and sensational success in Great Britain - UK
Contributed by Hazel Sheppard
The British debut of Duo AN-tifon (Angel
Luis Castaño, accordion & Ananda Sukarlan, piano)
was a huge success. They performed at the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
on March 15th before an enthusiastic audience. The next day, the
3 most important Scottish newspapers (The Scotsman, The Herald and
Evening News) each gave 4 stars in their reviews.
The duos by the Spanish composers David del Puerto ("Diario"),
Polo Vallejo ("In the Darkness") and the Scottish Iain
Matheson were the most impressive both for public and for the critics.
They wrote: "Castaño has been instrumental in bringing
the accordion to the forefront of serious music and his virtuoso
performance last night showed why.... Sukarlan's performance was
unparalleled. Music and performance of this quality creates an ideal
cornerstone for a tradition of such an unusual instrumental combination"
(Martin Lenon, Evening News).
On Sunday the 21st, this concert has been selected as "The
Best Classical music concert of the week" by the biggest British
newspaper, The Guardian. Angel
Luis Castaño and Ananda Sukarlan are members of Musica
Presente, whose aim is to promote Spanish music all over the world.
Texas Accordion Association National "Homecoming" Convention
year's TAA Festival in
tribute of Maestro Anthony Galla-Rini's 100th birthday was held
at the Omni Hotel in Richardson, Texas. There were over 200 participants
presenting an outstanding array of talented accordionists and workshop
leaders who gave everyone countless hours of great enjoyment. The
week's activities began on Wednesday a welcome dinner. Thursday's
activities included a 6 am wakeup call for the Dallas area morning
TV show which was promoting the convention. That plus other media
attention boosted attendances throughout the event. This year there
were four orchestras led by Alice Aman, Mary Medrick, Dan
and Kim Christian, and Auckland Symphony Director (New Zealand)
Daverne. The different levels and types of music presented by
each orchestra provided many opportunities for involvement by all
accordionists. Friday morning set the fast pace for accordion extravaganza
with workshops by MIDI accordionist Betty
Jo Simon while Ron Pivovar's workshop showed us the Slovenian
style and emphasized the harmony and unique style of Lojze Slak.
Gordon Kohl showed participants how to embellish their own style
of playing with transitions that appeal to the audience. Nick Ballarini
demonstrated a new Petosa accordion and gave a lesson on Accordion
101: what to look for in an accordion, demonstrating different sounds
and types of accordion models.
Venglevski of Milwaukee, President of the Accordionists
and Teachers Guild, and jazz artist John Simkus of Chicago teamed
together to reveal a smooth duet style with seamless coordination
between bayan and piano accordion. Jane
Christison returned to TAA
to show us more about Music
with a Smile with her toe-tapping enthusiastic workshop teaching
about presentation and personal marketing. Marilyn Monsivais of
Houston gave an audience participation workshop on rhythm and demonstrated
styles of playing the accordion and the "stump fiddle".
Later the "K" Trio
gave a master workshop on trio performance, Tony Lovello, the Liberace
of the accordion, presented with unbounded energy a workshop performance
that everyone loved, showing flashing beginnings and endings in
classic Lovello style. Henry Doktorski introduced Vaudeville Accordion
Classics with music from Guido Deiro.
Saturday morning was a full presentation with workshops from Jim
Wadowick of the Alabama Accordion Association and owner of Ja-Mar
Music. Jim Wadowick and Jim Rommel gave an unforgettable presentation
of ragtime and the MIDI accordion with tuba accompaniment by Rommel.
Later Jim Rommel showed participants How to Really Play a Polka
and sing at the same time! Tom Sullivan gave a workshop on Workshops.
Joe Cardinale taught us to play rhythm with percussion, and Mark
Halata gave us Texas-Moravian Accordion music. Visiting accordionists,
Havard and Karen Svendsrud of Norway demonstrated
a superb style on bayan accordion with solo and duet performances
that brought the audience to their feet. Dan
& Kim Christian presented Musical Styles for Every Accordion
showing their versatility and talent in working with young performers.
Betty Jo Simon, Tony
Lovello, Mike Sullivan, Jane
Christison, and Nick Ballarini
workshops allowing everyone an opportunity to share ideas.
The Friday evening performances were best remembered by the performance
by Russian bayan players Stas
Venglevski of Milwaukee, Greg and Yelena Fainstein of Dallas
and Anatoliy Yegorov of San Antonio who gave us a surprise performance
of superb Russian folk music that kept the audience applauding for
several minutes. The 2004 Texas
Accordion Convention was one to be remembered. So many wonderful
times with so many great workshops and performers.
