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Weekly News from Around the World - 13-Feb-2015
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Highlights

Biagio Antonacci at “Ariston” San Remo with Accordion/Bandoneon Quartet - Italy
AAA 2015 Festival July 8-12 in Alexandria, Virginia - USA
Flaco Jiménez Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Los Angeles – USA
16th International Accordion Festival, Vienna – Austria
V International Competition & VI International Festival 'Accordion Plus' - Russia
12th Star Ways International Competition For Accordionists, Novi Sad – Serbia

Reports for Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals, etc.

Guardia Nueva Tangokonzert Berlin Philharmonie Double CD - Germany/Finland
Video: Paméla Souriau Performs Romance by Franck Angelis - France
NAO Thames Area Festival - UK
Video: Paride Pezzolla Performs Sonata K141,L422, D. Scarlatti - Italy
Introducing Samuel Raska, Prague – Czech Republic
Korpiklaani’s New Album, Lahti – Finland
Never Underestimate .......
Robbie Henshaw Could Have Been Champion Accordionist Says Grandfather - Ireland
‘14 Years Ago’: Petri Makkonen visited Russia in February 2001

Future events

Martynas’ Levickis Concerts – Ireland, Denmark, Germany
Patrick O’Sullivan Concert, Cork – Irish Republic
Alex Meixner Band Gigs, Texas – USA
Gary Blair @ Guildford Accordion Club, Surrey – UK
Pierre Laval Tango Concert, Reims – France
Trio Voronezh Concert, Michigan – USA
Internationaal Accordeon Festival, Stadskanaal – Netherlands
Buttons & Bellows Concert Tour - Austria
Uri Sharlin Workshop @ Brooklyn Accordion Club, New York – USA

CD Reviews

CD Review: Buffoni CD by Black Pencil

New and Updated Sites

Updated Site: Fang Yuan Site Update With Video - Singapore
Updated Site: Franco Cambareri New Work Danza Guapa
Updated Arrangements of Misty, Arranged by Gary Dahl - USA
Updated Site: Accordion Examination Board of New Zealand (AEBNZ)

Help Desk, Information needed, Readers Comments

Submit Your Question, Comment
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Highlights


Biagio Antonacci at “Ariston” San Remo with Accordion/Bandoneon Quartet - Italy

Massimo Tagliata, Daniele Donadelli, Antonio Rimedio and Marco Fabbri on bandoneon and Massimo Varini (guitar)
There was great pride by all the citizens of the Castelfidardo region when they saw last Wednesday night, on the big stage of the Ariston Theater in San Remo, that the guest of honor was famous Italian singer Biagio Antonacci backed by an accordion and bandoneon quartet.

Biagio Antonacci performed a pleasant collage of the most famous songs of his career, presented in a fresh arrangement with the 3 accordions and 1 bandoneon plus 1 guitar, all intertwined with the homeland of the instrument, Castelfidardo.

The accordionists: Massimo Tagliata, Daniele Donadelli, Antonio Rimedio and Marco Fabbri on bandoneon and Massimo Varini (guitar) with the accordions amplified by the microphones MT-04N / midi of the company MusicTech.
http://www.musictech-midi.it/sistemi-mic-ampli/microfoni-per-fisarmonica/mt-04n

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AAA 2015 Festival July 8-12 in Alexandria, Virginia - USA

Faithe Deffner Accordion Competition
AAA logoThe 2015 AAA Festival in Alexandria will be a spectacular event with over $25,000 in cash and prizes which has been generously donated in Faithe Deffner's memory by a long-time friend of the accordion and AAA member who wishes to remain anonymous. Faithe Deffner passed away in June 2014.

We anticipate many contestants, several of whom have already requested invitations to obtain visas. More information regarding performers, guest adjudicators and committees will be published in the USA News over the next few months.

The AAA 2015 Festival will be held from July 8-12, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, 625 First Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314 in Alexandria's historic district.

