Accordions Worldwide "The Squeeze"
1st October 1999
- Weekly news from around the world-
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This week we have several news items of accordionists travelling around the world, taking their music to different cultures. It is great to see the opportunities that accordionists now have to present their repertoire to enthusiastic audiences. It just goes to show that music is truly an international language.

Wayne Knights Webmaster

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Great Accordion Cruise - Finland

Contributed by Kimmo Mattila

The Finnish Accordion Association have organized a "Great Accordion Cruise" on March 5th and 6th, 2000. The biggest car ship in the world "Silja Europa" has been booked and over 2,500 accordion lovers and players are expected to attend. The ship will leave Turku, Finland on Sunday evening and sail to Stockholm, Sweden, returning on Monday evening March 6th.

The cruise will include the semifinal of "The Golden Accordion" competition, (the Finnish national accordion competition for entertainment music) as well as instrument exhibitions and many accordion entertainers.

For further information see Future Events.

International Festival - France

Inaki AlberdiThe "International Festival of Contemporary Music of Strasbourg" is currently underway until October 2nd in Strasbourg, France. This year's festival was dedicated to Spanish contemporary music and music by a variety of composers like Robert Gerhard, Luis De Pablo, Francisco Guerrero, Ramón Lazkano and Jesús Torres.

Performers included the National Orchestra of Spain, National Orchestra of France, Philharmonic Orchestra of Strasbourg and Spanish accordionist Iñaki Alberdi who played with the "Proyecto Gerhard" Ensemble (conducted by José Ramón Encinar) at the opening concert on September 18th. The ensemble played works by Robert Gerhard.

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Successful Lithuanian Accordionist

Raimondas SviackeviciusLithuanian accordionist Raimondas Sviackevicius competed successfully at the recent International Stefano Bizzarri accordion competition in Morro D'oro, Abruzzo region, Italy. Organized by the "Stefano Bizzarri" Musical Association, jury members included Gervasio Marcosignori (President of the judging commission and concert accordionist), Bruno Bizzarri (Professor at the Pesaro Academy), Filippo Maria Camarazza (composer) and Roberto Fossemo (Morro D'oro).

Raimondas won the piano accordion section and a special prize for the test piece "Ludi Florales" by M. A. Pisegna, a blind composer who personally congratulated him after his performance. The competition was followed by a concert and awards evening. Performances were given by "ESI" Ensemble Strumentale Italiano, "Monade saxophone Quartet" and Gervasio Marcosignori. A CD will soon be released entitled "The winners of accordion prize "Stefano Bizzarri 1999".

"Hundred Up" Party - UK

M_C_CajunContributed by Paul Asher

On October 15th popular group M_C_Cajun (with accordionist Paul Asher) will celebrate their 100th gig at the Crown Inn, Heather, Nr Coalville. The group have invited many supporters from over the years to this "Hundred Up" party. The event will include a few surprises and special guests who will play along with the band. Everyone is welcome to this free concert.

For further information email:

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United Nations Concert - USA

Contributed by Wayne Knights

USA accordionist Rita Davidson will perform "Concert Waltz for Accordion and Strings" by Gary Daverne on October 5th at the United Nations lobby in New York with the NJIO (New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra). Everyone is invited to attend this free concert.

Rita Davidson is an accordionist and music teacher in West Orange, New Jersey public schools. She incorporates her accordion into her music teaching during every class. Rita, a former student of the late accordionist and composer Eugene Ettore, has released a recording of his virtuoso solo pieces which is now available.

Gary Daverne is a noted New Zealand composer and conductor and the founder and conductor of the Auckland Symphony Orchestra. He has won numerous awards and honors for his compositions which have been performed throughout the world.

For further information email:

Japanese Accordionist Performs in London - England

Contributed by Owen Murray

Japanese accordionist Mie Miki will give a recital in the Duke's Hall of the Royal Academy of Music in London on November 6th. Her program will consist of works by J. S. Bach, Domenico Scarlatti, Jean-Philippe Rameau, L. Daquin, T. Hosokawa, Y. Takahashi and M. Ishii. Over 300 people are expected to attend the concert including a delegation from the Japanese Embassy in London.

