Accordions Worldwide
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weekly news
The Squeeze
8th August 1997

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Editors note:
From various emails I receive during the course of my work, it appears as though there is still some negativity in certain countries toward the accordion. Some of this comes from accordionists themselves! Surely if we portray a negative image, this will come across in our performances and the impression we leave with non-accordionists. The more positive you are about our beloved instrument, the more it will rub off on others around you! It works!

Wayne Knights

Emails to the Editor

This weeks titles:

  • Myron Floren takes Time Out
  • Accordion in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Elvis Presley Played the Accordion Too
  • Four Winners on TV Show "Children's Club" – China
  • American Accordionists' Association Weekend Masterclass & Concerts
  • Jim Boggio Memorial Concerts – USA
  • 4th Premio Nazionale Cittā Di Capistrello – Italy
  • Accordionist Featured in Symphony Orchestra - New Zealand
  • New Accordion CD by Oleg Sharov
  • Accordion Seminar in Bilbao - Spain
  • Jorgen Sundeqvist Guest Performer in USA
  • Accordion Performance at Wedding in Iceland
  • Japanese Tex-Mex Band Feature at Festival in San Antonio – USA
  • Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration, USA
  • 1997 AFNA Festival, California, USA
  • Accordion Performance on Father's Day in China
  • Incredible Afternoon of Accordion Entertainment - USA
  • "Those Darn Accordions" in USA
  • Leavenworth Accordion Celebration, USA


    Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of the American Accordionists' Association

    After a very hectic playing schedule since the beginning of the year, accordion celebrity Myron Floren felt too tired to conduct at a recent Welk musical family reunion in St. Louis, Missouri, giving rise to rumors about his health.

    After talking to Myron, he tells us that he will be taking it easy for a little while, but plans to be back in full swing very shortly following his August vacation. Floren is one of the most active accordionists in the world, scheduling at least 150 concert appearances annually, year after year.


    Contributed by Knut Brede

    The accordion is not widely used in Kuala Lumpur, apart from being heard in traditional Malaysian tunes.

    Accordionist Knut Brede has entertained at events arranged by the Scandinavian Accordion Association. The latest occasion was at the annual spring ball where he had the opportunity of playing with some musicians from a Swedish big band (Kustbandet) visiting Kuala Lumpur, as they were hired to take care of the dance music.

    Together with a Swedish guitarist/singer he also appeared for a few days at the opening of the first IKEA store in Malaysia a year ago. From the audience reaction, it seems as though the accordion potentially could be very popular; all that is needed, is someone to start teaching!


    Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of the American Accordionists' Association

    The July 31st edition of the popular German magazine Stern, featured a cover story about Elvis, titled "20 years after the death of the King of Rock'n'Roll." The article includes a picture of the young Presley wearing an accordion, captioned, "He sometimes played an accordion for his fans."


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    On August 2nd at 6.00pm, reporters of Sichuan TV Station "Channel 2" interviewed four children from the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in Chengdu city. They are four young accordion students of Professor Wu Shouzhi, Wang Mingxi, Bai Tao, Luo Lingla and Man Xing, and won prizes at the American Accordionists' Association Festival & Competition held in Washington D.C. in July.

    This is the first time the children have won prizes at an accordion competition in America. After the interview, the four children were invited to perform on the TV Show "Children's Club", a popular TV program in Sichuan province. They performed their competition pieces.


    Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of the American Accordionists' Association

    An exciting accordion event spanning three consecutive days from August 29th to 31st, will be held at the Tenri Cultural Institute at 575 Broadway, Soho, in New York City, titled Bach!/Vegas!/Dog! The aura of the accordion. A series of seminars, workshops, lectures, discussions and concert performances will take place, presenting the insights and talents of many accordion luminaries, moderated by accordionist-composer Dr William Schimmel. The American Accordionists' Association presents this annual event as a service to the accordion community.

    The three-day session including evening concerts costs U.S.$65. A single full-day session plus the evening concert is $25; single full-day session is only $15; single evening concerts are $15 each. To participate, a reservation should be made by phoning: + 1 212 876 0827 or send cheque or credit card information to American Accordionists' Association, P.O.Box 608, Mineola, NY 11501, USA.


    Contributed by Blair Hardman

    At the Tradewinds and the historic Inn of the Beginning, in downtown Cotati a concert will be held on Sunday August 17th from 7 to 11.30pm. This wild evening of music in downtown Cotati will raise additional funds for the Jim Boggio statue. 25 bands will play in one night at two clubs.