Full details of the Faithe Deffner International Accordion Competition and entry form at: 2015Deffner.pdf

Information about the 2015 AAA festival at: American Accordionists' Association (AAA)

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Flaco Jiménez Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Los Angeles – USA

Flaco Jiménez
Flaco JiménezTexas-based Flaco Jimenez has this week been presented with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony at the Wilshire Ebel Theater in Los Angeles. Lifetime Awards also went to Jane Fonda, George Harrison, the Bee Gees, Buddy Guy, the Louvin Brothers and others.

His daughter, Raquel Fernandez, and her husband, Javier, and sons Leonard Jimenez Jr. and David Jimenez, with his wife, Lisa, accompanied Flaco to the ceremony on Saturday February 7th.

“From the moment we arrived, you could feel the excitement in the air,” said Raquel. “I could see the happiness in my dad’s eyes.” The happiest moment, she said, was hearing her father’s named called. “It was a very humble speech,” she added, “as he was mentioning and representing San Antonio and thanking all his fans and also thanking the Tejano and conjunto industry. We are extremely proud of him”.

Flaco Jimenez (born 1939) is to Tex-Mex music what Clifton Chenier was to Zydeco or Jimmy Shand was to Scottish dance music. Tex-Mex (aka Tejano, Conjunto or Norteno) is the accordion-driven folk music of the working class Americans of Mexican origin living in Texas.

Flaco and his accordionist brother Santiago (born 1944), the sons of accordionist and songwriter Santiago Jimenez (1913-84), were born into the Tex-Mex style, and both grew up knowing the tunes and songs of this Spanish-American rooted style.

Flaco and Santiago took up the diatonic button accordion early in life, and though Santiago has enjoyed a highly successful professional career in his own right, it was Flaco who became the genre’s best-known and most commercially successful performer worldwide.

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16th International Accordion Festival, Vienna – Austria

16th International Accordion Festival, ViennaFriedl PreislThis year’s 16th annual International Accordion Festival will be held from February 21st to March 22nd in Vienna.

Friedl Preisl (picture right), the event’s founder and organizer says that 2015 will feature over 50 artists from many countries, performing at 14 different venues.

Download the 37 page color program full of information (6MB) at: 2015Vienna.pdf

Performers include the trio Otto Lechner, Stefan Heckel, and Heidelindl Gratzl (Austria), Sophie Cazez (Belgium) and Baltazar Montanaro (France), Maria Kalaniemi (Finland), The Otto Lechner Band (Austria), Alexander Shevchenko (Russia), Stephanie Nilles and Patrick Harison (USA), Annika (Germany), Di Goas (Austria), Sebastian Daller (Germany), Marie Therese Stickler (Switzerland), The Squeeze Women (Germany), The Balcony Players Girls Duo (Netherlands/Belgium), Marinette Bonnert (Belgium), Cross Pfeiffer (Austria), Christina Zurbrugg (Switzerland), Klaus Paier (Austria), Simone Zanchini (Germany), Geoff Berner (Canada), Aleksandar Nikolic and Petar Maric (Serbia), Walther Soyka and Karl Stirner (Austria), Franziska Hatz (Austria), Christian Bakanic (Austria), plus many more.

For further information email: friedl@akkordeonfestival.at

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V International Competition & VI International Festival 'Accordion Plus' - Russia

The International Music Center Harmony logoVideo above: TV Program about 2014.

Entry closing date is 15th February for the V International Competition and VI International Festival 'Accordion Plus'. This event is organized by the Department of Culture of Rostov-on-Don and the International Music Centre "Harmony" from the 26th to 30th March 2015.

The competition includes solo categories for children to adults for classical, entertainment, folk (harmonica) and digital types of music. There is several categories of ensemble from children to no age limit.

Download Rules and Regulations (Russian and English) and entry applications at: 2015Rostov

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12th Star Ways International Competition For Accordionists, Novi Sad – Serbia

Star Ways banner
Radomir TomicBetween May 8th and 10th, the 12th Star Ways International Accordion Competition will be organized in Novi Sad, Serbia, for young accordionists.

