Accordions Worldwide
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The Squeeze
31st October 1997

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Editors note:
After a week's holiday, then a frantic week back keeping Accordions Worldwide in order, I'm now off for the weekend as the organiser of an accordion camp. Fortunately, the weather is going to be very kind and everything is in place for a fun weekend!

Wayne Knights

This weeks titles:

  • Art Van Damme Rouses the Audience at the "Città Di Castelfidardo"
  • 2nd "Gold Cup" Accordion Competition – China
  • Accordion Orchestra Competition "Premio Ciudad De Irun" – Spain
  • Accordionist Guy Klucevsek performs in Milwaukee, USA
  • Emanuele Rastelli Tours Switzerland and Norway
  • Leyland Accordion Club – England
  • October meeting of the San Francisco Bay Area Accordion Club - USA
  • Cajun Music Day - The Netherlands
  • '97 International TV Festival - China
  • Accordion Goes Underground – Canada
  • Accordion Concert in Trieste, Italy
  • Zydeco music and the Accordion - UK
  • Bay Area Concertina concert - San Francisco, USA
  • Accordion Light Music Concert in St Petersburg, Russia
  • Hibiscus Coast Accordion Orchestra Performance - New Zealand
  • Klaus Paier plays Astor Piazzolla Tango on CD
  • Performance of Victorian Concertina Classical Music - USA


    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    One of the all-time great jazz accordionists, Art Van Damme chose Castelfidardo and its 22nd International Competition and Prize for Accordionists to bring his long and outstanding artistic career to an end, during which he collaborated with great names of jazz music such as Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Dizzy Gillespie.

    This was a unique chance for all his fans to see him play with some of the most important Italian jazzmen: Augusto Mancinelli (guitar), Massimo Manzi (drums) and Stefano Travaglini (bass). He performed some of his classics, stirring the audience with the originality of his style and with his gigantic artistic presence.

    Afterwards young Italian and foreign artists performed to celebrate and thank Van Damme for his lifetime work. These young artists were: Luciano Biondini (who performed melodic jazz), Renzo Ruggieri (who played his own composition of rhythmic jazz and some contemporary jazz), Simone Zanchini (who roused the audience with standard swings of great effect), Emanuele Rastelli (who demonstrated his virtuosic style with a genre which was between swing and French musette). Peter Soave (who performed in the unusual role as a jazz player), used standard but refined harmonies as a result of his great experience as a classical player and Mario Balestra and Stanley Kloskowski brought a breath of tradition to the entire evening.

    The evening concluded with a jam session where all the participants played "All of Me" together as a farewell to the dignified artist. As the show ended all the audience gave a standing ovation.


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    From November 15th to 16th, the 2nd "Gold Cup" Accordion Competition will be held in Wuhan Dongxihu Vocational School in Wuhan City (Hubei province).

    This competition is sponsored by Hubei Musicans' Association and Hubei Accordion Association. The preliminary contest will be held on the 15th, and the final on the 16th. The competition consists of both solo and orchestra sections. The categories are as follows:

    • 6 years and under
    • 9 years and under
    • 13 years and under
    • 17 years and under
    • 18 years and over

    Each contestant will play their own choice of music. There are expected to be well over 200 contestants participating.


    Contributed by Iñaki Añorga

    The competition for accordion ensembles and orchestras "Premio Ciudad De Irun" took place from October 9th to 12th in Irun, Spain.

    The competition was divided into two main categories; ensemble (6 to 11 players) and orchestra (12 players and more).

    This competition was held for the second time this year, with national ensembles and orchestras participating. The event was organised by the Cultural Association for Accordion Ensembles and Orchestras of Irun A.C.I.O.G.A. and the winners were awarded a total of 620.000 Pesetas of prize money.


