Accordions Worldwide
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The Squeeze
12th December 1997

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Editors note:

This is our second to last news for 1997. What a year it has been! Certainly from my point of view, interest in the accordion is on the rise, with many more listings here than I ever thought possible at this stage, but it's been fun keeping up! We hope you have enjoyed reading the news, and if you have anything to contribute, please simply email it to me!

Wayne Knights

This weeks titles:

  • Accordion is Prominent Entertainment at Disneyworld - USA
  • Paul Marchetti Retires - France
  • Accordionist Features on TV Program "Art River" - China
  • Orchestras Perform at Auckland Zoo - New Zealand
  • Singer Luis Miguel and Accordion Music - Mexico
  • Renzo Ruggieri in Concert in Montrèal, Canada
  • Accordion Ensemble in Osaka - Japan
  • A.P.H Finals in Saint-Michel Sur Orges - France
  • Successful Pledgeathon for Public TV - USA
  • Friedrich Lips Performs in Russia
  • Accordion Music at the "Zwiebel", Radebeul, Germany
  • College Offers Course in Free-Reed Instruments - USA
  • Accordionist "Folkie" Represents Scotland
  • 2nd Chinese Peasants' Festival in Yiwu - China
  • Those Darn Accordions - USA
  • Squeezinart Announces New Web Site
  • Accordion Featured in Candye Kane Hit - USA
  • New Zealand Accordionists Busy During the Festive Season


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

    Epcot Center and Disneyworld are beehives of accordion activity. Just this past weekend, the accordion brought extra delight to audiences when a young couple rented the French Pavilion for their wedding and hired accordionist Vince Aleandri to play at the festivities and while the wedding party was boated back and forth to Disney's Boardwalk Hotel.

    Aleandri is a Disneyworld regular who plays daily at the Italian Pavilion and also with a quartet of opera singers outside in the Piazza, as well as at Alfredo's Restaurant, an Epcot landmark. Other accordionists who entertain at the world famous amusement park are Joe Oberaitis at the German Pavilion, George "Butch" Kresovich who plays throughout the Promenade, Darek Grabowski performing with Gypsy and Dixieland groups, Jim Horzen at the German Pavilion, Dan Witucki and Daven Skrzynski whose accordions are heard throughout the park. The Disney folks apparently love the accordion.

    In 1985 when the American Accordionists' Association held its annual festival in Orlando, Florida, collaborative efforts with Disney led to numerous accordion bands performing daily at Epcot Center and Disney Village. At the same time the city's Mayor Frederick declared Orlando "Accordion City" for the festival week and Disney premiered Carmine Coppola's Concerto for Accordion and Orchestra in an exciting evening concert featuring the Disney Park Orchestra and soloist Donald Hulme.


    Contributed by Frédéric Deschamps

    After 25 years of loyal service to the A.P.H, Paul Marchetti, A.P.H director and a past accordionist with the Ballets Nationaux (National Ballet), has just gone into well-deserved retirement. All French accordionists who participated in the qualifying rounds for the Coupe Mondiale will know him as he was also the general secretary for C.N.F.A (the organisation who arranged the French qualifying rounds). The A.P.H teachers presented a superb trip to Italy for him and his spouse as thanks for his efficiency, his talents as a co-ordinator and his kindness.

    The Hohner company gave him a "Prestige IV" accordion. Paul Marchetti was also named as an honorary member of the A.P.H "ad vitam".


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    Mr Zhu Chunshen, a professional accordion performer and a private accordion teacher in Chengdu, is going to perform on Sichuan TV 2's prime time programme "Art River" on December 14th at 7:30 pm.

    It is estimated that there will be over 200,000 people watching his performance.