Wadowick's new CD of ragtime classics titled an "Endangered
Species" - USA
accordionist, Jim Wadowick, executive director of the Alabama Accordionists'
Association, has just released a CD which proved a hit at last weeks
TAA convention. Wadowick
has produced a compilation of ten of the most popular ragtime classics
including: Twelfth St. Rag, Dill Pickles, Spaghetti Rag, The Entertainer,
Maple Leaf Rag, Solace, Texas Rag (an original by Wadowick), Sweet
Georgia Brown, Kitten on the Keys, and Dizzy Fingers. The last two
numbers are not technically rags, but rather "piano novelties"
which were popular right after the rag time era, which lasted from
roughly 1895 to 1917.
For the recording, Wadowick used an old Excelsior
with midi running an Orla
sound module to produces the piano sounds. "Endangered Species"
sold well at the TAA convention
where Wadowick gave two lectures on ragtime history and performed
at each workshop. Wadowick is now forming a ragtime trio to perform
with tuba and banjo on April 3 for the annual Troyfest in Troy,
For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mex Night to Marimba - USA
a school of thought that folkloric music concerts are like PBS documentaries:
educational but not really that entertaining. Such was not the case
with the lively "Masters of Mexican Music" cross-border
revue that made a stop Tuesday night at the Clarice Smith Center's
Dekelboum Concert Hall. While none of the veteran combos conjured
MTV en Español sonics or visuals, they showed that traditional
approaches can still deliver the fun and romance more often associated
with contemporary pop music.
Trio Chalchihuecan, from the Gulf of Mexico port city of Veracruz,
opened with a set of jarocho music. Resplendent in white cowboy
hats and red bandanna neckties, the combo rendered "La Bamba,"
counterbalancing the lush notes of a tall Mexican harp with fast-tempo
vocals and rough-edged rhythm and melody from the banjo-size jarana
and requito guitars.
Texas-born Mingo Saldivar and his band, all in black clothes, followed
with roadhouse-style conjunto. Forget that Pepsi commercial imagining
a young Jimi Hendrix passing up the accordion for the guitar --
the charismatic Saldivar's pumping button-accordion playing is anything
but schlocky, and his Tejano-meets-country-meets-polka interpretations
of Johnny Cash brought a little grit to the upscale room.
Marimba Chiapas, a trio, uses one instrument, a six-foot-long xylophone.
Their mallet-tapping syncopation quieted the tempo before the sombrero-
and brown-velvet-clad mariachi ensemble Los Camperos de Nati Cano
brought it back up. With powerhouse trumpet blasts, lilting violins,
strummed vihuela (an ancestor of the guitar) and operatic vocals,
this large outfit inspired with joyous party tunes and sentimental
slow dance numbers.
By Steve Kiviat of the Washington Post.com
of Hope to raise disease funds
Accordion Pops Orchestra, led by Daniel Desiderio will stage a performance,
titled "A Concert of Hope" in Philadephis, USA on April
17th to raise funds to go towards funding research necessary to
finding a cure for ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Made up of 35 accordionists, the Accordion Pops Orchestra is sure
to delight with a repertoire spanning classical pieces to Broadway
show tunes. The Accordion Pops will be joined by guest soloists
Carmen Carrozza, Erin Dougherty (piano), Rodolfo Veneziano (tenor),
and The 'K' Trio.The highlight
of the evening will be the premier performance of an original composition,
"Hope", by a musician afflicted with ALS. All proceeds
from the concert will benefit the ALS Hope Foundation.
For further information, email: email@example.com
to accordion music on the internet - UK
three years now, a radio station playing 100% accordion music has
been broadcasting via the Internet. Since it was started in March
2001 by David Batty of Leyland Accordion Club, Lancashire, England,
the station has attracted listeners worldwide.
The station which can be found at www.accordionradio.co.uk
requires no special software as listeners without a suitable player
are offered a free player as a download to allow you to not only
listen to the output, but also to see the artist and title displayed
on screen and the station welcomes accordionists to send their CD's
to be added to the material broadcast. The output is carefully chosen
from the CD's received to give a broad cross section of accordion
material with minimal bias towards style, country of origin or any
Artist name and track titles are broadcast along with the music
to allow listeners to identify players they like. A 'buy' button
next to each track being played, if clicked, takes the listener
on to the Internet to search for the CD via Amazon.com website.
Founder David Batty said "Accordion Radio provides accordionists
with a continuous stream of accordion music output, whilst at the
same time giving players a worldwide audience for their material."
The radio is streamed 24 hours per day at a rate of 24kbps which
is about 70% of the speed of a 56k modems throughput. This speed
was chosen so that anyone with a 56k modem can listen in without
interruption even if the internet is suffering from some congestion
at the time. According to David Batty, "Accordion Radio has
been broadcasting via the Internet with the content being 'consumed'
on computers." With recent advances in technology, listeners
can even get accordion radio on their mobile phones.
For further information, email Sectorsoftware@btopenworld.com