The competition is organised by Music Centrum Ad Libitum and NGO Eufonija. The Director of the competition is Professor Radomir Tomic (picture left).

There are 15 competition categories of different ages, for solo, free bass, piano and button accordion and ensembles and several new categories have been added for 2015.

Download the rules and regulations and entry forms at: 2015Starways.pdf

The entry closing date is: 28th March 2015.

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Reports for Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals, etc.


Guardia Nueva Tangokonzert Berlin Philharmonie Double CD - Germany/Finland

Guardia Nueva Tangokonzert CD coverRaimo VertainenThe Guardia Nueva Tangokonzert Berlin Philharmonie Double CD is available online.

The double CD was recorded live at the Berlin Philharmonie Tangokonzert by Guardia Nueva in 2014 and features 21 tracks that are headlined as "Latin and Finnish Tango with Passion".

The popular Guardia Neuva, founded and conducted by Raimo Vertainen (picture right) has enjoyed popular success in Finland and internationally. This double CD costs Euro 20 plus postage or you can download the eTracks mp3 files double album at: gnueva03

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Video: Paméla Souriau Performs Romance by Franck Angelis - France

Paméla Souriau, 22 years old, is a full time student at CNIMA J.Mornet for the second year.

Jacques Mornet comments: “Our deep goal at CNIMA J.Mornet is to lead our students on a true musical path. What a beautiful illustration of this is Paméla Souriau, performing with a lot of conviction and passion, the wonderful piece by Franck Angelis: Romance." Paméla began studying free bass in September 2014.

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NAO Thames Area Festival - UK

NAO UK Championships Banner
NAO 2015 PosterThe NAO Thames Area Festival, is a qualifier for the NAO UK Championships to be held in Liverpool, 17th – 19th April and was held on the 8th February.

Accordionists and supporters flocked to Hatfield Heath’s village hall where more than 100 entrants competed in Polka, Musette, Classical, Duet, Group and Band categories.

All qualified to play in the corresponding catagories at the UK Championships – including the Hatfield Accordion Preparatory Orchestra under the Musical Direction of the NAO Thames Festival organiser and local teacher Mrs Stella Hughes.

The Phil Clapcott Challenge Shield, awarded to the contestant with the highest mark of the day, was on this occasion shared by Roseanna Bodell (17 & Under Solo) and Ann Claire Herr (Higher Preparatory Solo). Presentation picture left.

The next NAO Area Festival will be held on February 28th in Larne Northern Ireland.

Full details of the NAO UK Championships and Results from this festival may be found at:
National Accordion Organisation of the United Kingdom (NAO)

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Video: Paride Pezzolla Performs Sonata K141,L422, D. Scarlatti - Italy

Accordion Baroque CD Cover by Paride PezzollaA promotional sound track from the CD "Accordion Baroque" published by EMA Vinci.

This video was published on Dec 31, 2014. Paride Pezzolla, 20 years old, accordionist from Italy.

Tracklist:
1. FANTASIA E FUGA IN LA MINORE BWV 561
2. FANTASIA IN SOL MAGGIORE BWV 572
3. TOCCATA E FUGA IN RE MINORE BWV 565
4. TOCCATA II, LIBRO II
5. SONATA K141,L422
6. SONATA K35,L386
7. TOCCATA PRIMA DEL 1°TONO
8. CIACCONA IN FA MINORE
9. PAVANA
10. FANTASY

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Introducing Samuel Raska, Prague – Czech Republic

Samuel RaskaStanislav Samuel Raska is a Czech accordionist, composer and teacher. His life as accordionist started with the studies of drumming, jazz piano and accordion at a conservatory in the Czech Republic.

Now he only plays the accordion and as a musician, he performs with jazz with self-arranged songs, disco and pop music both as soloist and in a band, and also classical piano music. He collaborates in concerts with many musicians (jazz, big band, rock bands, and recently with an orchestra as accordionist and vocal soloist). 

As a composer, he writes music and lyrics for Sami. He also works as composer for other band and he focuses on accordion. You can find the sheet music of these pieces, shared on his website.