    Ensembles in the middle category (1st was not awarded):

    • 2nd - Axular Musika Eskolako Akordeoi Orkestra
      Conductor: José Manuel Otermin
    Ensembles in the superior category:
    • 1st - Grupo Alai
      Conductor: Agustín Santano

    Orchestras in the middle category:

    • 1st - Aretxabaletako Akordeoi Orkestra
      Conductor: Luis Mª Elkorobarrutia

    Orchestras in the honours category (1st and 2nd were not awarded):

    • 3rd - Orquesta Navarra de acordeones
      Conductor: Miguel Angel Aragón


    Contributed by Guy Klucevsek

    On October 11th, Guy Klucevsek performed a solo concert at Woodland Pattern Book Centre, Milwaukee, USA. Pieces included some of his own compositions such as "Altered Landscapes," (a score for which he was awarded a 1995 New York Dance and Performance Award), "Samba D Hiccup" and "Accordion Misdemeanors" (music he wrote for the audio book version of E. Annie Proulx's novel, "Accordion Crimes," and for which he received a "Listen Up Award" for "Best Original Score of 1996 from Publishers Weekly).

    Klucevsek also performed several pieces he has commissioned plus his arrangements of music by Swedish accordionist and multi-instrumentalist Lars Hollmer, Seattle accordionist and multi-instrumentalist Amy Denio, and Burt Bacharach.

    The concert was reviewed by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, in which critic Tom Strini wrote: "Composer-accordionist Guy Klucevsek is a musical Orient Express. Saturday night, Klucevsek took an audience of 75, (packed into the steamy back room of Woodland Pattern Book Centre) on wild rides in such pieces as his "Altered Landscapes," "Accordion Misdemeanors" and even a suite of Burt Bacharach tunes. He is a brilliant mimic of ethnic styles, but that's not the point. The point is the fantastical mutation of ideas as they pass through the ethnic prisms. The point is the glorious richness of harmonic invention. The point is the staggeringly complex layered meters. that result when he starts dropping or adding beats to that familiar oompah in the left hand. Klucevsek is an accordion virtuoso. His speed and accuracy astound, but more important is the finely controlled bellows. That's the source of his subtle dynamics and accents. He brings such character and fullness to the phrase, in his own music and that of others. Klucevsek made that thing breathe!"


    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    Accordionist Emanuele Rastelli (from San Marino, Italy) gave some important concerts in Switzerland and Norway during October. He was a special guest at the Musette International Festival in Val d'Ille (Switzerland), being the first Italian accordionist to be invited to this event. There were other international musicians performing also such as Jean Corti, Eric Bouvelle and Alain Musichini.

    Rastelli then performed at the famous Greeghall Theatre in Bergen, Norway, which is one of the most important theatres in the country, followed by concerts at numerous accordion clubs in Norway.

    On October 28th, Rastelli performed his final concert at Jolster (which was the venue of an international meeting) which was broadcast live on TV.


    Contributed by David Batty.

    The Leyland Accordion Club meet at Southport Road, Croston, near Leyland, Lancashire on the second Wednesday in each month.

    Every meeting from 7 to 8pm, an accordion workshop is available for anyone needing help. From 8pm onwards they listen to anyone who would like to play. All levels of player are welcome as well as listeners who just enjoy meeting a nice crowd and hearing some good music.

    The club have now moved to new premises at the above address and will be holding their opening night on Friday November 14th, with guest accordionist Steve Roxton from Jersey (who is also the President of Les amis de l'Accordeon de Jersey and leader of the Jersey Accordion Band).

    For further information please phone David Batty: +44 1772 454328


    Contributed by Bob Berta

    The October meeting of the San Francisco Bay Area Accordion Club featured guest accordionists from Norway and Puerto Rico as well as long time favourite of the BAAC, Sev Garcia. Sev has a different way of utilising a synthesiser. He prearranges complex arrangements on his MIDI sequencer and then performs on acoustic accordion with the accompaniment of the electronic "orchestra". This is sort of a Karaoke without words. His selections included "Mozart's Been Around" a paraphrase of "Turkish March", "Organ Sonata No. 15K.336 with String Orchestra" by Mozart, "Take 5" by Paul Desmond and "Anitra's Dance" by Edvard Grieg, which was chosen in honour of the visiting featured artists from Norway.

    The next guest artist was Roberto Rosa from Puerto Rico.. He is a MIDI accordionist who had installed the MIDI conversion and microphone system in his accordion himself. Roberto plays everything from South American dance tunes, light pop, French, name it. His arrangements are wonderful, particularly his version of "Czardas" and an Argentine Tango.

