Accordions Worldwide "The Squeeze"
2nd April 1999
- Weekly news from around the world-
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Looking through the news over the past month, we can say that the accordion world has had a busy time with many concerts and festivals around the world. One of the major events of 1999 was the "Search for the Hottest Accordionist" in USA. That event captured the attention of accordionists around the world, who followed the information updated daily on their website. Congratulations to Zydeco accordionist Dwayne Dopsie on his victory.

Have a nice Easter break!

Wayne Knights Webmaster

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International Accordion Festival - UK

Contributed by Heather Smith

The International Accordion Festival took place from March 18th to 22nd at the Pontins Holiday Centre, Lytham St. Annes, Blackpool. The first festival concert (compered by Heather Smith) included performances by Craig Bradley (England), Paul Chamberlain & David Nisbet (Scotland), Ken Hartley (England) and Roy Hendrie (Scotland). After the concert Roy Hendrie and his Scottish Dance Band played dance music.

The festival included a variety of activities including Scottish workshops for children and adults, elementary and intermediate orchestra practices, a vintage accordion ensemble, auction, masterclass, Scottish dancing, concerts and a trade exhibition.

Other guests included Jean-Louis Noton (France), Peter Soave (USA), Gordon Glenn (UK radio & TV personality), Janusc Zukowski (UK), John Kirkpatrick, Andy Anderson, Johnny-Lee Leslie (1999 UK representative in the Junior Section of the Coupe Mondiale).

A festival highlight included Peter Soave's masterclass, followed by Jean-Louis Noton explaining and answering questions about his instrument. Popular group "Heather's Mixture" consisting of Seamus Shannon (Ireland), Tommy Bruce, Douglas Muir (Scotland), Heather Smith (England) and drummer Ken Brown (England) played dance music.

Next year's festival will be held from March 16th to 20th with bookings already confirmed for guests Barbara Ann Martindale (Canada), Oleg Sharov (Russia) and by popular request Peter Soave (USA).


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"Hottest" on TV - USA

Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of the American Accordionists Association Dwayne Dopsie

The "Hottest Accordionist" competition has been featured in the Life section of the "USA Today" newspaper, the New York Times and on CBS-TV on April 4th! The media is really coming around to seeing the accordion as a hip instrument, poised for take off.

The American Accordionists' Association and the Welk Resort are pleased with the wonderful accordion promotion stimulated by "Search for the Hottest Accordionist". Dwayne Dopsie who took the prize is a very exciting entertainer, young, energetic and a great accordion enthusiast. His father, the late Rockin' Dopsie was a popular zydeco accordionist who taught Dwayne to play. The younger Dopsie has been out gigging for years and consequently evidences a professionalism which is hard to match.

The other four finalists, Terry Conti, Phoebe Legere, Tim Padilla and Jason Stephen were close runnerups, just behind sizzling Dwayne Dopsie. Over 100 accordionists sent videotapes which were narrowed down to the finalists. A very broad array of music styles and idioms were represented.

A 90 minute video of the playoffs will be available in a few weeks.


Hottest Star "Celebrity Interview"

"Celebrity Interviews" moderator Wallace Liggett's next interview will be with Dwayne Dopsie, winner of the "Hottest Accordionist" competition. The interview will be published on April 13th.

Please email your questions by April 7th to

The "Celebrity Interview" with Beniamino Bugiolacchi will be published on April 15th. Please email your questions for this interview by April 6th.


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Sata-Hame Festival - Finland

Contributed by Kimmo Mattila

The 27th International Sata-Häme Accordion Festival will be held from June 30th to July 4th. The program includes over 40 concerts and events with Finnish music, folk music, tex-mex, tango and musette, entertainers, classical accordionists, orchestras, clubs and competitions. International accordion orchestras are welcome to play at the festival.

For further information email the Festival office:


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International Music Competition - Italy

The International Music Competition "Comune di Pianello Val Tidone" will be held in Italy from June 4th to 6th. The competition is open to all musicians under 35 years of age as at the 31st of December, 1999.

The competition will include sections for Classical Accordion as well as Jazz Improvisation and Variety for Solo Accordion & Groups, and a "Composition" category for compositions from 1 to 6 instruments and/or voices. There is no age limit in the Composition Competition.

Prizes include scholarships worth Lit. 3.000.000 with a total value of Lit. 11.100.000 The registration deadline is May 10th. For further information email:


Easter Concert - South Africa

South African performers "Duo 2000" (Sergio Zampolli on accordion and Amarillie Ackerman on harp) with Anna Bender (piano) will perform Easter Sunset Concerts on April 3rd and 4th in Emmarentia, Johannesburg.

