Accordions Worldwide "The Squeeze"
2nd July 1999
- Weekly news from around the world-
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A few days ago, we received an email from "A Disgruntled Accordion Fan", who wrote: "I find those jokes terribly offensive and distasteful. You are a website about and for accordions, why put up jokes that put down accordions? If you insist on posting accordion jokes, at least have them in favor of the instrument!"

While one can claim it is important to be able to laugh at oneself, we think that this reader is correct and Accordions Worldwide should have a lot more positive jokes. Unfortunately, we have found primarily negative jokes, therefore we thought to ask you, our readers for help.

Please email me any positive jokes that you know of concerning bellows instruments. Jokes do not have to be in English language, but please make sure they are acceptable for children. They can also be cartoon type jokes as well.

Thank you to our reader for her email. Hopefully it will result in a positive change.

Wayne Knights Webmaster

american Accordionists' Association


american Accordionists' Association
Annual International Festival - England

The 45th International Festival of Folk Arts will be held from July 30th to August 6th in Sidmouth, Devon. The festival, which includes over 700 events and attracts 65,000 visitors, will include a "Children's Festival", "World of Dance" celebration, family variety shows, concerts, global dance parties and ceilidhs.

Accordion performers include the Alan Kelly Band, duo Katie Howson and Jeannie Harris, John Kirkpatrick Ceilidh Band, William Kimber, "La Bottine Souriante" (Canada), Peeping Tom and R. Cajun and the Zydeco Brothers. Melodeon workshops will also be held by John Kirkpatrick.

For further information email:


"European Day of Music" Celebrations in Italy and Spain

Contributed by Raquel Ruiz

On June 21st "European Day of Music" was celebrated all over Europe. In Spain, the day was celebrated with concerts in Madrid, Barcelona, Segovia and other cities. The Spanish Classical National Radio station held a music marathon with performances by many of Spain's well known musicians including accordionist Angel Luis Castaño. Castaño played "Monasterio of Feraponte" (Solotarew) as well as "Café 1930" for bandoneon and guitar with Flores Chaviano to over 80,000 people.

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Celebrations in Castelfidardo, Italy included a concert organized by the Castelfidardo City Council and the "Ars Live" School of Music, held at the San Francesco Auditorium. Accordionist Christian Riganelli (student at Paolo Picchio's school) performed pieces by Frescobaldi, Couperin, Sauguet and the superb "Passacaglia" by Sergio Rendine.


Vallenata Festival - Colombia

Contributed by Yuri Serna

A Vallenata festival "Festival De La Leyenda Vallenata", was held recently in the Plasa Alfonso Lopez, Valledupar, Colombia (founded by Consuelo Araujonoguera). Over 90,000 people attended the event, which was also broadcast on television. Winner of the Professional Category was Hugo Carlos.

Vallenata music has been popular in Colombia for the last four centuries performed on drums, flutes and more recently the accordion with over 15 million CD's sold annually.

On July 20th the Ambassador of Colombia, Luis Alberto will attend an event in Washington (USA) to celebrate Vallenata music with the accordion. Over 2,000 guests are expected to attend this event.

For further information email:


Coba on Television

Contributed by Toru Katou

On June 20th and 27th Japanese accordionist "Coba" (Yasuhiro Kobayashi) performed in the Mainichi TV program "Michi Roman" (The Romantic Way).

The programs featured "Coba" (who speaks fluent Italian) travelling through Italy with his accordion, remembering Nino Rota whom he admires very much. He visited a favorite restaurant of Rota and Fellini in Rome, playing the theme music of Fellini's film "Dolce Vita" among girls performing at the circus. He also played "Gelsomina" on the beach while remembering the last scene of the Fellini's film "La Strada".

In the second broadcast, Coba performed "Plein Soleil" while in a small boat, "Amarcord" in Spacca Napoli", the theme from the "Godfather" at Teatro (theater) Massimo in Palermo, Sicily, "Toto E Alfredo" in Palazzo Adriano Village and "Amarcord" at the "Conservatorio Di Musica Niccolo Piccinni" in Bari where Nino Rota had been the President from 1950 to 1976.


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UMKC Orchestra in Castelfidardo - Italy

Contributed by Loretta Bompezzo

On June 24th the UMKC Accordion Orchestra held a concert at the San Francesco Auditorium in Castelfidardo before a large audience. The concert was organized by the Cultural Committee of the local council. The orchestra (conducted by Joan Sommers) presented a lively program which captivated the audience.

The evening was compered by Paolo Picchio, Artistic Director of the "Città di Castelfidardo" International Competition. Taking the advice of Mirco Soprani, head of the council's cultural committee, Picchio asked Joan Sommers to accept the role of head of the jury during this year's event, which will take place in Castelfidardo from October 6th to 10th.