    Contributed by Christine Adams

    On December 6th the North Shore Novice, Junior, Music Maker and Accordiana Orchestras performed at the Auckland Zoo. This performance was held in conjunction with "Kashin" the elephant's birthday celebrations. Two elephants were present to hear the Accordiana orchestra play Happy Birthday with Lionel Reekie singing and the elephants trumpeted loudly in response, much to the amusement of the crowd of about 1,000 adults and children. The elephants were presented two straw birthday cakes and the crowd were given mouth watering chocolate cake. After the performances, each orchestral group held their annual prizegiving.

    Following this, two North Shore Orchestras, Musicale Orchestra (conducted by Sarah Langley) and the "Touring in Training" Orchestra (conducted by Fay-Ellen Schaw), held their bi-annual Music For All Concerts with the West Auckland Accordion Orchestra (current New Zealand Champions, conducted by Erica Knights). The "Touring in Training" orchestra was formed five months ago and is currently being trained in preparation for the next Air New Zealand Accordion Orchestra overseas tour.


    On November 24th, the Business World Publishing Corporation's paper - Southeast Asia Business World (Philippines) included an article on the young Mexican singing sensation Luis Miguel. His song "Noche de Ronda" is sung entirely in Spanish and features enchanting accordion music. The accordion plays a large role in conjunto music (similar to Tejano or Tex-Mex), and was brought to the US-Mexican border many years ago by Bohemian immigrants. It is an extremely laudable achievement for a Mexican artist to score so high on the American charts singing entirely in Spanish.


    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    On November 23rd, accordionist Renzo Ruggieri performed at the Corneli Hall in Montrèal, Canada. The concert was organised by the local Accordionists' Association (A.D.A.M.) and Mr Federico Corneli. In front of a large audience, the young musician played a repertoire that included classical music, jazz and variations on folk music. Most of the pieces were original compositions. "I am young and I believe that the only way to develop an identity nowadays is by playing a variety of musical genres," remarked Ruggieri during the performance.

    The artist was introduced by Peter Pringle, a well-known Canadian Television presenter, composer and musician who has sold more than four million records and whose appearance gave more prestige to the event. The audience received the young maestro enthusiastically, appreciating not only the technical aspect, but also the unique melodic character of his improvisations, emphasised by the quality of his accordion. The standing ovation at the end has persuaded the organisers to offer more concerts by this young artist in the future.


    Contributed by Toru Katou

    On December 23rd and January 11th (1998) from 2 to 4pm, there will be a concert by an ensemble of 100 accordionists at the Osaka Music Centre, Osaka, Japan. The ensemble will be conducted by Chikaie Yoshida. For further information phone: + 81 6 962-5482

    The first of these concerts was held on November 24th at the Higashi Mozu Kohminkan Hall in Osaka.


    Contributed by Frédéric Deschamps

    450 finalists from all regions of France participated in the national final of the A.P.H. competition which was held from October 28th to 31st in the Marcel Carmet Room at Saint-Michel sur Orges. An impressive performance was given by little Antony Delpèche, aged 7 (student of Lisette and Christine Possoco-Delpèche - A.P.H teachers in Carcassonne) who played several of Fernandel's greatest hits with charisma and talent. Antony was also on the TV programme hosted by Patrick Beller and Valérie Mairesse called "Je passe à la Télé" (I'm on TV), and on their end of year "best-of" programme. He has also participated in a programme called "Combien ça coûte?"

    The last day of the finals finished with the "Tremplin-Prestige Hohner". The qualifying rounds of this musette competition had taken place on September 27th in Paris, at "la guinguette de la Tour Eiffel". The head of the jury was Didier Ouvrard (programme director for Pascal Sevran's TV show "la chance aux chansons"). Other members were Christophe Rebours (attaché de direction at the Paris IX Conservatory and organiser of the nationals for the "Trophée Mondial"), Jeff Rossi (A.P.H director and son of Joé Rossi), Véronique Henry-Malfroid (A.P.H teacher in Besançon) and accordionist Jean-Michel Després.