Their program will include solo and group pieces such as Waltz from the Masquerade suite (Khatchaturian), Scherzo in G (Frosini), Italian in Algiers Ouverture (Rossini), Lieberstraum (Liszt) Waltz from the Sleeping Beauty Ballet (Tchaikovsky) and In a Persian Market (Ketelbey). Hot cross buns and easter eggs will be available for the audience.


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Martini Accordionist - Mexico

Mexican accordionist Serguei Tibets has been playing the accordion while promoting the drink Martini for a Bacardi firm. The performances, which have been taking place since December 1998 have included moving Neapolitan music accompanied by tenor Sergio Blazquez and weekend performances in one of Monterrey's finest restaurants, "Guiadino".


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Amsterdam Concert - Netherlands

Contributed by Chris Breeuwer

On May 16th "Novam Amsterdam" will perform at the "Theater de Brakkegrond", Amsterdam. The concert, which will run from 10am to 4pm will be held at the open air podium outside the theater. Guest orchestras from two Belgium clubs and Amsterdam clubs will also perform at the concert.

For further information email:


Annual Convention in Texas - USA

Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

The Texas Accordion Association will hold its 1st Annual National Accordion Convention from April 8th to 11th at the Holiday Inn, Plano, Texas. The convention will include workshops that are designed to develop performance techniques. Workshops will be held by Tom Collins (Basic Bass Patterns and Bellow Shakes), Peter Soave (Going Professional by Performing with the Symphonies), Tim Alexander (diatonic accordions), Bobby Campbell-Reville, John Simkus (Back To Basic Training) Jim Wadowick (Chromatic Accordions) and Jim Rommel (Adding New Styles to Your Repertoire). Ponty Bone will conduct a seminar "Going Professional with Accordion Traditions and Texas Sounds".

Arlene Boddicker (past President of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild), will direct the big accordion orchestra which will perform "Show Tunes" Accordionists are invited to order the music and participate in this orchestra performance.

Sam Gentry and Leroy Bates will jointly operate an "On-Going" jam session. Accordionists are invited to bring their instrument and join the fun.

For further information email:


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Kiddy Band - Germany

Contributed by Georg Hettmann

On March 27th the 1. Akkordeon-Orchester Passau e. V performed at a Spring concert in Passau to over 300 people. Five orchestras performed a variety of popular music with an evening highlight being the presentation of a "Kiddy Band". This group included ten accordionists aged from 6 to 9 years, who played two pieces accompanied by an accordion band (piano, accordions, drums and basses).

The main orchestra played pieces from two recently published books in Germany: "The Jungle Book" (includes melodies from the Disney film) and "Beauty and the Beast".


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Club Concert - Sweden

Contributed by Helle Duedahl

On April 2nd Danish group "White Wables" (which includes accordionists Mette Duedahl Pedersen and Kristina Friis Hansen) will perform a concert in Bromölla, Sweden, organised by the "Tunnbybälgarna" Accordion Club. White Wables will perform a 40 minute bracket of Norwegian folk music, waltzes and polkas followed by Leif Linderoth, Brøderne Färm and members of the Tunnbybälgarna Club.


Anniversary concerts - Ukraine

Contributed by Vladimir Besfamilnov

On March 24th and 25th concerts were held in the Concert Hall of the National Musical Academy of Ukraine. The concerts were devoted to the 60th anniversary of the Folk Instruments Department and the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the National Musical Academy of Ukraine.

Various ensembles performed including accordion duo, trio, quartet and quintet as well as mixed ensembles such as bayan and violin, and bayan and organ.


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Rainbow's End Concert - New Zealand

Contributed by Christine Adams

On March 28th visitors and tourists were treated to entertainment by the North Shore Accordion orchestras while they enjoyed thrill seeking rides at Auckland's popular theme park "Rainbow's End". Performances were given by soloists and six accordion orchestras from West Auckland, North Shore and Waikato. A few rain showers did not dampen the spirits of the performers, most of whom headed straight for the roller coaster after they had played!


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Parlando CD Release - USA

USA group "Parlando" (including bandoneonist Dale Meyer and guitar, violin, double bass and piano) will release their third CD this month. The CD will consist of all original songs including "Malik's Garden", "Avenida Quintara", "Esta noche" and "Heaven". The group have been performing regularly at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, Nob Hill, San Francisco under the name "Strictly Tango".