    Our featured group the "New Dehli and Knerten Band" came all the way from Norway with accordionists Sigmund Dehli (Norwegian accordion champion) and Eddy Knerten Lyshaug (champion on the two row button box) along with Tiit Kikas on the violin. The group provided very spirited music that was enjoyed by the audience and several Norwegian dance aficionado's who demonstrated folk dancing. Tunes included "Boroligalloppen", "Valsen til Liv" and "Trettendags Snoa".

    The meeting ended early to allow for a unique first time event at BAAC. Sev Garcia provided an hour-long workshop entitled "Overcoming Stage Fright". Sev was not expecting more than a handful of people to participate in the workshop but was surprised and delighted to have over 30 participants. The class was very well received and expertly done. Sev's fine teaching technique (he is a retired college professor), demonstrations and overhead transparencies made for an effective presentation and many people remarked that they thought it was excellent. After the meeting Sev volunteered for future classes on subjects like "How to Practice" and "How to Memorise a Tune".


    Contributed by Ad Kwakernaat, Diatonisch Nieuwsblad

    On Saturday November 15th the Winterswijk School of Music has organised a day especially for Cajun music. A melodeon workshop will be held for beginners to advanced players. The day starts at 9am. For further information phone Arjan Eeltink: + 31 06 - 54227825.


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    From October 28th to 31st, the '97 International TV Festival was held in Chengdu (Sichuan province). This festival is the fourth international TV festival. At the Opening Ceremony, over 1200 children (aged 7 to 15 years old) performed together as an orchestra on the big stage of Chengdu's Music Square. Among the performers there were about 500 accordionists, 300 violinists, and 400 Chinese traditional musical instrument players.

    Their performance was a grand program during the Opening Ceremony of the Festival, and was broadcast live over TV and radio.


    Contributed by Domenic "the Accordion Beatles guy" Amatucci

    From October 8th, Domenic "the Accordion Beatles guy" Amatucci has been playing down in the Toronto subways! So far he has given 5 performances. One inebriated woman tried singing along to Joan Osborne's "One of Us", but she eventually left.

    Domenic says "It seems that people enjoy hearing non-traditional music coming out of the squeezebox! Younger children especially seem fascinated. One little boy of around 4 years of age, made his mommy stop while he watched. She gave him a "loonie" (dollar coin) to put in my case, then he went back to stand with her at the opposite wall to watch and listen. He wouldn't let her leave until I finished the song, at which point he applauded, then waved goodbye!"

    "By and large, it's a great experience, one that I consider worthwhile, a lot of fun, and rewarding in many ways."


    Contributed by Marsell Marinsek

    On Tuesday November 18th a concert will be held at the Antico Caffe San Marco, via Battisti 18, Trieste, Italy at 9pm. Accordionist Marsell Marinsek will play jazz and popular music including Blue Moon, Girl from Ippanema (A.C. Jobim), All of Me, Caravan (D. Ellington), I Got Rhythm (G. Gershwin), Tango della Gelosia, Summer Time (G. Gershwin), Autumn Leaves and many others. Everyone is welcome to attend. Pianist Manuel Tomadin will also be performing.


    The United Kingdom newspaper "Scotsman" recently featured an article on zydeco music and the man who they believe not only christened but effectively invented the genre, Clifton Chenier. The article states "Zydeco consists of "a little jazz, a little blues, a little French and a little rhythm 'n' blues, all mixed together" - a blend both pioneered and popularised by Chenier during his 40-year career, featuring driving accordion tunes and blues-style vocals. Chenier died in 1987, but by then the torch had been safely passed to his son, CJ Chenier, widely dubbed "the crown prince of zydeco", who arrived in Scotland in early October for shows in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

    In his decade at the helm of his father's legendary backing outfit, the Red Hot Louisiana Band, and with the addition of a brass section - the White Trash Horns - reflecting his formidable talents on saxophone as well as accordion, Chenier Jr has continued to push at zydeco's robustly elastic musical boundaries, seasoning its already spicy concoction with liberal dashes of soul, funk and jazz. It's a route that's taken him - and zydeco - to unprecedented mainstream success, with feature coverage in Billboard, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, as well as on CNN and Entertainment Weekly, guest spots on albums by Paul Simon and the Gin Blossoms and numerous awards."


    On Sunday November 2nd at 7.30pm at the Noe Valley Ministry, San Francisco, a concertina concert will be held featuring "5 Time All-Ireland Concertina Champion" Gearoid O'Hallmhurain, along with violinist Patrick Ourceau and special guest, singer/songwriter Robbie O'Connell.

