The American Accordion Musicological Society Accordion Festival takes place from March 2nd to 4th at the Valley Forge Inn in Valley Forge, Philadelphia.
The festivities begin with an exciting Cajun/Zydeco concert on Friday
night featuring Ric Kaplan. Concert accordionist Lidia
Kaminska will also appear on the concert. Saturday will feature
the competition categories and various accordion workshops of great
interest. On Sunday there is the presentation of awards and trophies,
a performance by the Festival Massed Band, and performances by Mary
Tokarski, Jim Vandelly, Rita Davidson, Tony Lovello, and Bobby
The Annual Dinner takes place at 5.30pm on Saturday evening where this year’s Honorees Stanley Darrow and Lenny Feldmann, known as ‘The Cordeen Man’ will be recognized. Following the dinner, this year’s featured guest artistes Tony Lovello and Vitaliy Pirog will take the stage. The festival also includes accordion displays, accordion repair seminars, accordion memorabilia, CDs, cassettes, videos, and sheet music.
The monthly French accordion magazine ‘Accordéon et Accordéonistes’ offers a wide variety of fully illustrated articles and information of interest to all accordion enthusiasts.
cover for the February issue shows Pascal Hamard, one of the current
stars of the French accordion scene. In the center of the magazine
are detachable teaching articles in which Frédéric
Deschamps and Jacques
Mornet reveal each month the basis of their teaching methods,
which constantly develop brilliant pupils. This month, the article
is by Frederic Deschamps.
The 5 last pages of the magazine are entirely devoted to reviews of CDs, videos, DVDs, books, music, etc.
Josh Dickson, on behalf of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Scottish Traditional Music Graded Exams project writes:
“What a year 2006 has been! A great deal of time and energy, by a great number of dedicated people, has gone into completing syllabuses of the highest quality for fiddle, accordion and the Scottish harp. Public presentations took place from Ayr to Auchtermuchty, from Lochaber to Aberdeen, and we organised a full-centre and video conference pilot scheme involving 75 candidates in four cities and three island communities.
pilot scheme was followed by more videoconference trials in Benbecula,
Lewis, Orkney and Shetland to further refine this groundbreaking medium
for music examinations to remote communities”.
return from the very successful journey to the peaceful Southern Hemisphere
(Fiji Islands and New Zealand), for the CIA
Congress, concerts and master classes, Frédéric
Deschamps (picture left) is again very busy with training courses
preparing students for the French Coupe Mondiale qualifications which
will take place in La Selle sur le Bied on March 3rd and 4th.
February 18th to March 2nd, the elite of young French accordionists
as well as the international players from Scandinavia, New Zealand,
China, Spain, etc, will be in Chevannes in the ideal pastoral atmosphere
for serious concentration and powerful musical creativity, that is
required to enjoy success at international level competitions today.
French national qualifications will be highly international since
the jury will be composed in addition to traditional juries of the
CNFA (Confédération National Française de l’Accordéon
– Lydie Kotala, Frédéric
Deschamps, Phil Bouvier and Max Bonnay), of the President of the
Friedrich (USA - picture right), and Vice President of the CIA
and also Vice-Président of the CMA
(Confédération Mondiale de l’Accordéon),
Bodell (picture left) of the UK.
An exceptional Festival will be organized during these qualifications:
with the program including French prizewinners such as Jerome
Richard, Domi Emorine,
etc. Full details will be available very soon.
10th Balkanfolk Workshop is an international seminar for Balkan folk
music and dancing held in Bankya, 15 km away from Sofia, the capital
of Bulgaria, from July 15th to 28th. The accordion teachers are Danail
Totev (picture right) and Predrag Ivanoviæ (picture left), who
specialise in Bulgarian and Serbian music respectively.
In addition to the seminar’s educational program, two days of excursions are scheduled, with visits to Vitosha National Park, National Museum of History in Sofia and the close of the XI International folklore festival Vitosha.
The Unusual Suspects is a Celtic Big Band formed to perform at the annual Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Scotland. Founded in 2003 by harpist Corrina Hewatt and pianist David Milligan, The Unusual Suspects has over 20 musicians, including accordionists Martin Green and Brian McAlpine.
The Unusual Suspects is more of an idea than a regular line-up judging by the number of new faces on display at the festival’s closing weekend. But what a great idea it is — adding a four-piece horn section, half a dozen fiddles, two piano accordions, extra rhythm and percussion and other doublings to more conventional arrangements.