For further information email:


Classical and Original Works - Austria

Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

Students from accordion classes of Sascha Markovic and Herbert Scheibenreif joined together to present a popular concert in Vienna's "Urania", which included both solo and chamber music performances. Performers M. Lisica, D. Trifunovic, D. Trivicevic, D. Geroe and D. Gajic (representatives of a hopeful young generation of Austrian accordionists) performed the first half of the concert. The second half included classical works by Mozart, Handel and Milhaud, and original works by Degen, Trojan, Saglie and Piazzolla. The accordion was shown in duos and trios as well as combined with soprano, violoncello, flute and saxophone.


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Waltz for Accordion and Strings - USA

Accordionist Rita Weinbuch Davidson will perform "Waltz for Accordion and Strings" by Gary Daverne, (noted New Zealand composer) on April 9th at the Lincoln Center, New York. The concert is part of an outdoor plaza series. Rita will play with the New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra, directed by Lorraine Marks. This performance will be the US premiere of "Waltz for Accordion and Strings".

Rita is an honors graduate of the University of Connecticut with a degree in Music Education. She has taught music in West Orange, New Jersey, schools for 25 years and uses her accordion every day in the teaching of vocal and general music to children from kindergarten to fifth grade. She also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Accordion Teachers Association of New Jersey and judges for them at their competitions.

Rita, a former student of the late accordionist and composer Eugene Ettore, has recorded a cassette of his virtuoso selections, which will be released soon on CD.

For further information email:


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First Solo Concert - Russia

Contributed by Viacheslav Semionov

On March 2nd 16 year old Yury Medyanik held his first solo concert in Moscow. Yury has won two prestigious competitions, held in Tula (Russia) and in Klingenthal (Germany).

His program consisted of works by Buxtehude, Scarlatti, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Semionov and others. Yury played with good feeling of style and inspiration and was given enthusiastic applause by the audience.


Classical Concert - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

On April 22nd the "Spring Waltz Tokyo Accordion Kyoushitsu 5th Presentation" will be held at the Lungwood Hotel, Arakawa Ward, Tokyo at 6.30pm. The concert will feature classical pieces by students of Mototaka Kaneko.

Mototaka Kaneko appeared recently on NHK TV, introducing and discussing many types of accordions he has in his collection.


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"My First Concert" 1999 - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

An interesting initiative was organised in Casoli di Atri by Renzo Ruggieri's school recently, aimed at giving young musicians the chance of holding their first concert. Claudio Azzaro (classical accordion) played pieces by Scarlatti and Semionov and Osvaldo Guarnieri (variety and jazz accordion) performed music by Astier, Migliavacca, Galliano, Kosma and Parker.

The variety of musical genres in this concert was appreciated by the audience.


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Gina & Romany Rye in Texas - USA

Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

Gina Branelli & Romany Rye (a husband and wife music duo from England) will perform in Texas during April. Their first concert will be at the Dallas Chapter Meeting of the Texas Accordion Association, Garland, Texas on April 6th.

Following this they will perform at "An evening with Gina & Romany Rye" on April 8th organised by the Texas Accordion Association.

For further information email:


Jazz Festival - France

A Jazz Accordion Festival is currently underway in Saint-Ouen, Ile-de-France until April 16th. Guest performers include Watremez & Co, Jean-Luc Ponthieux who recently released a CD "Question de temps" and Jean-Louis Matinier who plays on Michael Riessler's new recording "Honey and Ash".

For further information phone: +33 1 4922-1010


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New CD recording - Ukraine

Contributed by Vladimir Besfamilnov

A new CD recording "Ave Maria" was released by Yury and Ludmila Fedorov in France recently. Yury plays bayan and vocalist Ludmila plays bandura (Ukrainian folk instrument). The CD includes works by Reger, Couperen, Mozart, Dandru and Ukrainian folklor pieces.

For information phone F. Chevallier: +33 01 42 37 59 02


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Antique Information Requests

Bill Parsons has an old Hohner diatonic that was manufactured in the 1920's. It has the words "Grand Prix Philadelphia 1926" on the front of the bellows. It has what appears to be rosewood end panels with gold inlaid decoration, and is in playable condition. If you have any idea of its value, or are interested in this instrument please email:


Accordion Article

This weeks article on Accordions Worldwide is titled "In Memory of Bill Hughes" of Palmer & Hughes fame published courtesy of the Accord Magazine.


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NEW SITES Site in French regarding the Kiwi Video company that sells music videos site about Rose Trick Oliver, daughter of the late Al Trick of Trick Brothers Accordion Institute, and Vera Arras Trick.

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