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27 August 2004This weeks news | Past News  | Send news
Gary Dahl

This Weeks News

  • Death of Eddie Chavez, Texas - USA
  • Jean Marc Fabiano in Indonesia - France, Indonesia
  • International Stars at Pakefield Accordion Festival - UK
  • Accordion Festival, Chapiteau Grand Soufflet, Brittany - France
  • Lebanese 'Leprechaun' concert successes - Lebanon
  • New book - '100 Years of Hohner Accordions' - Germany
  • Greek Dancing & Accordion Music, San Francisco - USA
  • Accordion Competitions Coming Up - China
  • Guy Klucevsek & Alan Bern in Concert - Germany
  • Festival of Irish Music & Dance, Philadelphia - USA
  • Gypsy Wranglers at Quebec Accordion Festival - Canada
  • Martin Lubenov Concert - Austria
  • Jin Wei Concert in Nanjing - China
  • Quote of the Week
  • CD Review
  • New and Updated Sites
  • A to Z of the Accordion

    Death of Eddie Chavez, Texas - USA
    Contributed 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.

    Eddie 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.

    Eddie 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 Site.



    Jean Marc Fabiano in Indonesia - France, Indonesia
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampi

    French accordionist, professor at the conservatory, conductor Jean Marc Fabiano is on a concert tour of Indonesia during the months of August and September, in a trio with Patrick Zygmanowski (piano) and David Zambon (tuba). Their itinerary includes a series of master classes and concerts about the music of Astor Piazzolla.

    For further information, email


    International Stars at Pakefield Accordion Festival - UK
    Contributed by Rob Howard

    Italy's 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.

    Activities 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.


    Accordion Festival, Chapiteau Grand Soufflet, Brittany - France
    Contributed by Sebastien Pifre

    The 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 music.

    For further information, email


    Lebanese 'Leprechaun' Concert Successes - Lebanon
    Information supplied by Ramsay Short, The Daily Star

    Flautist, composer 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

    Khalil 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.

    Daily 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".


    Sem Accordions France

    New book - '100 Years of Hohner Accordions' - Germany

    Co-authored 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 to instruments.

    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

    Greek Dancing and Accordion Music, San Francisco - USA
    Information supplied by Mary Ann Karonis and Joyce Clyde

    On September 13th, 8pm, an evening of Greek music and dancing is to be held at Fort Mason Center, Building C, Room 362, San Francisco. This is an opportunity to dance to live Greek music. The musicians and vocalists include Dan Ziagos on accordion.

    For further information, email

    Ángel Luis Castaño

    Accordion Competitions Coming Up - China
    Contributed by Lian Jones of Accordion House

    The Chinese Musician's Society Accordion Association, Qingdao Letciture Art Union and Qingdao Accordion Association are organizing two big accordion events in Qingdao City, Shandong Province from 2nd to 5th Oct, 2004. They are the 1st China National Accordion Show Competition and 2004 National Youth Accordion Solo Competition.

    The aim of the competitions is to encourage accordionists to develop stage performance skills, to promote creativity, and also to provide a platform to discover new talent. Two sets of different music programs are required for the 1st and final competitions. As a result of popular demand, a solo competition for junior class of 13 years and under has been added this year. The closing date for entries is 10th September.

    For further information, email

    Guy Klucevsek and Alan Bern in Concert - Germany

    Accordionists Guy Klucevsek and Alan Bern are together in concert at the Niedersächsiche Musiktage, Hanover, Germany, from September 24th to 26th.

    Their programme will feature selections from their recent CD 'Accordance'.

    For more information, email



    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.

    Guest artistes 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.

    For further information, email Tom:


    Gypsy Wranglers at Quebec Accordion Festival - Canada

    US 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 City.

    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, email


    A to Z of the Accordion

    Martin Lubenov Concert - Austria

    Classical 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

    Jin Wei Concert in Nanjing - China
    Contributed by Lian Jones of Accordion House

    The concert by Jin Wei and her accordion students' took place at the Music Hall of Nanjing Cultural Art Centre at the end of July. Her solo concert program included 'The Grape's Ripe' and 'Malaguena'. Jin is a well-known young accordion artiste in China. She first started to learn the accordion with Liu Kun at the age of five, and later studied with Cao Hengqin, Guan Keya and Jiang Guihe. She competed at the International Accordion Competition in Kansas City, USA, in 1995, with sponsorship from a famous Chinese singer, Li Shuangjiang, and won her class in that competition.

    For further information, e-mail


    Quote of the Week

    Teaching Quote of the Week Edited by Willoughby Walshe

    "Strive for a natural hand position where the back of the hand and forearm form one line."

    Find out More…The Art of Bayan Playing or Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips.


    CD Review

    A new CD by Chango Spasiuk titled "The Charme of Chamamé". Review done by Musicologist, Paolo Picchio.


    New & Updated Sites

    Celebrity Interview of Renzo Ruggieri by Sergej Tchirkov - information and performance dates of concert artist Peter Soave. World renowned concert artist performing with symphony orchestras. Adjunct Associate Professor of Accordion, Bandoneón and Bayan at Detroit's Wayne State University. - updated information and concert dates for Lorenzo Munari, accordion performer, teacher, composer and conductor.

    Rob Howard new site advertising his book 'A to Z of the Accordion and Related Instruments'


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