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  10 December 2004This weeks news | Past News  | Send news

This Weeks News

  • The 2005 AAMS Accordion Festival, PA - USA
  • Master Classes for Accordion and Flute, Brindisi - Italy
  • New Tutor Book for Diatonic Accordions, England - UK
  • Grammy Award for Accordionist - USA
  • Wiener Tschuschenkapelle celebrates its 15th anniversary - Austria
  • The Accordionist Goes To Jail, San Francisco - USA
  • Accordions At Whitney, England - UK
  • Successful Accordion Concert, Castellon - Spain
  • Leo Aquino Cassettes on CD, Vancouver - Canada
  • Video of Scottish Accordion Variety Show, Perth - UK
  • Texan Accordionist's December Appearances - USA
  • High Profile Success for the Accordion, London - UK
  • Accordion Teacher Sought - France
  • CD Review
  • New and Updated Sites
  • A to Z of the Accordion

    The 2005 AAMS Accordion Festival, PA - USA
    Contributed by Harley Jones

    The American Accordion Musicological Society announces the AAMS 2005 Accordion Festival to be held from March 4th - 6th, 2005 at the Wyndham Valley Forge Suites Hotel in Wayne, PA. Accordion enthusiasts from the United States and Canada will gather together for a great weekend of concerts, workshops, and competitions. This year's featured performer is Betty Jo Simon (pictured) from Kansas...

    The 2005 Honoree into the AAMS Accordion Hall of Fame is Tony Ettore (right pictured), accordionist, teacher, conductor, past-president of AAA and an outstanding person. A dinner will be held in his honor on Saturday evening, March 5th. Suites have been reserved for attendees at the Wyndham Valley Forge Suites. Please make your reservations by February 12th, 2005 to guarantee the rate and availability. Package registrations and all guidelines and information concerning the weekend are available from organiser Joanna Arnold Darrow:

    Master Classes for Accordion and Flute, Brindisi - Italy
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    Master classes for accordion (tutor Ivano Battiston) and David Bellugi (flute), organised by the Centro Accademico Musicale, will take place, December 17th - 19th at the Villa Castelli, Brindisi. For further information email the CAM or

    Ivan Battistan has a very extensive list of accordion accomplishments to his credit, including winning the 1978 Trophée Mondiale, organised by the Confédération Mondiale de l'Accordéon.

    New Tutor Book for Diatonic Accordions, England - UK
    Contributed by Rob Howard

    Southport-based accordion teacher and performer George Garside is in the process of writing a comprehensive tutor book covering 2 row BC button accordions (sometimes referred to as melodeons), and will also be including comprehensive information on the BCC# 3 row button accordion (British Chromatic system) as made famous by the late Sir Jimmy Shand (pictured) and also played by English folk musician John Kirkpatrick.

    George believes that the 3 row diatonic accordion would become more popular with the availability of a good quality tutor book as it is a natural progression for BC players wanting an instrument with a 'full accordion sound'.

    It is also a more natural progression for melodeon players than a piano accordion would be. George Garside is well known for teaching workshops at folk festivals such as Sidmouth and Whitby, and is one of the few players around who are skilled performers on diatonic, Continental chromatic and piano accordions.

    Any thoughts or ideas as to what should or should not be included would be gratefully received, as would general expressions of interest that will help George Garside to test the depth of the potential market.

    For further information email

    Grammy Award for Accordionist - USA
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    Three time Grammy winner and Canada's Polka King, accordionists Walter Ostanek and Michigan's Polka Hall of Famer, Gaylord Klancnik's, new recording, POLKAS UNITED, has been nominated for Best Polka Album!

    Guest musicians on this album include:
    - Joey Schmidt who played accordion for many years with Vince Gill, Lawrence Welk, Myron Floren and currently with Joe Nichols.
    - Peter Soave, four-time world accordion champion who currently plays with symphony orchestras worldwide.
    - 'Cowboy' Jack Clement, a country music and rock n' roll legend from Nashville, plays ukulele and acoustic guitar. He is known for producing such legends as Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Pride, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others.

