Accordions Worldwide "The Squeeze"
29th October 1999
- Weekly news from around the world-
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It is nice to read about the large number of accordion events currently being held in so many countries, with accordionists playing a variety of musical styles including classical, folk, jazz, cajun, pop, "Kyrillikata" and forró.

The accordion had an image as a folk instrument for a long time. However, from the middle of the century the accordion has been used in almost every musical style from classical to jazz, solo, with other accordions and with other instruments.

Many accordion courses were opened in high schools and other institutions for children through to adults in many parts of the world with the aim to lift the standard of the accordion education.

Now, concerts, festivals, workshops and competitions with accordion "participation" are held throughout the world. We can proudly say that the accordion has "stepped up" to the level of other instruments as a professional instrument!

Reading the Weekly news this week, you will see accordion events held in various countries. You can list your concerts in the Future Events section of the Yellow Pages, which gives you a free advertisement to the whole world. Please feel free to submit information of your upcoming concerts.

Wayne Knights Webmaster

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Coupe Mondiale - Germany

Coupe MondialeContributed by Professor Walter Maurer

Over 40 entries have been received for the 1999 Coupe Mondiale International Competition, held from November 3rd to 7th in Trossingen City, Southern Germany. Organizers, the CIA and the Trossingen Culture Society have had only six months to organize the event, probably the shortest time ever in the history of the Coupe Mondiale which was first held in 1938.

Sponsors Hohner Germany will record the whole program of the Coupe on CD. First prize winners will receive 100 copies with a booklet of the event. The town will give a reception and dinner for Executive and Music Committee members.

The Coupe program will include a Congress meeting for Delegates, Virtuoso Entertainment Music, Junior and Senior sections and a final prizegiving concert with performances by competition winners and the Hohner Conservatory Accordion Orchestra.

Daily reports will be available from November 3rd at:

Sata-Häme Accordion Festival - Finland

Contributed by Kimmo Mattila, Artistic Director of the FestivalSata-Hame Accordion Festival

The 28th International Sata-Häme Accordion Festival will be held in Ikaalinen, Finland from July 5th to 9th, 2000 with a program of over fifty concerts and other events. Musicians from ten countries will take part with a repertoire of Finnish and International accordion music in both traditional and new forms including French musette, Argentinian tango, Finnish tango, folk music, American tex-mex, and contemporary and classical accordion works. Festival events will be held on the stage in the central park of Ikaalinen, where the atmosphere of Finnish "white summer nights" is unique.

One of the main program themes is "wedding ceremony" music with concerts including waltzes and solemn wedding marches, as well as folk and dance music traditionally used at weddings. Another theme is accordion music from Baltic countries with performers from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

The finals of the "Golden Accordion" competition will be held on July 7th and broadcast live. This follows two preliminary competitions which will be held in January and March 2000. A detailed festival program will be published in December 1999.

For further information email:

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Festival of Accordion Music - Russia

Contributed by Sergej Tchirkov

The XVth International Festival of Music for Accordion will be held in St. Petersburg from October 29th to 31st. The festival will include concerts by many well known performers including Viatcheslav and Natalia Semionov, duo O. Bichkov & D. Gvozdkov, duo Evgenij Derbenko & Anatolij Kochergin, Larisa Ergieva (violin) & Ivan Ergiev plus the competition prizewinners.

On the final day a gala concert will be held with performances by Alexander Dmitriev, Viatcheslav Semionov, Oleg Sharov, Evgenij Derbenko, L. and I. Ergiev, V. Dukaltetenko, V. Dmitriev, S. Tchirkov, K. Istchenko, A. Iurov, A. Kuznetzov, "Style of Five" ensemble and "Fusion" Quintet.

