annual Sata-Häme Soi and Finnish Accordion Association cruise
was sold out to capacity as 2,700 people travelled aboard the Silja
Europa Cruise liner from Turku, Finland to Sweden and back. Director
of the Sata-Häme
Soi Festival Sirpa Sippola and Public Relations Manager Minna
Plihtari opened the cruise by hosting a VIP reception with guests
including the Mayor of Ikaalinen, Tero Nissinen, Italian accordion
Patarini (left above), CIA
Friedrich (middle above) with Kimmo Mattila (right above).
activities were offered including accordion music in many styles,
a variety concert featuring the music of Finnish composer Paul Norrback
(painting right), dancing, instrument displays, music and recordings
as well as the highly contested semi-finals for both the Silver and
Golden Accordion competitions.
Pictured left are Finnish Accordion Association (SHL) President and
newly elected CIA General Secretary Kimmo Mattila and SHL Vice President
Seppo Lankinen performing in concert.
The jury comprising Elina Leskelä, Elias Ukkonen, Anne-Mari Kunelius,
Markku Lindeman and Mirco
Patarini selected the following finalists to appear this summer
on a live national TV Broadcast where the jury and television viewers
combined choose the winner.
The finalists for the Golden Accordion (Senior) include: Sami Hopponen
(Polvijärvi), Henna Tahvanainen (Tohmajärvi), Mari Laskujärvi
(Vilppula), Pasi Raukola (Ulvila), Henna-Maija Kuki (Nivala) and Veli-Matti
The finalists for the Silver Accordion (children up to 10 years old)
are: Mikko Suihkola (Sievi), Essi Elomäki (Pori), Lauri Tuomisto
(Jurva), Minna Ristamäki (Ylöjärvi), Menni Leinonen
(Lappeenranta), Eemeli Morander (Somerniemi) and Johan-Antti Kivilahti
Thursday February 22nd there was a concert by the Auckland Philharmonic
Orchestra at the Auckland Town Hall.
After the concert, the audience were invited into the bar where resident
orchestra accordionist Tatiana
Lanchtchikova was drawing in the crowds by playing Tangos and
Hungarian music with a violinist from the orchestra. The
conductor Eckehard Stier, from Germany, then joined in playing jazz
The audience adored the transformation from serious concert music to fun folk and entertainment music to finish off a great night.
The CD ‘Souvenir d'Italie’, released on February 28th, by the singer Antonella Ruggiero, features accompaniment by accordionist Renzo Ruggieri, pianist Paolo Di Sabatino, bassist Massimo Moriconi and drummer Massimo Manzi. The CD includes well-known Italian songs of the period between the two world wars.
In March 2007 three special accordion concerts take place in the context of the Accordion XXL Co-orchestra Project, which involves the joint participation of several accordion orchestras.
Under the direction of Andrej Baumgard, four orchestras from Stuttgart
and district join together to form one big orchestra of approximately
This combined orchestra will perform on 3 weekends in March 2007
in their city and of the associations involved. Also involved are
their youth orchestras and/or smaller ensembles, such as ‘accordimento’
are taking part of this unusual concept. The concert project will
be broadcast on Sunday March 11th and the co-orchestra and ‘accordimento’
can be heard during the SWR4-broadcast ‘Music from the
Country’, between 6pm and 8 pm.
The New Zealand Accordion Association Inc. has been granted funding by the ASB Community Trust to completely redevelop their existing website. Using a sophisticated but easy to use Email Management System, the new online presence will provide a high level of service and communication to current members through a Members-Only section and the ability to easily list events into the online Events Calendar.
newsletters are posted to members periodically. The Email Management
System will open communication to a wider audience and reduce ongoing
postage costs with e-newsletters.
NZAA member Robin Hill (left) achieved this substantial ASB grant
and site designer is Wayne Knights, accordionist and website professional
The NAO North Central Area Festival, a qualifier for the NAO UK Championships in Scarborough (4th - 6th May) was held on 24th February in Saltaire West Yorkshire.