Samuel is planning for the future to write a book on music with his own solo accordion pieces. As a teacher, he is working at Prague in a private accordion school and he is currently writing a school accordion textbook focusing on improvisation, playing by ear and the basics of songwriting. 

Samuel Raska owns a special Pigini accordion in blue and studied with the craftsman of the factory.

For further information: francesca.pigini@pigini.com

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Korpiklaani’s New Album, Lahti – Finland

Noita CD Cover
Sami PerttulaFinnish folk metal band Korpiklaani will release their new album, ‘Noita’, on May 5th in North America via Nuclear Blast. Recorded at Petrax Studio with Aksu Hanttu producing, recording and mixing again, it is the band's first CD to feature their new accordion player Sami Perttula, who played a very active role in the folk arrangements along with fiddler Tuomas Rounakari.

Sami Pertulla commented: "Previously the Korpiklaani albums were played with a piano-accordion and now I play with a traditional button-accordion, which is more widely used in Finland. In the arrangements you can hear more tonal harmonies and folky accompaniments combined to the power-chords than before. It actually boosts up the uplifting feel of our music".

Violinist Toumas Rounakari added: "This album has more violin solos than ever before. Violin is more in the role of a lead-guitar now just as Jonne had originally intended it to be".

Korpiklaani vocalist Jonne Järvelä concluded: "We have finally managed to create the balance between folk and metal in the way I've always dreamt it to be. Thanks to Sami's arrangements and Tuomas' crazy shredding of the violin”.

In March, Korpiklaani will headline the Paganfest extended shows and will additionally play a run of European festivals later this year.

For further information: Gerardo@nuclearblastusa.com

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Never Underestimate .......

A reader sent this picture. Great text. "Never underestimate the power of a man with an accordion". Superb! What about one for the ladies?

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Robbie Henshaw Could Have Been Champion Accordionist Says Grandfather - Ireland

The Irish Mirror newspaper reported that Robbie Henshaw, set to start at inside centre in Ireland's Six Nations Rugby opener against Italy on Saturday, is also a talented accordionist.

The headline said: Robbie Henshaw could have been an All-Ireland accordion player according to his grandfather. It also says: This heartwarming picture shows Robbie Henshaw playing some traditional Irish music with his grandfather Billy.

Robbie Henshaw only plays a little music in the video at the beginning but its enough to see he loves his music.

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‘14 Years Ago’: Petri Makkonen visited Russia in February 2001

Petri MakkonenThe Accordions Worldwide news for the week ending February 16th 2001 included an item advertising a forthcoming tour and lecture in St. Petersburg, Russia, by Petri Makkonen, from Finland. No doubt this visit was greatly appreciated.

Petri Makkonen Tours St. Petersburg – Russia
Contributed by Sergej Tchirkov

Finnish composer and accordionist Petri Makkonen will tour St. Petersburg from February 20th to 25th performing a variety of different works such as classical, jazz, folk music and his own compositions. Concerts will be held in the Music School of Tchudovo (February 22nd) and in the Chamber Hall of the State Glinka Capella (24th).

In addition, Petri will present a lecture on his music, which will include a performance of his most recent works. The lecture will take place at the National Rimski-Korsakov Conservatoire in St. Petersburg on February 23rd.

Petri has composed numerous works for accordion, including ‘The Flight Beyond The Time’ (selected as a test piece for the 1997 CIA Coupe Mondiale) and the well-known ‘Disco –Toccata’.

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Future events


Martynas’ Levickis Concerts – Ireland, Denmark, Germany

Video above: Martynas’ Levickis and string quartet (2014) by LRT TV, Lithuania, published by LRT Dec 20, 2014.

Lithuanian accordion virtuoso Martynas Levickis concerts:

February 13th, 7pm - St Andrew's Church, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
February 19th, 5pm - Solyst Den Kongelige Skydebane, Copenhagen, Denmark
February 24th, 7.30pm - Jenisch Haus, Hamburg, Germany

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Patrick O’Sullivan Concert, Cork – Irish Republic

Patrick O'SullivanAccordion entertainer Patrick O’Sullivan performs in concert at the Briery Gap Theatre, Macroom, County Cork, on Friday February 13th, 8pm. The singer Patrick Feeney also performs.