"Tango Moods" Released in Croatia

Accordionist Peter Soave has just released his latest CD "Tango Moods" on the "Jazzette" label. The CD was recorded in Zagreb in January of this year and features Peter on bandoneon with the Zagreb string quartet. The CD includes Astor Piazzolla's "5 Tango Sensations" and "Adios Nonino". For further information contact: Jazzete, Teslina 7 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

On July 23rd and 27th Soave will perform and record Piazzolla's Concerto (Anconcagua) and Tres Tangos for bandoneon & orchestra in Pula, Croatia with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Congratulations to Peter Soave on being chosen for such a high profile recording with this famous symphony orchestra.


american Accordionists' Association
German Orchestra Concert - USA

The Diemelspatzen Accordion Orchestra from Korbach, Germany will perform a concert on July 7th at 4pm at the Zion-St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church, Manhattan, New York City. The 37 member orchestra will play classical music at this concert which will be their only concert in New York City this tour.

For further information email:


Outdoor Trio Concert - France

Contributed by Jacqueline Frangiamone

Accordion trio "Astria" gave an outdoor concert at the Place de la République in Varces, Isère on June 25th at 9pm. Trio members Philippe Fournier, Sébastien Ducroux and Jacqueline Frangiamone performed works by Bach, Piazzolla, Russian and Yiddish melodies and original compositions.

For further information email:


International Day - Australia

Contributed by John Dickson

The Perth Accordion Club held an "International Day" on June 20th. A wide variety of music was performed including Scottish, German, Russian, Greek, Italian and Dutch. Club member, accordionist and Eastern dancing teacher, Donna Nagy treated the audience to a segment of belly dancing! The club's youngest performer, 7 year old Robert Speciale also performed, playing solos and a duet with his father.

The club's next meeting on July 18th will feature French musette music. For further information email:


Street Musician - France

Accordionist Axel Reuter has been playing in the streets of Simiane for two years and is now well known throughout the region. Recently Axel competed successfully in the Goult Accordion Competition performing a piece by Erik Satie. Axel also composes contemporary classical music including "The Blue Lizard" (a poem without words, recited using musical notes).


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Accordionists Gather in Nashville - USA

Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of the American Accordionists' Association

Hundreds of accordionists will be squeezing into Nashville to attend the American Accordionists' Association annual festival from July 7th to 10th at the Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel. The AAA plans to fill the city with accordion music as it honors the late Frankie Yankovic, "America's Polka King" and Grammy winner. Mini concerts, performances, workshops and exhibits have been scheduled to spread the joy and camaraderie of the accordion.

The festival will begin with a "Press and Squeeze Party" for media and to introduce a number of musicians who will be featured at the event. A musical "Hello to Nashville" evening will include all participating accordionists who will play en masse at the State Capitol building, conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers, who heads the accordion department at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

The Memorial Tribute Concert to Frank Yankovic (who passed away last year) will feature jazz accordionist Tony Dannon, Don Lipovac and his group, Jeff Lisenby Trio, The "K" Trio, Accordion Concertina Music Ensemble, LynnMarie Rink, Quisitho Trio and "Search for the Hottest Accordionist" finalist, Jason Stephen.

For further information phone: + 1 516 746-3102 or email:


Puerto Rico Accordionists Visit Italy

Contributed by Massimo Pigini, Manager,
Pigini Accordion Factory

The Puerto Rico Accordion Orchestra, featuring 20 musicians (conducted by Esther Eugenia Bertieaux), held a concert in the San Francesco Auditorium in Castelfidardo on June 18th during their recent tour. Their program included a mixture of Puerto Rican, South American, Spanish-American and international music, and the performers infected the audience with their enthusiasm, joy and love of dance.


american Accordionists' Association
"Summer Live" Concert - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

On July 10th, accordionist Yuichi Ohtsuka will perform at the "Summer Live at Zouei" concert with Noriko Kojima (flute) and Moriyoshi Shibuya (bass). The event will be held at the Gallary Zouei, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo (3 minute walk from the Umegaoka Station of Odakyu Line).

The trio will perform "Oblivion" (Astor Piazzolla), "Armand`s Rhumba" (Chick Corea) and jazz music. For further information email:


Free Outdoor Concert - USA

USA accordionist John Jeski & "The John Jeski Band" performed a free outdoor concert on June 30th at the Town Green in Southington, Connecticut to over 600 people. Their program included pieces from their latest CD "Thank Heaven For Polkas", as well as "America Medley" and "Jolly Caballero". The group includes John on accordion and vocals, guitar, sax, clarinet, flute and drums.