The following day (November 7th) Mie Miki will work with Academy accordion students from the U.K., Norway and China.

For further information phone: + 44 171 873 7300

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Klaus Paier Tours Europe

Austrian accordionist Klaus Paier will perform a "Jazz & Tango Nuevo" tour of Europe from October 1st to November 26th with Stefan Gfrerer (bass) and Wolfgang Tozzi (drums). Klaus Paier considers it a special challenge to oppose accordion traditions by playing jazz and tango and his trio has developed a style of interaction reminiscent of chamber music. It is obvious that the musicians get just as much pleasure from their music as the audience. Their repertoire includes their own compositions, works by Piazzolla and Jazz-Standards.

For further information email:

Polka Queen Competition - USA

Contributed by Karen Gerlovich

Entries are now being accepted for a Polka Queen Competition which will be held during "Valentines week" (February, 2000) in the USA.

All competitors must have their own performing band, a performance background for the past 5-10 years or more, released a recording or own composition of a polka, waltz etc., and play the accordion, button box or concertina.

Competitors will be expected to perform at the dance festival with their band. The attending audience will vote and choose the polka Queen on the last day of the festival. An annual crown & trophy will be presented to the winner.

Sponsors are also needed for this event and space is available for vendors wishing to sell products or arts & crafts.

For further information email Karen Gerlovich:

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Accentuate the Positive - New Zealand

Contributed by Christine Adams

Six accordionists aged from 5 to 16 years old entertained over 150 people at the North Auckland Federation of Country Women's Institute bi-annual celebration meeting recently. The children performed a variety of solos and trios of light classical and popular music. The CWI 1999 theme is "Accentuate the Positive" so the children's finale was a group performance of this song. They received a standing ovation for their efforts and many members were so touched by their performance, they were in tears.

From the City to the Suburbs - Italy

Italian group "Tango e altre storie" (including accordionist Beppe Turletti) played in an event called "From the City to the Suburbs" held at the "Centrocampo" cultural association "Midfield", Turin on September 26th. Their concert was followed by an "asado" organized by a group of Argentineans living in Turin.

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ATG Champion Accordionist in Texas - USA

Cathy SommersContributed by Kevin Friedrich

The current US Champion Cathy Sommers (daughter of well known teacher Joan Sommers from the University of Missouri, Kansas City) will present concerts throughout the state of Texas next week. Her program will include pieces she will perform at the Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships early next month.

As a guest of the Texas Accordion Association, Cathy will present concerts in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston and the Fort Worth area from October 4th to 10th.

For further information, please contact Norman Seaton at:

Nakkila Accordion Week - Finland

Contributed by Kimmo Mattila

An "Accordion Week" will be held in Nakkila (near Pori) from October 12th to 20th. The event will include concerts, seminars and a competition for young accordionists. This annual event has been organized for the last six years by the Nakkila Region Accordion Club.

For further information email:

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Icebreaker Tours Europe

British accordionist David Farmer will play a four concert tour in October with the renowned Icebreaker Contemporary Music Ensemble. The concerts will take place in Vienna, Austria (October 7th & 8th), London (October 21st) and Vilnius, Lithuania (October 29th).

Their program will include the world premiere of a new piece by Scottish composer Gordon MacPherson as well as works by Lukas Ligeti, Louis Andriessen and Martin Burlas.

For further information email: or:

Japan Accordion Association Concert - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

On October 10th the JAA (Japan Accordion Association) will hold a concert at the "Osaka Philharmony Kaikan" Hall, Osaka. Five JAA Directors will perform at the concert, Hisaji Sugimura, Chikaie Yoshida and Michio Wada (Osaka) and Noboru Emori and Hideaki Yamaoka (Tokyo). For further information phone: + 81 6-6954-7039

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"Voglia d'arte" School Goes to Cascia - Italy

Voglia d'arte

The "Voglia d'arte" (Desire for Art) accordion and keyboard school directed by Renzo Ruggieri held its end of year party recently, which culminated in a pilgrimage to the religious sanctuary of Santa Rita da Cascia in Italy. The morning program included a mass followed by a tour of the city, while the afternoon was devoted to games and songs for all the participants.