First and foremost, the sheer numbers do make for a joyful noise. But it is far more than that. This is an idea that people are currently trying to emulate all over the Celtic music world. Using mostly traditional tunes but drawing on lots of jazz influences, the brass is often a sustained choir while the accordions or fiddles are carrying the melody. Together, they add colour, depth and the kind of variety that traditional music, with the best will in the world, sometimes lacks.
The band was cheered to the echo by a delirious crowd, partly because this was such a rare treat.
The band is to headline the 50th anniversary celebrations of the European Union in Berlin next month, playing to an anticipated crowd of 25,000 at the Brandenburg Gate, which should raise their profile a notch.
‘Winter Days of Accordion in Nizhny Tagil’ – Russia
Orosz, with guitarist Gabor Ursu and bass player Csaba Pengo were
invited to perform at the ‘Winter Days of Accordion in Nizhny
This competition for young accordionists that took place from
February 16th to 18th. Nizhny Tagil is a town 150 km north from
the city of Yekaterinburg. Zoltan
Orosz took part in the jury, (Zoltan Orosz pictured on the
The Zoltan Orosz Trio received a very warm welcome from local audience, especially as the outside temperature was below -30°C. Their program included: ‘La Foule’, ‘Carioca’, ‘Dark Eyes’, ‘French Touch’, ‘Lark’, ‘Laurita’, ‘Fou Rire’, ‘Tico-Tico’, ‘Idu Svati’, and ‘Libertango’.
The 8th International Accordion Festival takes place in several venues in Vienna from February 24th to March 25th. 200 artistes from 27 countries will perform 30 concerts. The guest list includes: Raúl Barboza, Renato Borghetti, Marinette Bonnert & Pere Romaní, Chili Cheeps, Heinz Ditsch, Krzysztof Dobrek, Richard Galliano, Otto Lechner, Martin Lubenov, Madagascar All Stars, Motion Trio, Klaus Paier, Ciro Perez, with his Trio P.S.P., Sascha Shevchenko, Beni Schmid, with Stian Carstensen and Georg Breinschmied, Stefan Sterzinger, Riccardo Tesi, Tini Trampler, Attwenger and Roland Neuwirth, Ulrich Kodjo Wendt, and Zamballarana, and many others.
The NAO UK
Championships are to be held on the weekend 4th to 6th May 2007
in Scarborough, Yorkshire. Details of the Opening Gala have recently
evening will commence with the Romany Rye and be compered by Gina
Brannelli (Past NAO Chairperson) – International stars include
Masefield (New Zealand - picture left), Mario
D’Amario – CIA Junior Virtuoso Entertainment Champion
2006 (Italy) and famous jazz accordionist Renzo
Ruggiero (Italy - picture right). The evening will provide a wonderful
start to a weekend full of competitions and entertainment.
French accordionist Jean Louis Noton performs a concert using his midi Cavagnolo on February 26th, from 10am until 12noon. This concert is part of the Musiche Dal Mondo Festival, February 22nd to 26th, which includes jazz, tango, flamenco, folk, swing and other international forms of music.
The festival also includes a performance on February 23rd, 10am until 12noon, featuring the Eros Tango Project – accordion, guitar and piano trio.
The violin and cello trio Kosmos and accordionist Milos Milivojevic perform Jewish, Gypsy, Balkan, Contemporary and Tango music in the relaxed atmosphere of the Cafe Consort at London’s Royal Albert Hall on February 23rd, from 12 until 1.30pm.
Accordionist and organist Jon Hammond and his quartet, including the great Hungarian tenor sax star Tony Lakatos, will be performing his annual ‘Musikmesse Warm Up Party’ at the Jazzkeller in Frankfurt on the evening of March 27th. The Jazzkeller is located in the middle of Frankfurt very close to the big Alte Oper building on Kleine Bockenheimerstr.
‘Land of Legends: A Journey through the Carpathian Mountains’ is the title of a show presenting Polish, Hungarian and other mid-European music and dance, to be held at the Ritz Theater, Northeast Minneapolis, April 19th to 22nd. Performances are at 8pm each night, with a matinee at 2pm on Sunday 22nd.
The EDT Folk Orchestra, featuring Dee Langley on accordion, will perform the music. According to Colleen Bertsch, music director, "The orchestra is incredibly excited to play the music that Liszt, Brahms, Dvorak, and Bartok found worthy of using as their creative muse. Once you hear traditional music from the Carpathians, you will understand why the great masters depended on this deep well of material: it's earthy, sexy, passionate, and real.”