Their next concert on July 3rd in Szot Park, Chicopee, Massachusetts will be played to an expected audience of over 30,000. This event will include a variety of performers as well as a fireworks display. For further information email:


Cajun & Zydeco Show - Switzerland

Contributed by Jean-Claude Pouly

The 24th New Orleans Jazz Festival will be held on July 3rd and 4th in Rapperswil, (located on the shore of the beautiful Zurich lake) Switzerland. Performers include accordionists Sheryl Cormier & the Cajun Sounds and Lynn August and the Hot August Knights.


Poet's Cry" - USA

Accordionist Len Wallace is currently working on his fourth recording "Poet's Cry" dedicated to labor, union, work and political songs, both original and traditional. The recording will be released on cassette and CD and includes "Sons of Molly" (about the Molly McGuires in the coal mines of Pennsylvania), "C'mon Marie" (original song about the historic 1945 Ford strike in Windsor), "Freedom Train" (original song about the 1935 On to Ottawa trek) and "Poet's Cry" (original song dedicated to Phil's Ochs memory).

Len received financial support from the Canadian Auto Workers Local 444 to proceed with this project. Undoubtedly a first for the accordion, obtaining support from the Auto Workers Union. For further information email: lwallace@MNSi.Net


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Celebrity Interviews

Our next "Celebrity Interview" is with well known French accordionist Jean-Louis Noton. Jean-Louis is a professional accordionist and MIDI demonstrator and consultant for the Cavagnolo accordion company. Please send your questions to Moderator Wallace Liggett by July 7th. The interview will be published on July 13th.

The "Celebrity Interview" with Massimo Pigini (Manager of the Pigini Accordion Factory) is now on line in English.


Bosio Big Band Tour Italy

Contributed by Carla Maceroni

The Bosio Big Band (founded and led by Ambrogio Sparagna) will tour Italy from July 22nd to August 5th performing concerts in Rome, Bologna, Ostia, Tarquinia, Orsara (Foggia), Canna (Cosenza), Pentedattilo (Reggio Calabria) and Venanzo (Terni). Their program includes "Tarantella a mare" (Seaside Tarantella), l' asino che balla (The Dancing Donkey), Dormi piccola carina (lullaby), Il gallo silvestre (The Wild Cock) and il fischio della papera (The Duck's Whistle). "The Duck's Whistle" (stories of the Zampala' circus animals) includes twelve pieces by Ambrogio Sparagna and several scenes with actors.

On July 25 they will play a show "Un canto s' udia per li sentieri". This is a show with a difference that includes ancient instruments (thiorbe, bass viol, baroque guitars) alternating with the melodeon band and a vocal trio. The music is composed by Ambrogio on texts and poems by the Italian 19th century poet Giacomo Leopardi. The work was commissioned to Ambrogio by the Recanati Town Hall, Leopardi's native town, to honor the second century of the poet's birth.

For further information email:


american Accordionists' Association
Final Days of Free Reed Festival

The Free Reed Virtual Festival concluded at the end of June with their final feature artist, British melodeonist Rod Stradling. Included was an interview Rod gave to Brian Peters and music from Rod's "Rhythms of the World" CD.

Also featured was BonificaEmilianaVeneta (Italy) playing a mix of accordion, bagpipes, guitar and hurdy gurdy!


Augie Meyers Benefit Show - USA

A benefit show for accordionist Augie Meyers was held on June 27th in Helotes Texas to raise funds for medical bills. Over the past few months, Augie has undergone surgery for prostate cancer and diverticulitis. Augie will perform at the show as well as Clay Blaker & the Texas Honky Tonk Band, Drugstore Cowboys, Freddy Fender, Flaco Jimenez, Johnny Bush & the Bandoleros, Lucky 13, Rick Monroe Band and Doug Sahm.

Augie is a well known accordionist in Texas playing rock, blues, conjunto and country music. He has performed on a Grammy award winning album by Bob Dylan, with the Sir Douglas Quintet, Texas Tornados, Western Head Band and many others. His own compositions include "Que Paso" (Hey Baby) and "Guacamole."


Musical events featuring Rastelli - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Accordionist Emanuele Rastelli will perform a solo concert on July 2nd in the central square of Portomaggiore di Ferrara. The event is organized by the Akkordeon Club Poggese chaired by Ado Rossi and is part of a project for the promotion of the accordion inaugurated two years ago at S. Mauro Mare.

The following two days (3rd and 4th) he will be the guest performer and adjudicator at the 2nd International Competition of Casarzaligure (near Genoa).

On July 8th Emanuele will make a solo guest performance during the musical event "Jazz for the people" held in San Marino and organized by Mr. Patruno.


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