"Le Grand Soufflet" Concert - France

French accordionist Marc Berthoumieux will perform a variety of French jazz pieces with his quintet at "Le Grand Soufflet" in Brequigny on October 15th.

Marc gave successful concerts recently at the "Sunset" in Paris on September 10th and 11th and has just released his new CD "Les Couleurs d'ici" (Local Colours).

For further information email:

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Celebrity Interviews

Questions for the "Celebrity Interview" with Claudine Aucher, Director of the Chartres Festival in France have now closed. The interview will be published on October 6th.

"Tefukindo" in Yokohama - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

Popular Japanese group "Tefukindo" (including accordionist Mitsuyo Sakamoto) will perform at the "Keikyu Department", Konan Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture on October 11th. Admission is free. For further information email:

On September 30th Mitsuyo performed in a Latin music trio (with guitar and bass) in Yokohama.

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Tango Festival - France

The "Festival de Tango" will be held during October and November in Paris. As part of this festival, Uruguay bandoneonist Luis Di Matteo will play at a "Concert-Cabaret Tango evening" at the "Divan du Monde" in Paris on October 7th.

Dancers "Carmen & Victor" and Victor Hugo Villena (bandoneon) will also perform and the concert which will be followed by a "Tango Ball" and film screening.

For further information email:

ATG Polka Champion with Lawrence Welk Orchestra - USA

Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

On October 8th Dan McGhee will perform with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra at the Welk Resort in Branson, Missouri, in the company of Myron Floren. Dan is a student of Joan Sommers, head of the accordion department at the UMKC Conservatory of Music, and has toured to several continents with the UMKC Accordion Orchestra.

During the recent ATG Annual International Competition and Festival, Dan was the winner of the Polka Competition, which offered the first prize of a featured performance with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra and Myron Floren, during the regular show season at the Welk Resort Center and Champagne Theatre in Branson, Missouri. For further details please phone: + 1 800-505-WELK

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Chinese Guest in Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

On October 2nd, accordionists Zhang Xiaodong (China) and Tsukuru Miyoshi (Japan) will perform at the Sannomaru Art Hall, Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture. For further information phone Mr Kodama: + 81 27-233-5040

New Music Video - France


Contributed by Frédéric Deschamps

A new music video has just been released by Kiwi Productions entitled "C'est la fête à Ladergue". The video features French accordion music on a variety of instruments including the accordion, guitar, percussion and saxophone.

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Colombian Vallenato in New York - USA

Contributed by Sadys Rodrigo Espitia

Popular Colombian vallenato group "Los Diablitos" performed at the Chibcha Restaurant and Nightclub, Jackson Heights, New York on September 18th and 19th. "Los Diablitos" (The Little Devils) led by accordionist and 1989 vallenato king Omar Geles, perform a polished version of romantic vallenato music by adding bass guitar, keyboards and other special effects. The group has now released four recordings.

Lips Releases 10th CD

Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

Friedrich Lips' new CD "Partita" includes a variety of interesting pieces. Fantasia No.1 in F minor, KV 594 by Mozart was written in 1790, just a few years before his death. The CD also includes Scarlatti sonatas, Repnikov's bayan cycle "Souvenirs" and Solotarjov's "Sonata No 2" which has classical and folklore features that blend into those of the Avant-garde with great harmony.

Other tracks include Viennese Classic (subtitled "Children's Symphony in the spirit of Haydn"). Initiated by Friedrich, the finale showed for the first time in the history of bayan, the bellows method of "Ricochet".

One of Solotarjov's most popular oeuvres is the "Partita". Inspired by the partita's old forms the composer added new contents and renounced traditional dancing movements. Artistically the Partita shows the conflict between good and evil, clearly depicting these two opposing forces, thus increasing the music's emotionality to the utmost. For the first time in bayan music the composer conveys the picture of sorrow by a funeral march in the 2nd movement.

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New Sites - Information on South African group Duo 2000 which includes Sergio Zampolli (accordion) and Amarillie Ackermann (harp). Information on Lithuanian accordionist Raimondas Sviackevicius, his repertoire and achievements.

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