    They will also be performing on Wednesday November 5th at the Santa Cruz Kuumbwa Jazz Center.

    This is the first time they have performed together in Northern California, although Gearoid has performed solo at many Irish festivals and workshops in the USA.


    Contributed by Vladimir A. Ushakov

    On October 22nd in St Petersburg (Russia) the St Petersburg Musette Ensemble performed a concert in the Chamber Concert Hall of St Petersburg Capella. The ensemble presented an evening of light music for the accordion to an audience of over 300. The first part of the programme consisted of music by Astor Piazzolla (Oblivion and Libertango), Richard Galliano (La valse a Margaux) and some of the ensemble arrangements (Medley of Ives Montand songs and own compositions). The second part consisted of lighter music such as folk music arranged in musette style, valses-musette, polkas (Fliegende Blatter), swing (Rhytmes gitanes) and traditional jazz standards (I got Rhythm).

    Group members play piano accordion, button accordion, electric guitar, bass guitar and drums.

    The concert was held prior to the annual St Petersburg International accordion festival which started on October 24th and featured styles of accordion music which are not well known in Russia yet. The concert was dedicated to the presentation of two CD's by the group which were released last summer in Germany by Sonopress (from BMG): "Boulevards of Paris" (1995) and "La Plaza de Granada" (1996)

    For further information on these CD's please email:


    Contributed by Christine Adams

    On Sunday October 19th, the Hibiscus Coast Accordion Orchestra performed to residents of the Torbay Retirement Village. The orchestra consists of accordionists aged from 6 years old to 40+, and a 12 year old guitarist. The Village residents enjoyed an afternoon of solos and orchestra pieces.


    Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

    Argentine bandoneonist Astor Piazzolla brilliantly combines the genius of traditional tango with elements of neoclassicism, jazz and avant-garde, thus creating a new style - the Tango Nuevo. His music was accepted enthusiastically by the public and even inspired artists devoted to classical music to compose their own interpretations.

    Klaus Paier studied accordion music with Rudolf Pillich at the conservatory in Klagenfurt (Carinthia) where he also qualified as teacher in 1989. In 1993 he founded his "Accordion Project" winning the international contest in Castelfidardo (jazz category) in 1994 and 1995. Inspired by successful performances in concert he produced his first CD "Accordion Project" (Impressions) in 1994. Now Klaus Paier presents himself for the first time on a solo CD with his interpretations of Piazzolla tangos showing all his musical virtues: an excellent feeling for improvisation and spontaneity as well as outstanding intuitional understanding. The programme on this CD consists of the following tangos: Tango III, Oblivion, Fuga 9, Homenaje a Cordoba, Divertimento 9, Asleep, Fear, Chiquilin de Bachin, Invierno Porteno, Tango for Astor. All compositions are by Astor Piazzolla except Tango for Astor which is by Klaus Paier.


    Contributed by Otto Smith

    On November 8th, residents of Jefferson county in Washington State, USA, will have the opportunity to hear a 100 year old concertina concerto. This is the Molique First Concerto in G for concertina and orchestra at the Chimicum High School auditorium. It will be performed by concertinist Otto Smith. Admission is free.

    The piece was written for the English System concertina by Bernard Molique (a well known 19th century British composer) and has never been recorded. It is unlikely that this opportunity will occur again.

    Otto Smith is probably better known as a contra dance musician than as a classical concertinist. He started playing the instrument in 1979 as a folk instrument, later learning about its more pedigreed past, although from the beginning he adapted a wide variety of music to the instrument including classical compositions.

    The instrument he plays is an English System Concertina which was built by Colin Dipper, a modern English maker from an area just outside London.

    Email to the Editor:

    This site is perfect !!! I´ve never seen nothing like this!! We would like very much to play in foreign countries...if there is such possibility ! Our members are national champions and have participated several times in the C.M.A. Championship.

    Armando Claro da Fonseca

    Member of Orquestra de Acordeãos Semibreve

    Thank you for your kind comments! I'm glad you are enjoying the site. We will have your band listed in the Accordion Yellow Pages very soon.

    Best wishes,

    Wayne Knights
    Accordions Worldwide

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