For further information email Artistic Director of the festival Alexander Dmitriev:

Accordion Day - USA

Contributed by Joanna Arnold

An "Accordion Day" festival to kick off "National Accordion Month" will be held in the Acme Accordion School, Westmont, New Jersey on November 7th. The event will include cajun, Albanian and French music by a variety of performers such as Stanley Darrow, Joanna Arnold, F. Hodnicki, Yolanda Romognocy, Westmont Philharmonic and polka groups. A mass photo will be taken at 12.30pm. Admission is free. For further information phone: + 1 856 854 6628

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Caister Accordion Festival - UK

The Caister Accordion Festival will be held from November 12th to 15th at the Haven Caister Holiday Centre, Great Yarmouth, England. The festival will include trade shows, accordion displays, workshops, concerts and dancing. Guest performers include Serge Duchesne (Canada), Renzo Ruggieri (Italy), Roberto Enzo, Gary Blair (Scotland), Gerry Conlon & Seamus O'Sullivan (Ireland), Ron Hodgson and Julie best.

For further information email:

Record Number of Accordionists - China

Contributed by Li Cong

The 1999 Shanghai Accordion Examinations (held recently) had a record number of entries, topping 3,500. This is the highest number in the history of Shanghai accordion activities. In 1997, 2,300 accordionists attended the exam and in 1998 this increased to 2,800.

The Shanghai Accordion Association is currently organizing a series of events including lectures, teaching demonstrations and performances which aims to improve the accordion playing skills of those sitting the exams.

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Organ Society Concert - Australia

Australian accordionist Bernadette Conlon will perform for the Theatre Organ Society on November 29th at the Malvern Town Hall, Malvern. Bernadette will play a varied program on the MIDI accordion.

Bernadette recently performed at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, accompanying His Honor Judge Michael Strong and Annalee Robertson in the Noel Coward Centenary concert. The concert was sold out and many were turned away on the night. Bernadette also arranged her accompaniment for the 23 songs in the concert, which included works by Gershwin and Cole Porter. The concert, which was well received and fine promotion for the accordion, was also recorded by National Radio 3MPS for broadcast later this year.

Viktor Romanko Tours Scandinavia

Viktor RomankoContributed by Jürgen Bruch

Viktor Romanko toured Scandinavia recently, his 6th concert tour to Sweden and his first to Norway, organized by Swedish accordionist Johan Andersson. Viktor performed concerts in Stockholm, Mellerud, Udevalla, Vänensborg, Alingsäs, Jönköpping, Almhult, Höganäs, Lands-krona, Klippan, Hässleholm, Hörby and Tomelilla among others. His final concert in Sweden was in Trelleborg (in the most southern part of the country.)

From there he traveled to Norway performing in Vadsø, Tana, Havøysund, Alta, Skjervøy, Tromsø, Inndyr, Sandnessjøen, Brønnøysund, Vega Island and a final concert in Narvik.

Many of Viktor' s 32 successful solo concerts took place in churches and included works by Vivaldi, Bach, Zolotarjev, Derbenko and Semionov.

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Ruggieri Composes for Musical - Italy

Tra Moglie e MaritoAccordionist Renzo Ruggieri composed and arranged the music for the play "Tra Moglie e Marito" (Between Husband and Wife), an adaptation of a short story by the same name written by Antonio Amutti. The play is presented by the "Scenari Paralleli" theatre company, directed by Paolo Perelli (who also adapted the text for the stage) and features an impressive cast including Luisa Jacurti, Donatella Zapelloni, Ciro Ruoppo and eight dancers. The choreography is by Franco Bellani. This humorous play is based on romantic relationships at the turn of the millennium.

Paolo Perelli wrote the following notes on the program: "The musical pieces and songs by Renzo Ruggieri, inspired by the music-hall of old, are the links that hold the play together, highlighting beautifully the rhythm and scenes".

The play, which opened in August at the Magellano Theatre in Ostia (near Rome), has been acquired by several companies for their winter tours.

Guest Accordionist at Festival - Scotland

French accordionist Danielle Pauly is a guest performer at the "Perth All Scotland Accordion Festival" on October 30th. This is the 4th time Danielle has been invited to perform at this festival, which is one of the most important in Scotland.

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Guest Performers at Accordion Club - Canada

Contributed by Lucio Raggiunti

The 27th meeting of the Canadian Accordion Club will be held at the Ramada Inn Hotel on November 7th. Three accordionists Joe Lippert, Alex Farkas and Lucio Raggiunti will perform for club members. Heinz Siemens will update members on the latest news in the accordion world, and videos, audio recordings, magazines and sheet music will be available for purchase.

From the year 2000 the club will hold biannual meetings in May and November. This way, the accordion can be celebrated every six months!

