Accordions Worldwide "The Squeeze"
30th April 1999
- Weekly news from around the world-
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The Accordion Competition season has already started. As we can see in the Future Events section of the Yellow pages there are many national and international competitions in different countries. A large number of them have been held regularly for many years and have their own history, as you can read in this week's news.

One very prestigious competition starts next week in Klingenthal, Germany. We would like to say "Good luck" to all participants of this competition and all the other competitions happening around the world in May.

Wayne Knights Webmaster

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UK Accordion Club off to Italy

Contributed by Heather Smith

Thirty-eight members and friends of the Wyre Accordion Club (UK) are travelling to Italy on May 4th for a week, staying at Cattolica. The highlight will be a trip to Castelfidardo to visit an accordion factory. Several members of the party are taking their accordions with them, so the evenings will be filled with plenty of accordion music. If there are any local accordionists who would like to make contact while they are there please email:


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"Miêtne 99" - Poland

Contributed by Professor Lech Puchnowski

The "Miêtne 99" International Seminar for accordionists will be held from June 30th to July 13th at the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music, Warsaw, organized by the Polish Accordionists Association. Tutors include Professors Alfred Melichar (Austria), Bogdan Dowlasz (Poland), Jerzy Jurek (Poland), Jerzy Kaszuba (Poland) and Lech Puchnowski, Assistant Professor Jerzy Lukasiewicz (Poland), and Klaudiusz Baran, Danuta Kaniewska and Adriana Kuwaczka.

For further information phone or fax: + 48 25 6823485


International Accordion Festival Changes Date - China

Contributed by Li Cong

The 6th China International Accordion Festival Organization received notice from the Chinese Government that their festival can not be held in August. This is because it is the New China 50th anniversary this year with large celebrations in Beijing in October. During this time only Beijing citizens will be allowed in Beijing.

The new timetable will be as follows:
July 24th to 27th: National class competition
July 28th to August 1st: International competition

Festival organisers apologize for this inconvenience and hope accordionists will still be able to attend this event.


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Finnish Accordionist Tours Germany

Finnish accordionist Mika Väyrynen toured Germany from April 10th to 18th, performing in Friedrischrode, Schlangen, Bad Segeberg, Kiel, Essen and Dusseldorf. His program included "Holberg Suite" (Grieg), "De Profundis" (Gubaidulina), "The Flight Beyond the Time" (Makkonen) and "Blue Angel Suite" (Constant). Mika performed well received concerts to audiences of up to 150 people, with encores demanded in every city.

On May 6th Mika will perform a concert in Kuhmo, Finland. Following this he will take a masterclass from May 6th to 9th.


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UMKC Accordion Orchestra in Concert - USA

Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

On April 18th, the University of Missouri-Kansas City Accordion Orchestra under the direction of Joan C. Sommers presented an outstanding concert before a capacity audience. Performing a variety of works from original accordion compositions to transcriptions, the orchestra also spent the weekend recording for its upcoming CD. The CD is due to be released in time for their concert tour to Italy during the last two weeks of June.

This Sunday the orchestra will present a concert in Concordia, Kansas. For further information please contact Joan Sommers at: + 1 816 235-2743 UMKC


International Accordion Festival - Latvia

Contributed by Vladimir Ushakov

The 5th International Accordion Festival was held from March 25th to 28th in Limbazhi, Latvia, directed by Victor Nikandrov. The festival program included a children's accordion ensemble competition. First equal placing went to three children's accordion trios from Daugavpils (Latvia), Warsaw (Poland) and Limbazhi (Latvia).

Festival Concerts were performed throughout the day with performers including Jukka-Pekka Kuusela (Finland), Vitaly Pirog (Ukraine), Konstantin Istchenko (Russia), Maris Balashko (Latvia), Pavel Stanishevsky, Adam Zhersky and Cuba Osmansky (Poland), Eduard Gabnis and Gennady Savkov (Lithuania), Natalia and Nikolay Istchenko, Vladimir Ushakov and Sergei Likhachev (Russia).

The final concert, which included performances by all accordionists was broadcast by the Latvian National Radio Station.


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"Magiciens de l'Accordéon" Festival - Canada

Contributed by Mario BruneauMagiciens de l'accordeon

Accordionists from all over Quebec will perform in Alma, Lac St-Jean, Quebec to celebrate the "Magiciens de l'Accordéon" Festival from April 30th to May 2nd. All genres will be honored, from classical to pop as well as traditional. Two concerts are scheduled at the Pavillon Wilbrod-Dufour on the Saturday night with Nancy Davignon and on Sunday night with Étienne Loranger. Mario Bruneau, Jean-François Éthier and Louise Maillot are amongst other invited artists.

The event will include three days of accordion performances in restaurants and public places such as shopping malls including Les Galeries Lac-St-Jean.


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"Celebrity Interviews"

The "Celebrity Interview" with "Hottest accordionist" Dwayne Dopsie is now online.

Questions for the interview with French accordionist Jérome Richard have now closed. The interview will be published on May 4th.