    For more information contact:

    Wiener Tschuschenkapelle celebrates its 15th anniversary - Austria
    Contributed by Dr. Herbert Scheibenreif of Friedrich Lips Productions

    The Wiener Tschuschenkapelle is a renowned band with extensive experience in playing live on stage, on the radio and on television, at street parties and 'mega events', both in Austria and abroad. In 2004 they celebrate their 15th birthday with a number of anniversary concerts, some of them featuring 'Old Tschuschn', former members of the Wiener Tschuschenkapelle, as guests.

    The Wiener Tschuschenkapelle makes sure that in the age of omnipresent 'World Music' the concept of multicultural music is not degraded to a bland and superficial level. Politically they stand up for a peaceful togetherness of all people, and this message is exported beyond the Austrian borders in numerous tours, including Brazil, Canada, Zimbabwe and Morocco.

    The program features traditional folk and songs of the Balkan region, Mediterranean serenades, Turkish-oriental tunes, Greek Rembetiko, Bosnian Sevdalinka, travelling as far as Russia, taking aboard one or the other Old Viennese song along the way (after all, the name is Wiener Tschuschenkapelle), experimenting with gypsy jazz, and even venturing into the classical realm.

    They have even had the honour of playing with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Vienna State Opera. Their fifth CD, 'Live... und davon', was the winner of the Annual Award of the German Music Critics in the 'Ethno, world' section. Their sixth CD entitled 'Exil', exile, has just been released. All of their six albums are a must for the expert and a delight for all lovers of Balkan music.

    Accordionist Goes To Jail, San Francisco - USA

    New York-based accordionist and organist Jon Hammond played his yearly gig at the women's prison in San Francisco, and has sent us the following report:-

    "Last night I played my annual prison show in SF County Jail Number 8 for the ladies. We had 200 inmates attending the show plus the administrative staff. A sea of orange jumpsuits! This was my 4th consecutive year to play CJ8. Special thanks to Sheriff Mike Hennessy, my musicians-Ronnie Smith Jr. (drums) and Marc Baum (tenor sax), and Maria Kozak of the local Musicians Union.

    Our program consisted of a mix of classic Christmas songs such as 'Have Yourself a Merry Christmas', 'White Christmas', 'Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer' and 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' (and you better be good!). We also played some of my original compositions including one I wrote especially for the prisoners entitled 'Soon I Will Be Free', also 'Get Back in the Groove' and 'Late Rent', from my new album. A good time was had by all during our approximately 90 minute performance. It is always a powerful experience to play for the incarcarated, one of my favorite jobs all year".


    Accordions At Whitney, England - UK

    A weekend of workshops focusing on traditional music from Scotland, England, Spain, Sweden and Ireland forms the basis of 'Accordions at Whitney', set for the 19th and 20th February 2005. For further information email

    The tutors will all be using piano accordions for this event, and are Sandy Brechin (Scottish recording artiste), Murray Grainger (graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London), Sam Pirt (folk musician), Dave Townsend (best known as a concertina player, but also a fine accordionist), and Karen Tweed (pictured), a specialist at both Irish and Scandinavian traditional music.


    Successful Accordion Concert, Castellon - Spain
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    Accordionist Angel Luis Castaño and cellist David Apellaniz were the featured soloists with the Symphony Orchestra of Valencia, for a performance of 'Seven Words', composed by Sophia Gubaidulina.

    The concert, which took place on November 30th in Castellon, attracted an audience of more than 300 people.
    Ángel Luis Castaño

    Leo Aquino Cassettes on CD, Vancouver - Canada

    Canadian concert accordionist Leo Aquino has performed in many countries during his distinguished concert career. Several years ago he recorded three cassettes, all solo performances that reflect his extensive concert repertoire.

