Death of Eddie Chavez,
Texas - USA
by Kevin Friedrich
We sadly report the passing
of Eddie Chavez, known to many as co-author (with Ron Flynn and Edwin Davison)
of The Golden Age of the Accordion. Eddie Chavez, who died on August 18th, at
his home in San Antonio, Texas, of a heart complication at the age of 87, was
one of the world's staunchest accordion enthusiasts.
He had not only played for most of his life, but was an acknowledged authority
on the history of the accordion. From this context, Eddie was in constant correspondence
with accordionists around the world, and had a vast knowledge of music, people
or anything to do with the accordion.
Chavez fell in love with the accordion after listening to a live radio broadcast
by Charles Magnante, and quickly took to learning the instrument. Eddie amazed
his friends and family by his facility for playing complicated arrangements by
ear, and could expertly perform a wide variety of music from many styles. For
much of his life, Eddie was closely associated with the San Antonio Accordion
Club and the Texas Accordion Association.
was greatly liked by all who knew him, and the accordion world is certainly much
the poorer for his passing. A simple memorial service will be held at Eddie's
home, 9019 Hetherington, San Antonio, on Saturday August 28th, at 2pm.
Further information, see the Memorials
at Pakefield Accordion Festival - UK
Giancarlo Caporilli makes a welcome return to the 4th Pakefield International
Accordion Festival, September 24th to 28th. Sharing top billing with Caporilli
are the father Alexander
Dmitriev and son Vitaly Dmitriev, from Russia. In support are Gary Blair,
Charlie Watkins, Bert Santilly, Johnny Coleclough, concertina ace John Nixon,
Norvic Concordia and the Stockport Accordion Orchestra.
include concerts, workshops, master classes, dancing, accordion auction, trade
show, and the adjudication of the North Staffs Accordion Club Composers' Competition.
Please note: contrary
to misinformation given to several people from the booking office staff at Pontins,
bookings can still made; telephone 0870 601 0479.
Chapiteau Grand Soufflet, Brittany - France
by Sebastien Pifre
9th Chapiteau Grand Soufflet, an accordion festival with an international flavour,
takes place during the 7th to 15th October. Although based at the Place du Parlement
de Bretagne, Rennes, festival events will spread out to other parts of the town
and surrounding areas. More than thirty concerts are scheduled, plus dances, workshops,
and an exhibition of historic accordions. Although guest artistes are from many
countries and other parts of France, this year's event will give special emphasis
to artistes and music from Japan and Madagascar.
Accordionists and accordion-led
bands include Yuko Ikoma (Japan), Takeo Toyama (Japan), Zaha Torte (Japan), Rossy
(Madagascar), John Fahey (Ireland), Gina & Chris (Ireland), L'Ensemble Rayé
(Switzerland), Dame Darcy, Daniel Denecheau, Robert Santiago, Serge le Clanche,
and Jean-Marc le Coq.
The festival's advance information reveals that the
accordion has been played in Japan since 1850, and that the great popularity of
a 1931 French-made film 'Sous les toits de Paris' with Japanese audiences led
to an upsurge of interest in the accordion. The success of the film allegedly
resulted in the Japanese producing an accordion appropriately named the 'Paris'
model. As far as Madagascar is concerned, the accordion is very well established
in many musical genres, including religious, popular and traditional folk dance
For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Concert Successes - Lebanon
supplied by Ramsay Short, The Daily Star
and bandleader Rabin Abu Khalil has recently played two sell out concerts, to
rapturous applause, at the Temple of Bacchus, as part of the Baalbek International
Festival. Khalil, whose physical appearance and lively manner has earned him the
nickname 'Leprechaun', was making his first appearance in his native Lebanon in
five years, and followed a successful European tour. The Temple of Bacchus concert
repertoire featured most of the music from Khalil's most recent CD 'Morton's Foot'
(available via Amazon.com).
leads a band whose members and musical backgrounds are international and diverse.
Its members are Luciano Biondini (accordion), Michel Godard (tuba), Jarrod Cagwin
(drums) and Gavino Murgia (soprano saxophone & vocals). Khalil and his band
have recorded many CDs, released through the German jazz label Enja. Their eclectic
style makes their music difficult to categorise, but is certainly popular with
audiences everywhere they play.
Star reporter Ramsay Short reviewed one of the two festival concerts, and noted:
"What we heard was neither jazz nor classical oud as we know it. It was cheeky
and clever, layered and textured, and impossible to categorise: café-accordion
quaintness, contemporary jazz, Italian wedding saxophone, New Orleans tuba, and
a mix of forceful swing".
New book - '100 Years
of Hohner Accordions' - Germany
by Martin Häffner, Haik Wenzel, Petra Schramböhmer and Anselm Rössler,
this new book (with a German and English text) is a fully illustrated history
of over a hundred years of Hohner
Accordions. The book tells the story of the ups and downs of the Hohner company,
based in Trossingen, Germany. Included are the 'golden ages' of the 1920s and
1930s, the growth of accordion orchestras, and the many technical improvements
The book is lavishly illustrated with pictures of accordions
(many never previously published) together with a complete list of all the models
of accordions made by Hohner. The advertising publicity describes this book as
"A must for every accordion enthusiast".
The 100 Years of Hohner
Accordions is in hardback format, and is available from PPVMEDIEN GmbH, The book
costs 50 euros, and its ISBN number is 3-932275-78-0.
For further information
or to purchase, email HFausel@hohner.de
Festival of Irish
Music and Dance - Philadelphia, USA
On Saturday, September
18th, the 30th annual Festival of Irish Music and Dance takes place at the Monsignor
Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Philadelphia. The festival includes a wide variety
of artistes representing the best in Irish traditional music, sing and dance.
include Corner House (featuring two-row button accordionist Sean McComiskey),
Tradpole (featuring John Boyce on piano accordion & John McGroary on two-row
button accordion), father and son accordionists Kevin and John McGillian, Dezi
Donnelly - World and All-Ireland Fiddle Champion (from Manchester, England), accordionist
Brian Boyce, plus several other bands, singers and Irish step dancers.
further information, email Tom: PhilaCeiliGroup@aol.com
Gypsy Wranglers at
Quebec Accordion Festival - Canada
accordion-led band the Gypsy Wranglers have been invited to perform at the Carrefour
Mondial de l'Accordeon, Montmagny, Quebec - set for September 2nd to 6th. The
Gypsy Wranglers specialise in 1930s style swing music, and are normally resident
on Sunday lunchtimes (11am to 1pm) at the Black Sheep Deli, Kansas City
The Carrefour festival, which translated means 'World Crossroads of the Accordion',
features accordionists and bands from Canada, USA, France, Belgium, Italy, Sweden
and Ireland. The host town of Montmagny is located thirty miles east of Quebec
Craig Hollingsworth, the Gypsy Wranglers' accordionist, commented:
"Because it (the festival) is in Quebec, it has a very French orientation.
When you get to Montmagny, you know that you aren't in Kansas City anymore! It
is very French".
For more information about the Gypsy Wranglers,
Martin Lubenov Concert
accordionist Martin Lubenov has begun a series of concerts at various venues in
Austria, including Friestadt, Graz, Vienna, Straden, St Pölten and Wiez.
His tour began during August, and runs until October.
For further information
of dates and venues, contact Sabrina Schebrak, email email@example.com