bandoneon in Sauris, Friuli Venezia Giulia - Italy
Contributed by Holda
city Hall of Sauris in collaboration with Zaharmonte and the association
Lillium organize a masterclass from July 19th to the 23rd for accordion
and bandoneon in Sauris, Friuli Venezia Giulia, with Peter
Soave (USA) and his wife Mady Soave (France). The master classes
are offered on both instruments to enthusiasts as well as for professionals
in a most beautiful setting where you can combine studies with meditation. For
further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bizzari International Accordion Competition, Morro D'Oro
Contributed by Holda
The 15th annual S. Bizzari International Accordion Competition
takes place in Morro D'Oro from July 27th to 29th. The competition
includes classical, variety and jazz sections, with numerous cash
prizes including a 10,000 Euros top prize. The organiser is Danilo
D'Eugenio. The closing date for entries is June 30th.