    As you may know, Jim Boggio passed away on November 6th 1996. Jim was a co-founder of the Cotati Accordion Festival and appeared in numerous radio and TV commercials.

    This may be the only bronze statue of an accordionist in the world, and will be installed in La Plaza Park, Cotati. Another $8,000 needs to be raised so that we can have it erected by August 23rd, in time for the Cotati Accordion Festival.

    For further information see Future Events.


    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    On August 9th, the 4th Premio Nazionale Cittā di Capistrello for Soloists and accordion groups will be held in the city of Capistrello, Italy. Special guests include the Orchestra Sinfonica di Avezzano directed by Andrea Di Mele, Massimiliano Pitocco on bandoneon, accordionist Luca Fabrizi and the "Novitango" accordion quartet.

    The President of the Jury will be Mr Paolo Picchio, with artistic directors Mr Carmine di Maro and Professor Claudio Torres. For further information see Future Events.


    Contributed by Harley Jones

    Along with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra is the only other fully professional Symphony Orchestra in New Zealand. During the past week, they have been performing music to the 1921 classic silent movie "The 4 Horses of the Apocalypse", about the life of a Tango instructor (actor Rudolf Valentino).

    Under the baton of Sir William Southgate, the orchestra performs through the entire movie. Throughout, their timing has to be exact, to combine with the movie, which certainly kept the conductor and orchestra on their toes!

    A standout feature was accordionist Tatiana Lanchtchikova. As well as being a vital part of the orchestra, on many occasions she performed solo, which was extremely well received by the sellout audiences, which averaged over 1,500 a night.


    Contributed by Tatiana Lanchtchikova

    A new accordion CD, "From Barocco to Jazz", was released by Professor Oleg Sharov at the Sabonou-Productions-Case75 in Switzerland. Oleg Sharov is a concert accordionist, teacher, and head of the Accordion Department of the St. Petersburg Conservatory (Russia). CD tracks include a range of works from Bach to Fancelli.

    Oleg Sharov is also the organiser of two International Accordion Festivals, "Baltica Harmonika", which were held in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is currently organising the next Festival, which will be held in spring 1998.


    Contributed by Angel Luis Castaņo

    During July in Bilbao, Spain an accordion seminar was organised by the Basque Country Government. The subject was " The Accordion Pedagogy", which was taught by Patrick Busseuil (French Composer) and Angel Luis Castaņo (Spanish Concert Artist). It was attended by 40 accordion teachers from conservatories of the Basque Country area. They also presented several new CDs of original accordion music by P. Busseuil, and recordings by accordionists Max Bonnay and Angel Luis Castaņo.


    Contributed by Marian Kelly from Bay Area Accordion Club

    Guest performer Jorgen Sundeqvist played at a meeting of the Bay Area Accordion Club held on August 4th. He also performed at an accordion camp last week in Silver Falls, Oregon (Galla-Rini camp) which was organised by John and Ellen Bonica. Next month on September 8th, the Bay Area Accordion Club will host Russian accordionists Viatcheslav and Natasha Semionov as well as American accordionist Robert Sattler.


    Contributed by Thorsteinn R. Thorsteinsson

    On Saturday August 2nd an accordionist performed at a wedding in Iceland. The wedding was held at an accordion weekend in Thrastaskogur where many Icelandic accordionists and friends come together, as they have done for the last 5 years.

    As there is a shortage of accordion teachers and music books in Iceland, the Icelandic Accordion Union (S.Í.H.U.) have a goal to work in collaboration with people in the music field, to make materials available for the purpose of accordion tuition.


    Contributed by Kenji Katsube

    The Japanese Tex-Mex band Los Gatos were featured players at the 16th annual Texas Conjunto Festival in San Antonio in May this year. This is the third year that they have performed to an audience of about 50,000. Band member and accordionist Kenji Katsube is a native of Osaka, Japan.


    Contributed by Tom Collins

    The small, quaint mining village of Philipsburg in Western Montana became the site for the first Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration on August 1st and 2nd. Over 300 accordionists (town population 925) assembled in this picturesque community for a weekend of total devotion to the world of reeds and bellows. The main town street was blocked so the bevy of "twinkle-toes" could dance from the first accordion sound early in the morning until the streetlights went out well after dark. On both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the crowd assembled in the renovated MacDonald Opera House for a marvelous concert presented by top accordion artists, Lindy Kao from Chicago, and Bonnie Birch from Seattle. It is hopefully anticipated that this will become an annual event.