For further information email:

Kyrillikata Concerts - Austria

Contributed by Uli Proell

Polish accordionists Jacek Grekow and Piotr Chololowicz (supported by Christoph Mittermayer on bass clarinet) performed "Kyrillikata" concerts on October 23rd and 24th in Linz and Schwaz, Tirol. "Kyrillikata" is accordion music which takes its themes from Slavic countries. These two accordionists use Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Polish and Roma motives, arranging them into pieces in 9/8, 7/8 and 6/8 rhythms.

The duo have had many successful concerts in Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Germany and Austria, and have released a CD "Kyrillikata" which has received many positive reviews. Their final concert in this series will be held on October 30th at the Interkulttheater in Vienna. For further information phone: + 43 1 587 05 30

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Concertina Club Meeting and Workshop - UK

Contributed by Jane Edwards

The Yorkshire Concertina Club held their Annual General Meeting on October 17th in West Yorkshire. Following that was a successful workshop by club member Paul Walker which featured "More Tunes from the North West".

The club holds regular meetings on the 3rd Sunday of each month. For further information email:

Accordion Festival - Belgium

Contributed by Ronald Verhelle

Each year the accordion community of Zwevegem in Belgium organizes its "Festival of the Accordion" in the village hall. This year's event, which will be held on November 13th, will include a tribute to Joss Baselli. Performances will be given by Julian Jantea & Miu Marian, Frederic Baldo, Jérome Richard, Danielle Pauly and Jean Corti all accompanied by the Jim Vandorpe Combo. For further information phone: + 32 56 64 64 61

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Halloween Party - USA

Accordionist Ponty Bone and the Squeezetones will perform at a Halloween Party, "Nelson City" dance hall in Austin, Texas on October 30th. Their 4 hour performance will include a "Halloween version" of "Nelson City" (to the tune of "Kansas City") and cajun favorites like "Jolie Blon" and "Jambalaya". The group and many of the 200 people expected to attend this event will be dressed in traditional Halloween costumes.

For further information email:

"Festa da Bahia" - Brazil

Contributed by Teotonio Barbosa de Santana

The "Festa da Bahia" is currently underway until October 31st in Salvador-Bahia Brazil. This event will feature many "forró" shows by accordionists including "Mastruz com Leite" (accordionist Robertinho do Acordeon), "Cacau com Leite", Targino Gondin, Raimundinho do Acordeon, "Edigar Mão Branca" (forró singer and composer who performs with accordion accompaniment, "Rala Fivela", "Acarajé com Camarão" and "Flor de Maracujá". For further information on this event email:

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Biersted Concert - Denmark

Contributed by Arne Morsing

The Thisted Accordion Band is one of 18 groups performing at a music day in Biersted, Denmark on November 6th. The group will play pieces from their new CD "Skoda valsen" including "Vals på Österskär" (Jularbo), "Kivikspolka" (Egerstam) and "Ransäter Polka". For further information on this event email:

"Tango for Four" in Classical Charts - Finland

The new CD by Finnish group "Tango for Four" (featuring accordionist Mika Väyrynen) has been in the Finnish Classical Charts each week recently, hitting the "number 3 spot"! Congratulations to the group on this excellent success.

This popular quartet will perform at the Savoy Theatre in Helsinki with "Sexteto Mayor" (Argentina) on October 30th and 31st as part of the "Tango Passion Show".

For further information email:

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Grapevine Convention Center Concert - USA

The Emter Family Button Accordionists will perform at the Grapevine Convention Center in Texas on November 5th. Their program will include folk, polka and gospel music, and "wholesome, unique family entertainment". For further information phone: + 1 972-238-8756

French Accordionist Performs in Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

On November 4th, French accordionist Patrick Nugier will perform at "O Karuche Ratan" (Quartier Latin) in Yamaguchi. Patrick often appears in commercial TV advertisements and on NHK TV's program "French Lessons". This concert is an annual event. For further information phone: + 81 839-22-6400

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New Sites Information on trio members Walter Kasprzyk, Mary Kasprzyk Tokarski and Julie Kasprzyk Cardona, their concert schedule and sound files. Updated information on accordion arrangements by Gary Dahl with sound files available.

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