First Tri-State Vallenato Festival Gala Event - USA

Contributed by Sadys Rodrigo Espitia

The newly formed Golden Gate of Colombia Foundation held the first Tri-State Vallenato Festival in Queens, New York on April 10th. The "Guillermo Buitrago Festival" was held as part of a week long celebration of the 186th anniversary of the establishment of Barranquilla as a village.

Four Colombian costeño conjuntos (ensembles which include accordionists) performed paseos, merengues, and puyas, representing three of the four vallenato rhythmic styles. Each conjunto performed with a vocalist, or in one case, with the accordionist himself rendering the important lyrical content of the "cancion vallenata". The instrumentation of the typical vallenato ensemble consists of the accordion, the caja (hand drum), and the guacharaca (bamboo scraper).

Judges were Jorge Arevalo (vallenato ethnomusicologist from the Graduate Center of CUNY) and Sadys Rodrigo Espitia (programmer of "Sonidos Colombianos", which is transmitted from Columbia University's WKCR 89.9FM New York).


1st place and US$1000: "Gustavo Nieto and conjunto" (accordionist - Gustavo Nieto)
2nd place and US$500: "Son Caribe"
3rd place and US$250: "Kadenas" (accordionist - Ben Gary Hardy)


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Russian accordionist to perform in Geneva, Switzerland

Contributed by Jean-Claude Pouly

Russian accordionist Y. Derbenko will give a concert in the church "Temple de Vernier, ch. de Poussy", Geneva on Thursday May 6th at 8.30pm. For further information phone: +41 21 825 30 30


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Accordion Highlight in Böblingen - Germany

Contributed by Sonja Fürst

The 1st Orchestra of the Harmonika-Spielring Böblingen will present a musical evening on May 8th in the hall of the Albert-Einstein-Gymnasium, Böblingen beginning at 8pm. For 15 years the orchestra has been under the leadership of Günther Stoll and within this time it has become one of the most successful orchestras in the Stuttgart area.

Their program will include classical works such as "Arlésienne Suite No. 2" (Bizet), "Suite" (Bruci), "Divertimento" (Dobler) and melodies from "Porgy and Bess".

In addition the orchestra will accompany soprano Elfi Wagner as she performs arias "Wenn die Frühlingslüfte streichen" and "Sich üben im Lieben" by J. S Bach as well as "Nun beut die Flur das frische Grün" from "Die Schöpfung" by Haydn. Elfi will also sing "Memory" from the musical "Cats" and "Over the Rainbow" from "The Wizard of Oz" arranged by Gary Daverne (New Zealand).


Accordion and Violin - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

On May 21st accordionist Yoshiaki Sato will perform with violinist Machia Saito at the Ohji Hall, Tokyo. For further information email:


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Crawfish Race and Festival in Texas - USA

Contributed by Ponty Bone

The 13th Annual Silver Dollar Downs Crawfish Race and Festival will be held on May 1st in Bandera, Texas. "The Squeezetones" (including accordionist Ponty Bone) will perform at 7pm. The festival will include a variety of Cajun, Zydeco, Louisiana/Texas blues and boogie music

For further information email:


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Rastelli Performs Own Compositions - Italy

Emanuele RastelliContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Accordionist Emanuele Rastelli and clarinet player Gaspare Tirincanti gave a successful concert to an enthusiastic audience at the Circolo della Scranna in Forlì, Italy. An important part of the program which included well-known pieces, was Rastelli's own composition and improvisation. The next concert in Forlì will be held in November. Rastelli's CD is due for release in the near future.


Free Reed Festival Online

The second Free Reed Festival will run from May 15th until the end of June. This virtual event features music, reviews, interviews, feature articles, a Real Audio juke box of music from around the world played on the accordion, concertina, khaen, mouth organ, pump organ, and other free reed instruments. Last year's festival was visited by over 100,000 people in the six weeks it was online.

If you are interested in submitting music for the Free Reed festival please email:


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New Accordion Champion - Iceland

Contributed by Ingi Karlsson

The first Icelandic Accordion Championship since 1939 was held on April 17th in the Loftkastalinn, Reykjavik. Jury members were Grettir Bjornsson, Reynir Jonasson, Hafsteinn Sigurdsson, Einar Gudmundsson and Sigurdur Alfonsson.

Competition results:

10 years and under - 1st equal Gudny Odinsdottir and Jon Reynisson
11-15 years - 1st Oddny Bjorgvinsdottir
16-25 years - Mattias Kormaksson.

Matthias Kormaksson, student of Karl Jonatansson, has been studying with Tatu Kantomaa for the past year. At age 17, Mattias has been a fast rising star in Iceland with a very promising future.


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Music Books now in 2nd printing! - USA

Gary Dahl's "Jazz Accordion Solos" and "French Tango" books, both of which include a CD, have proven so popular that they are now in their 2nd printing. Gary Dahl has been contracted to write and record ten more books. "Italian Music for Accordion" is scheduled for release in late 1999. This book will feature many favorite arias such as "Nessun dorma" and "O mio babbino caro". The books are published by Mel Bay.