    The winner of the national final was Alexandre Leauthaud, who also won the Tremplin Prestige Hohner 1997, an appearance on Pascal Sevran's TV show and a cheque for 2000 francs contributed by Hohner. As for the traditional A.P.H finals, it's worth mentioning the brilliant results gained by René Muller, a teacher from Alsace whose students won 8 prizes in different categories.


    Contributed by Bob Berta

    The TV Pledgeathon for public TV channel 9, KQED, in San Francisco on December 4th was a huge success, when 65 members from the Bay Area Accordion Club handled the phones for pledges. The station was amazed at the huge turnout. The club had several signs with their club logo prominently displayed and throughout the night at every pledge break virtuoso accordionists performed in a variety of music styles. Amongst them were Ron Borelli, Richard Yaus and Mike Zampecini.

    The night was also a financial success for the TV Station as $US146,000 was received. The station treated the accordion and the performers with a lot of respect and they were really given the royal treatment. They want them back next year and are planning on making this an annual event.

    I reviewed part of the video tape of the event and was pleased to see that all the volunteers were shown on TV several times, the performers were tastefully filmed and the sound quality of the performances was quite good. In addition the club picked up at least three new members as a result of the broadcast.


    Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

    On November 16th, Friedrich Lips dedicated a recital in the Concert Hall of Russia's Gnessin Academy of Music to the solo and chamber music works of Sergej Berinsky (born 1946) who studied composition at the Gnessin Institute with Alexander Chogayev. His compositions have been characterised as "sceptical, romantic, witty, cynical and pure". Berinsky is interested in Jewish and Christian traditions, European and Oriental cultures, and experimental contemporary prose and poetry. In addition to working as a composer of concertos and vocal music (performed by prominent Russian musicians) Berinsky is a writer, critic and publisher.

    The programme consisted of the following pieces:

    Partita "Also sprach Zarathustra" in four movements for bayan solo (1990)
    Il dolce dolore for bayan and violoncello (1990)
    Miserere for soprano, bayan and piano (1994)
    Three pieces in "mauvais" style for bayan solo (1993)
    Seascape for violin and bayan (1996)
    Cinema for bayan solo (1997)


    Contributed by Andrea Rautenberg

    The new café & restaurant "Zur Zwiebel" is located in the old village of Altkötzschenbroda, Radebeul, where the famous "Herbst und Weinfest" (Autumn and Wine Festival) takes place every year. Every Sunday the guests are entertained with live music between 11am and 4pm when a musician performs on the keyboard and accordion. For special occasions, for example the "Schlachtfest" (home slaughtering, followed by a meal of fresh pork, home-made sausages etc.) there is also live entertainment. The next "Schlachtfest" will be held on January 2nd 1998. For Reservations contact: Café & Restaurant "Zur Zwiebel", Gradsteg 1, D-01445 Radebeul, Phone: +49 351-8360331


    Contributed by The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.

    Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA is offering a class in free-reed instruments in the Spring semester which will include the textbook "The Classical Squeezebox" by Henry Doktorski. The course will include information on musical instruments that operate using free reeds such as the harmonica, accordion, concertina, bandoneon, reed organ, and European and Indian versions of the harmonium, as well as Asian free reed mouth organs such as the Chinese sheng, Japanese sho and the Laotian khaen

    The course consists of a survey of this family of instruments and focuses on both the instruments themselves and the music for which they are used. This survey will cover a broad cultural and historical spectrum and encompass a wide variety of musical styles.

    There will be reading, listening, discussion, and considerable hands-on experience with the instruments. This will include, whenever possible, both playing the instruments and taking them apart to explore the principles involved in their construction and operation.

    For further information please contact: Jim Cottingham, Physics Dept., Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA. Phone: + 1 319-399-8597 or email:


    On November 28th the United Kingdom Aberdeen Press and Journal featured an article on Brian Casey (an Irish musician) who flew out to Japan recently to represent Scotland at a St Andrew's Night ceilidh. Versatile Brian Casey has found that his brilliance on the accordion soon made him a hit on the local folk music and Country and Western scene.