Patrick O'Sullivan is an Irish Country music singer, musician, and songwriter, originally from Dunmanway County Cork. Patrick shot to fame after winning TG4's talent show 'Glor Tire' in 2009 and has had great success ever since!

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Alex Meixner Band Gigs, Texas – USA

Above: Promotional video.

The Alex Meixner Band performs three times in Texas this weekend. These are at the SPJST Hall in Houston, (for a lucky dance night on Friday the 13th) and the KJT Hall in Ennis (for the Sweetheart Soiree on Saturday February 14th), as well as the 3rd Annual Fat Tuesday show at the Brauntex Theatre in New Braunfels on Tuesday Feb 17th.

In between all of that, the schedule is packed full of recording sessions! (Alex has at least 2 projects that will be released in 2015 - no rest happening on this front!)

Other dates:
February 21st – German American Society, Casselberry, Florida
March 17th to 22nd – Hofbrau Beer Garden, Panama City Beach, Florida
March 26th to 29th – German Heritage Festival & Kick-Off Party, Tomball, Texas
March 30th - Workshop & Concert, Heritage Arts Productions, Houston, Texas

For further information email: info@alexmeixner.com

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Gary Blair @ Guildford Accordion Club, Surrey – UK

Gary Blair
Scottish accordionist Gary Blair is the guest at Guildford Accordion Club on Friday February 20th, 8pm. The venue is the Ripley Village Hall, Ripley, Surrey GU23 6AF. Doors open at 7pm.

Gary Blair is an internationally renowned accomplished musician with a distinctive style and an international repertoire. He runs the Jimmy Blair Accordion Orchestra in Glasgow, frequently appears as a guest and workshop leader at accordion festivals at home and abroad, and has many recordings to his credit.
 
For further information email: myrabee@btinternet.com

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Pierre Laval Tango Concert, Reims – France

Pierre LavalThe quintet El Truco, featuring accordionist Pierre Laval, perform a program of music by Astor Piazzolla on Saturday February 21st, 8.30pm, at the Salle Yehudi Menuhin, Route de Bezannes, 51100 Reims. Entrance 8 Euro.

Pierre Laval (born 1989), from Reims, opened his own accordion school in Reims in 2011, and has competed successfully in many national and international accordion competitions.

He studied the accordion at CNIMA J. Mornet, and obtained his Diploma of Music Studies in the Conservatory of Gennevilliers. He often performs as an accordion duo with Felicien Brut.

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Trio Voronezh Concert, Michigan – USA

Trio Voronezh
The Trio Voronezh will perform as guests of the Michigan Accordion Society on Saturday February 21st, 7pm. The venue is the Shriners Silver Garden Events Center, 24350 Southfield Road, Southfield, MI 48075, and the concert will be held in conjunction with the Russian Cultural Center of Michigan.

Trio Voronezh is a musical ensemble that produces incredibly exciting sounds and compelling arrangements of classics across a variety of musical styles, all played upon Russian folk instruments. Trio Voronezh's astonishing virtuosity and delightful artistic innovation give the trio the ability to alter the way audiences experience classical, folk and contemporary repertoire.

Vladimir Volokhin, Valerie Petrukhin and Sergei Teleshev – all accomplished accordion soloists - formed the Trio in 1993 in Russia, and moved to the USA in 1996. The repertoire of the Trio Voronezh includes the works of Vivaldi, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Rachmaninov, as well as Russian folk songs, Argentinean tangos, gypsy dance music, bluegrass, and music by Gershwin.

For further information email: info@triovoronezh.com

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Internationaal Accordeon Festival, Stadskanaal – Netherlands

The third Internationaal Accordeon Festival takes place at the Theater Geert Teis, Stadskanaal, Netherlands, on Sunday March 8th, which is a concert from 1pm until 5.30pm.