    Contributed by Claire Luceno and Faithe Deffner

    The Hyatt Regency Hotel in Long Beach, California will host the 42nd annual festival of the Accordion Federation of North America from August 20th to 24th. This event is being held in memory of Julio Giulietti, who passed away last year. It has been expanded to include a competition for a number of different musical instruments and dance studios, in addition to accordion activities. The current President is Madeleine d'Ablaing.

    AFNA also offers pageants featuring king, queen, prince and princess titles in many categories. This year, several workshops have been arranged under the guidance of past-president Larry Pino. For information phone AFNA headquarters at +1 213 686 1769.


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    On August 8th at 10.00am, in Nantong, in the Jiangsu province, a children's concert will be held in the Nantong Art Centre to celebrate Father's Day. With more than 400 children performing, approximately 80 of these children (7 to 16 years old) will play in an accordion orchestra, performing: "Red Star's Song" and "Yellow River".


    Contributed by Geoff Levear of the Rose City Accordion Club

    Those at the July meeting of the Rose City Accordion Club, USA were honoured, amused, entertained, and enlightened, by Anthony Galla-Rini. He is a gracious, unpretentious, 93 years young man, whose understanding of our instrument is second to none.

    After demonstrating his own prowess with a variety of pieces, he took time to visit and converse with everyone who wanted to talk with him. After the break, he gave everyone the benefit of his wisdom and experience in response to questions from the members.

    This could have been the end of a wonderful afternoon, but then John Simkus arrived from Chicago. John is the President of the Chicago Accordion Club and also a member of the Rose City Accordion Club. He entertained us with his style of jazz.

    Just when people were thinking it couldn't get any better than this, it did, with the arrival of Jorgen Sundiqvist from Sweden, who gave a sample of his wonderful talent.

    Everyone who stayed for the whole afternoon had to pinch themselves on the way home to make sure this was not a dream!


    Contributed By Paul Rogers

    "Those Darn Accordions" have a busy schedule over the next week. Friday August 8th sees them performing at the Berbati's Pan in Portland, Oregon at 10.00pm. Saturday they move onto Seattle for a show at The Crocodile Cafe at 11pm. These are two places they love to play at because the crowds have a great time! Sunday 10th they head to Corvalis, Oregon for a show at the "The Peacock" club. Tuesday 12th they perform with polka accordionist Weird Al Yankovich at the Lane County Fair in Eugene.


    Contributed by Tom Collins

    The Leavenworth Accordion Celebration is from August 7th to 10th, the fourth year of this prestigious new event. Besides a complete range of accordion competitions, there will be ongoing entertainment in the town Platzl, with formal evening concerts in the high school auditorium. For details contact Anne Koenig, Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 327, Leavenworth, WA 98826, USA. Phone: + 1 509 548 5807 or FAX: + 1 509 548 1014


    Subject: Accordion findings

    The problem of declining interest in accordion music in this country caught my interest when I read in a local newspaper that there is no interest among young people to learn playing the accordion.

    I began to talk to some middle age people, their parents whom I knew, and those who quit learning the accordion for various reasons.

    My findings are as follows:
    (lists here)

    Walter Derlukiewicz

    Certainly interesting reading Walter! What country are you from? I know that here in New Zealand we sometimes have this problem, but I think the accordion is making a huge comeback on a worldwide scale, and I think some of the main reasons for this are there ARE "cool" accordion players out there. Accordion is also being used in many styles of music now, not just classical, but jazz, Irish bands, rock bands, etc.....

    We have to be more positive about the instrument and promote the positive aspects it brings to our lives. See Editors Note for further comment


    Wayne Knights
    Accordions Worldwide

    Subject: Recordings list

    Are most or all of the recordings in the list still available? If so how can we obtain or enquire of them?

    Thank You

    Albert J. Hartka

    Within the next few weeks, we will have a new column in this section, titled "Available From". This will list the sellers of the recording, with a link to their site, which will have all the ordering information, etc.

    In the meantime, are there any recordings that were of particular interest, or just a general inquiry?

    Wayne Knights
    Accordions Worldwide

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