    It was through a bagpipe playing friend (who has connections with Scottish ex-patriates in Japan) that the Japanese invitation was offered. He was also invited to play at the opening of a new Irish pub in Kobe before returning home.


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    The 2nd Chinese Peasants' Festival will be held in Yiwu city, a small city in Zhejiang province, from December 12th to 16th. The opening ceremony will include a variety of performances including an accordion orchestra of 23 peasants. All of them are self-taught accordion fans.


    Contributed by Paul Rogers

    "Those Darn Accordions" are staying close to home while they recover from the summer and fall touring and have a few upcoming local gigs in January 1998.

    On Wednesday January 21st at 9pm they will be performing at The Sweetwater, Mill Valley, California, USA and also plan to perform at The Bottom of the Hill.

    Paul will be doing his usual moonlighting in December with the Christmas Jug Band. This is a bunch of local musicians from the bay area playing goofy versions of Christmas songs and mixing in some originals along the way.

    The musicians are:

    Dan Hicks (Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks)
    Austin deLone (The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Elvis Costello, Commander Cody)
    Tim Eschliman (RhythmTown-Jive, Commander Cody)
    Blake Richardson (Dan Hicks, Everybody)
    Lance Dickerson (Commamder Cody)
    Nick Phelps (Bunch of folks)
    Paul Robinson (Dan Hicks)

    TDA also have a new CD out this year called "Rhythm on the Roof".


    Contributed by Dan Grauman

    SqueezinArt finally has the beginnings of a Web site! Right now it looks more like a construction site, but we do have our holiday items and some of our novelties & gifts on display. We hope to have the entire 1997-98 catalogue, consisting of over 150 items (over 35 new this year) uploaded by year's end.

    We would greatly appreciate comments and suggestions. We hope to eventually expand the site to include on-line ordering.

    For further details please contact us at


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

    In her hit recording Diva la Grande, the blues chanteuse Candye Kane does a kicky remake of Nancy Sinatra's hit "These Boots are Made for Walkin'" with instrumentalists on banjo, washboard and accordion.


    Contributed by Stephanie Poole and Christine Adams

    The Pakuranga Accordionaires (conducted by Stephanie Poole) played in the Pakuranga Plaza shopping complex, Auckland on November 16th and gave an "End Of Year" concert at the Pakuranga Community Centre on November 23rd. Their programme included Piedigrotta, overture to Barber of Seville, Circus Suite, a Strauss medley, March from the Dam Busters and Christmas Carols.

    Lionel Reekie has been in demand recently, performing regularly on Friday and Saturday nights at the Palermo Restaurant, Auckland, plus a variety of other venues including the Auckland Zoo with the North Shore Orchestras, the Music For All Concerts on December 6th and 7th (as a soloist and a member of the Musicale Orchestra) and as a guest accordionist at a number venues in Auckland, performing 3 times daily.

    Yogi Martin has been performing on the Devonport Ferry that travels from Auckland City Wharf to the Devonport Wharf, which is a 30 minute journey. Devonport boasts a lovely new wharf complex that incorporates speciality shops and food stalls and is a popular tourist attraction.

    On November 29th Maurice Jones performed at the opening of the newly renovated Auckland Town Hall. He also performed at the Music For All concerts as a member of the Musicale orchestra. On January 15th 1998, Maurice will be travelling to China where he will perform three concerts in Shanghai, one concert in Fuzhou and another in Xiamen.


    Subject: Accordion sold

    Hi Wayne

    I don't know what Accordions Worldwide's protocol is, but I want to let you know I have sold the Klingenthal B/C Button Accordion I had listed on the "Buy/Sell Accordions" page.

    Padraic Smith

    Thanks Padraic,

    This listing will be removed when we update the files on Friday, December 12th. Thank you for listing your accordion with us. I'm glad the advert worked so well!

    Wayne Knights
    Accordions Worldwide

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