The concert program includes accordionists Petar Maric from Serbia, Matthias Matzke from Germany, and Gertie Bruin from the Netherlands. Each will perform twice for 30 minutes. Special guest: Jan Verwey on chromatic harmonica. Accompanists will be Bert van Erk (double bass) and Rene van Astenrode (drums, vibraphone, percussion).

Tickets: € 14 (prepayment € 13,50). Combination offer: hotel room for 2 persons + 2 tickets for the price of € 69.

For further information email: jac_puts@vodafonethuis.nl

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Buttons & Bellows Concert Tour - Austria

Aleksandar NIkolic and Petar MaricAleksandar Nikolic and Petar Maric – the duo Tango (Re)Action - are two superb players who will enthrall their Austrian audiences from March 11th to 15th, at concerts in Neunkirchen, Grein, Vienna, St. Andrä and Graz.

Their unique combination of bandoneon and accordion, and the special collaboration between professor and student by Tango (Re)Action will include an abundance of tango repertoire.

As well as traditional tango pieces of Gardel, Troilo, Piana and compositions of the tango nuevo and modern tango of Piazzolla, Galliano and Buono, Tango (Re)Action will also present their own compositions from Nikolic and Maric opus.

Aleksandar Nikolic (bandoneon) is musical director and bandoneon player of the Beltango quintet, one of the most well-known tango groups, which has performed more than 500 concerts in 25 different countries. He is also the President of Belgrade Accordion Association and Artistic Director of the Belgrade Tango Festival.

Petar Maric (accordion) is recognised as one of the finest young accordionists having won Coupe Mondiale categories for classical, virtuoso and electronic music and is a performer of many different musical styles.

For further information email: herbert@accordion-cd.co.at

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Uri Sharlin Workshop @ Brooklyn Accordion Club, New York – USA

Uri SharlinBrooklyn Accordion Club’s next presentation will be Brazilian ‘Forro’ music, by Israeli accordionist Uri Sharlin. This takes place on Thursday March 5th, 7pm until 9pm. All are welcome.

Uri Sharlin is a Brooklyn-based highly accomplished composer, accordionist, pianist and arranger. Born in Israel, he moved to New York where he earned a BFA degree with honors in Music Performance from the City College of New York.

Brooklyn AC’s February workshop with Victor Prieto, ‘Playing Outside the Box’, was a great success. Thank you, Victor, and all the volunteer performers and supportive audience.

Brooklyn Accordion Club meets at 61 Local, 61 Bergen St., Brooklyn, New York.

For further information email: brooklynaccordionclub@gmail.com

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CD Reviews

CD Review: Buffoni CD by Black Pencil

Buffoni CD cover by Black PencilCD Reviews Index for the Review of Buffoni CD by Black Pencil, in English language, reviewed by Joan Cochran Sommers

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New and Updated Sites


Updated Site: Fang Yuan Site Update With Video - Singapore

Fang Yuan site updated with new contact information and video. In the video, Fang Yuan, plays one of her compositions on her 2nd visit to USA in 1990.

Fang Yuan, a very talented, performer, teacher and composer said, that she spent many mornings listening to hundreds of birds before writing her composition which is based on a Chinese folk song interlaced with many bird calls.

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Updated Site: Franco Cambareri New Work Danza Guapa

Danza Guapa musicFranco Cambareri has released a new work:
Catalog No: cfranco192 Danza Guapa (solo)
as an eSheet, able to be purchased online with credit card and sent to you by email.

Danza Guapa is a Happy Paso Doble Dance.

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Updated Arrangements of Misty, Arranged by Gary Dahl - USA

Gary DahlUpdated arrangement of Misty, catalog DH0026 is now available online. Also available is the easy version arrangement by Gary Dahl, catalog DH0249.

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Updated Site: Accordion Examination Board of New Zealand (AEBNZ)

Accordion Examination Board of New Zealand (AEBNZ) logoThe Accordion Examination Board of New Zealand (AEBNZ) has updated its website with the 2015 examination dates and 2015 entry forms.

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