The venue with 5 competitive halls and a large trade area proved to be a great success with over 200 entries in accordion classes and all the adjudicators commenting on the very high standard of performance with special mention of the under 9’s being made. Picture of prize winners, Issac Thompson (3rd), Bonnie Sharples (2nd) and Alexander Bodell (1st).
It was good to see the new initiative in a number of local schools in this area has led to many young accordionists attending an accordion festival for the first time.
Picture right of orchestra directors Harry Hinchcliffe (Festival Organiser) and Larissa Brincat. The event ended with the very popular ceilidh held in the evening with Scottish accordionist Gary Blair. Results may be found at www.accordions.com/nao
Gary Blair's 8th Annual ‘Down South Tour', England – UK
Blair's 8th annual 'Down South Tour' of venues in the English Home
Counties was another outstanding success. This year’s tour consisted
of 10 gigs on consecutive nights. Gary performed at various functions
such as, accordions clubs, concerts, dances, etc.
The tour started at the Harlow Accordion Club and was followed by
performances at the following towns, Ovingdene, Burgess Hill, Uxbridge,
Bromley, Verwood, Worthing, and finished off at the Eastbourne Accordions
Festival, where Gary joined with fellow artistes such as Pearl
Fawcett-Adriano, Harry Hussey, Genaro Fiondella, Steve Roxton,
Charlie Watkins, Richard Adey, etc.
Arrangements for next year’s tour are already in progress and may have to be extended to 14 nights due to an anticipated growth in demand.
The 4th Lasarte-Oria Accordion Festival, sponsored by the Casa de Cultura, takes place in Gipuzkoa in the Basque region of Northern Spain on September 29th.
evening concert takes place, from 7.30pm in the Manuel Lekuona Culture
House in Lasarte-Oria, featuring accordion soloists Enrike Zelaia
(Spain - picture right), Nathalie
Boucheix Director of CNIMA
(France - picture left), Elsene Accordion Orchestra (Holland) and
the Zero Sette Akordei Orkestra (Spain).
American rock singer and accordionist Jason Webley has spent February performing in France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. In March he plays some dates in England and one in Wales. The summer months will find him touring Mexico, the USA and Canada.
March 2nd, 8 pm – The Homestead, 119 Alma Rd, Southampton
March 3rd, 8.30pm – Northbridge Inn, St David’s Hill, Exeter
March 4th, 9pm - Favela Chic, Great Eastern St, London
March 6th, 9.30pm – Old Bar, University of Wales, Lampeter
March 7th, 8pm - Green Note, 106 Parkway, London
March 8th, 8pm - The Phoenix, Precinct Centre, Manchester
March 9th - The Sanctuary, Brighton
March 10th, 7.30pm - Bridge House Inn, Copsale, Sussex
March 15th - 12 Galaxies, San Francisco, California
March 20th to April 11th - East Coast Tour, USA
April 17th to May 2nd - Western States Tour, USA
May 3rd to May 12th – ‘Two Bottles of Wine, CD released
May 16th to May 24th – Tour of Mexico
June: Camp Tomato 2007
July/August - USA/Canada Tour
Accordionists Jack Emblow and Tony Compton present a program of easy listening jazz standards at the Uxbridge Accordion Club on Monday March 12th. Also featured will be the Angie Lukins Accordion Band.
The doors open at 7.30pm, and the venue is the Anglers Retreat, Cricketfield Road/Swan Road, West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 7HG - close to J4/M4.
Le Printemps des Bretelles is a large-scale accordion festival held in Alsace in eastern France, from March 16th to 25th. This year’s event will be the 10th festival and large numbers attend annually.
The festival presents more than 70 concerts involving international styles of music of the accordions of the world – rock, tango, musette, jazz, Irish - and is held in concert halls, restaurants, bars and pubs. Accordionists performing include Marcel Azzola, Marc Perrone, and many others.