    These cassettes have now been digitally remastered and made available on CD. On the first cassette, 10 of the 17 tracks feature compositions by Pietro Frosini e.g. 'The Carnival of Venice', 'Dizzy Accordion', 'Swedish-Italian Mazurka', and 'Olive Blossoms', plus other pieces such as 'Dance of the Comedians', 'Malaguena', and 'La Cumparsita'.

    The second tape's 14 tracks feature mainly classical works such as 'Flight of the Bumblebee', 'Claire de Lune', 'Hora Staccato', 'Wine, Women and Song', and Liszt's 'Hungarian Rhapsody No 2'.
    The third recording's 15 tracks includes pieces such as 'Anitra's Dance', 'Nola', 'Migliavacca', 'Torna A Surriento', 'Barber of Seville', 'Black and White Rag', and 'Holiday for Strings'. Six of the arrangements are by Charles Magnante. These critically acclaimed recordings, made between the 1950s to the 1970s, are now available directly from Leo Aquino.

    For further information email


    Video of Scottish Accordion Variety Show, Perth - UK

    Veteran impresario Bill Wilkie, organiser of the All-Scotland Accordion Championships in Perth since 1949 for a record-breaking 55 years, has released a video of the main Saturday evening concert at last October's festival. The profits from sales will be donated to cancer research.

    The accordionists featured in the video include the Paris-Moscow Duo (Domi Emorine and Roman Jbanov), Gordon Pattullo, John Carmichael, Alan Small (2002 All Scotland Open Solo Accordion Champion), and the Bill Wilkie Accordion Orchestra. Other artistes featured include The Caledonian Tenors, pianist John Scrimager, and the Sandra Wright and the Julie Young Show Dancers.

    For further information email

    Texan Accordionist's December Appearances - USA

    Ponty Bone, the well-travelled piano accordion player from Texas, and his band the Squeezetones, have a number of appearances scheduled for this month.

    These dates, all in Texas, include:-
    December 11th - Executive Surf Club, Corpus Christie
    17th - Evangeline Café, 8106 Brodie Lane
    23rd - Armadillo Chrstmas Bazaar, The Austin Hall
    31st - Cheatham Street Warehouse, San Marco

    Over the last two decades Ponty Bone and the Squeezetones have appeared across the USA and Europe, and have shared concert billing with artistes such as rock stars Linda Rondstadt, The Clash, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and fellow accordionist Flaco Jiminez. In fact, Flaco Jiminez has described Ponty Bone as "The real McCoy of soulful accordion playing".

    For further information email


    High Profile Success for the Accordion, London - UK
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    The following letter from Professor Owen Murray, tutor at The Royal Academy of Music, London has been published here as we feel it embodies a spirit of optimism that is good to receive as 2004 will soon give way to 2005.

    "I am now in Denmark. Hope you have received the photograph. I think it really shows just how far the accordion development has reached in England. A few years ago it would have been impossible to believe that The Royal Academy of Music would choose an accordionist (Mios Miliojevic) to play in such a high profile event at Kings College, London University, attended by HRH The Princess Royal (formerly known as Princess Anne), the Chancellor of the university and 500 distinguished guests.

    Now the accordion is involved in all the Academy's high profile concerts, composers are writing new works (over 60 to date) and everyone is very positive about the instrument, both inside and outside of the Academy. There are many concert opportunities for solo, chamber music and concerto performances. It all bodes well for 2005 and beyond".

    Congratulations to Prof. Owen Murray and all other accordion educators around the world who have worked so effectively during 2004 helping promote accordion in the worlds educational circles.

    Accordion Teacher Sought - France

    Pascal Phoedt, who lives at Sausset Les Pins, Bouches du Rhone in France, is looking for either an accordion teacher. If able to help, please email

    CD Review

    A new CD Review of Mika Väyrynen. Review by Prof. Joan Cochran Sommers


    New & Updated Sites - The December 2004 news publication is now online.

    Benetoux - Updated concert schedule for accordionist Stas Venglevski

    Gary Dahl

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