"Astria" Perform in Dunkerque - France

Accordion trio "Astria" will give a concert in the Auditorium of the Music School at Grande Synthe, Dunkerque on Friday May 14th at 8pm. Their program will include pieces by J.S.Bach, Piazzolla, Russian and Yiddish melodies, original compositions and light music. The trio consists of Philippe Fournier, Sébastien Ducroux and Jacqueline Frangiamone.

For further information email:


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Gala Concert - USA

Contributed by The Times of Acadiana Newspaper

The Times of Acadiana sponsored a Gala Concert on April 20th to jump start the 13th Annual Festival International de Louisiane which was held from April 20th to 25th in Downtown Lafayette. The concert featured Canadian Acadian/Bluegrass band "Suroit". This popular high-energy quintet includes accordion, violin, guitars and vocalists. The festival theme was "Bon Anniversaire" and celebrations included the presentation of a five-tiered birthday cake.


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Canadian Accordionist Tours UK

Canadian accordionist Len Wallace left for a two-week trip to the UK on April 29th. He will perform at the Bread & Roses Club (part of the Worker's Beer Company) and the Cecil Sharpe Folk Club. Len also hopes to perform at the May Day festivities in the London area.


"Jazz en Vogue" - Austria

Richard Galliano and Michel PortalContributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

Duo Richard Galliano and Michel Portal (accordion/bass clarinet, bandoneon) performed a well received concert during the festival "Jazz en Vogue" in Vienna's concert hall "Konzerthaus" recently, introducing traditional French music to jazz fans.

Galliano has performed with such musicians as Chet Baker, Astor Piazzolla, Juliette Greco, Charles Aznavour, Bireli Lagrène and Toots Thielemans. He has done for French musette what Astor Piazzolla did for the tango, by introducing new elements he has enlarged musette rhythmically and harmonically. Together with his partner Michel Portal, Galliano is creating a kind of "imaginary folklore" by combining different musical influences.


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Belarussian-Swiss Cultural Exchange

Contributed by Frédéric Deschamps

Members of the accordion club "Les Sittelles d'Oron-la-Ville" (Switzerland) spent Easter in the city of Brest in Belarus. This group of 25 musicians, directed by Miss Claudine Haenni, were guests of the Bayan Orchestra from the Brest University. The visiting musicians were treated to a full schedule of activities (including sightseeing) and concerts which were very much appreciated by the large audiences. The concerts were distinguished by the joint performance (by the two orchestras) of "Go West"; a piece which has become a symbol for members of the local orchestras.

The Brest accordionists (who are all students at the University) will "Come West", arriving in Switzerland on July 29th. Sittelles' orchestra members will host the group until August 10th. The Brest orchestra will give several concerts, notably as part of the prestigious winemakers' festival. The orchestra are available for concerts during their trip through Germany. For further information email Eric Mercanton:


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"Rodrigues Trio" Releases New CD - Italy

Rodrigues TrioContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The latest CD by the "Rodrigues Trio", entitled "Terre di Mezzo" is due for release at the end of April. The "Rodrigues Trio" includes Emiliano Rodrigues (saxophone), Simone Zanchini (accordion) and Roberto Bartoli (double bass). This CD sums up the activity of the trio over the last few years and its title which means "Middle Earth" was inspired by the total mix of musical genres (Mediterranean, folk, traditional music from Romagna, jazz, free jazz, bebop, etc) achieved by the group. In this album the personality of music is represented by the blending of ethnic traditions and jazz styles that characterizes the trio.


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Fundraising Concert - New Zealand

Panzic SistersContributed by Christine Adams

On April 24th the Hibiscus Coast branch of the Red Cross held a concert in Whangaparaoa to raise funds for victims of the Kosovo crisis. Many local musicians offered their talents free of charge for the concert including the Panzic sisters. Four year old Olivia and her ten year old sister Kristina performed to a large enthusiastic crowd. Their program included "Hot Cross Buns", "Some Folks Do", "Cubanola", "Love's Delight" and "Granada". Over US $1,300 (Euro 1,400) was raised.


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Jubilee Celebration - Latvia

Valery KhodukinContributed by Vladimir Ushakov

On April 24th a Jubilee concert celebrating the 60th birthday of Valery Khodukin and 35 years of musical activities was held in the Concert Hall of the Daugavpils Musical College, Latvia. Valery is well-known as a teacher, musician and Director of the Daugavpils Accordion Orchestra for over 30 years. The accordion has featured prominently in Khodukin's musical career.

The three-hour concert included performances by the "St. Petersburg Musette Ensemble" (Russia) and accordion duo Eduard Gabnis and Gennady Savkov (Lithuania).

Music, flowers and a birthday cake made by the students made a wonderful present for Valery Khodukin.


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Accordion Article

This weeks article on Accordions Worldwide is titled "The Tex-Mex Sound" written by The Instituto Cultural Mexicano. We are grateful to the Instituto Cultural Mexicano (USA) for their kind permission to use this article.


New Sites Information about Scottish accordionist and entertainer Sandy Brechin


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