Accordions Worldwide
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The Squeeze
23rd January 1998

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Past news in English

Editors note:

New Office Opening

As we start off the New Year, we are pleased to announce the opening of a new office in the United States, beginning on February 1st.

With Accordions Worldwide growing quickly, we are happy to have appointed Kevin Friedrich as Manager in North America. Kevin is very excited to take on this new responsibility and looks forward to serving our accordion friends across the U.S.A. and Canada. Kevin is also well known as a past President of the ATG and for his performances with The International Trio.

Welcome aboard!

Kevin Friedrich

Christine Adams
News Manager

This weeks titles:

  • BBC TV Features Jimmy Shand - UK
  • 30th Anniversary of Sundgau Accordion Orchestra - France
  • Coba on Tokyo TV - Japan
  • American Accordionists' Association 60th Year Jubilee - USA
  • The Duquesne University Tamburitzans Tour USA
  • Accordion Concert in Kiev, Ukraine
  • Stolen Accordion in France
  • "Celtic Connections" Concerts in Glasgow, Scotland
  • "Once Upon an Accordion" Concert - USA
  • Duo "Istok" in Austria
  • Accordion Features in Folk Music Concert - New Zealand
  • Chinese Accordionist to Study in Russia
  • Accordionist Performs For Six Hours at New Year Celebration - USA
  • Classic Accordion in Lufingen/ZH and Diegten/BL - Switzerland
  • Accordionist Honoured by Institute of Registered Music Teachers - New Zealand
  • New CD "Accordion Tribe" Released this Year
  • Survey on Musical Genres - Italy


    The Herald (UK 27/12) featured an article on Jimmy Shand MBE who will turn 90 on January 28th. BBC Scotland is celebrating Jimmy Shand's life with a programme on Hogmanay called Button Box Wizard, featuring Jimmy and his band.

    Jimmy's father was a keen melodeon player and Jimmy learnt to play the accordion before he went to school. At the age of 10 he was performing with a dance band. Jimmy has played the length and breadth of the British Isles, sometimes to crowds estimated at 20,000 as well as tours abroad including New Zealand, Canada and six times around Australia.

    Jimmy Shand MBE has had a locomotive, a racehorse and a pub named after him, and his portrait is in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.


    Contributed by Frédéric Deschamps

    The Sundgau Accordion Orchestra is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. A January concert featured two great Russian accordion virtuosos, Alexander and Vitali Dmitriev.

    The first half included performances by a group of JAS ("Jeunesse Accordéon du Sundgau") students, directed by Clarisse Stehlin. This featured accordion prodigy Marielle Roy (student of Frédéric Deschamps). At 17 years old, she already has an impressive CV which marks her out as a great performer. She demonstrated her musical talents with sensitivity as she played "Perle de Cristal", "Musette en liberté", "La Grande Valse" and "La Diablesse" with grace and ease.

    The second half of the concert included a presentation of the latest repertoire of the Sundgau Accordion Orchestra, directed by Philippe Rey, an A.P.H teacher in Altkirch.

    Two encores were requested for Suzanne Heinis and Jean Sébastien Lavens, who came back to sing the Italian piece "Con te partiro" ("Time to say goodbye"), played by Andréa Bocelli to an original arrangement for accordion orchestra.

    The Sundgau Accordion Orchestra also gave a second concert in the Altkirch Tuileries recently.


    The Asia Intelligence Wire Mainichi Daily News featured an article on December 19th on accordionist Coba who is the host of "Club Coba", a weekly program of music and talk on Tokyo's J-Wave (8 to 9 pm Mondays).

    Coba is now the Japan distributor of Minimix, a Paris-based pop culture magazine published in French and Japanese and has recently launched B-cool Records.

    Coba was tutored by Italian composer and organist Adamo Volpi which led to a series of awards in international competitions. Coba says, "I really believe the accordion is an instrument of the next century. There are unbelievably huge possibilities. If I make an interesting mixture of music with this instrument, I'm sure others will follow. We can create something very unusual".


    Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of Titano Accordions

    The American Accordionists' Association is finalising plans for its 60th anniversary celebration on March 29th, at the Beatrice Inn, Greenwich Village, New York, where monthly Board Meetings took place in the back room for many years. The event will highlight some of the accordion's history as it parallels the AAA's six decades as a guiding force promoting the instrument's advancement and popularity.

    The oldest and largest accordion organisation in the United States, the American Accordionists' Association was founded in March, 1938, at a historic meeting attended by Joseph Biviano, Pietro Deiro, Sr., Sidney Dawson, Pietro Frosini, Anthony Galla-Rini, John Gart, Abe Goldman, Charles Magnante, Charles Nunzio, Sam Rowland and Gene Von Hallberg.

    The Beatrice Inn banquet dinner will be the first of a series of events to spotlight the accordion as part of the 1998 60th anniversary celebrations planned by the Board of Directors of AAA.


    Contributed by Dan Grauman

    The Duquesne University Tamburitzans, featuring 3 young accordionists, are touring the United States presenting a program of East European folk dances and songs. Using over 500 authentic costumes in each concert, the Tamburitzans sing in 12 different European languages and perform the dances of as many countries.

    For further information see Future Events


    Contributed by Prof. Vladimir Besfamilnov

    On January 17th a concert of folk music was held in the Concert Hall of the Ukrainian National Philharmonia Building, Kiev, Ukraine.

    The concert was dedicated to Victor Gridin (Russian bayanist and composer) who recently passed away. The best of Gridin's music was played by Sergei Grinchenko and ensemble "Rodnjie Hapevji".


    Contributed by Veneux-Les-Sablons Music School

    A Pigini concert accordion belonging to Franck Angelis (Principal of the Veneux-Les-Sablons Music School), was stolen during the evening of January 20th. The case is marked Borsini and as Franck is a concert artist, he needs this accordion to work. A large reward is offered.

    Please contact the Veneux-Les-Sablons Music School if you are asked to value or sell this instrument. Phone: +33 1-60708385


    Contributed by Gary Blair

    A series of concerts called ''Celtic Connections'' are currently underway in Glasgow, Scotland with the accordion featured in many of the groups.

    The concerts will run until January 31st:

    • January 23rd Coila Ceilidh Band (accordionist Willie Weir) at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
    • January 24th Simon Thoumire Trio (Concertina) at the Piping Centre
      Altan with Maria Kalaniemi at The Old Fruitmarket
    • January 25th Karen Tweed with Andy Cutting at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
      Simon Thoumire at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
    • January 26th Varttina with Maria Kalaniemi at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
    • January 31st Neil Mceachran Ceilidh Band at The Piping Centre

    For further information see Future Events


    Contributed by Jim Grimaldi

    The "Once upon an Accordion" Concert was held on January 10th in Massachusetts, USA. Group members are accordionists John Whelan, Chris Parkinson, Daniel Thonon and Susie Petrov (accordionist and pianist) and Robon Bullock (guitar). The group have toured extensively in Scotland and play Scottish and English dance music and are currently touring USA.

    They played individually and in various combinations, presenting a variety of musical styles, with Celtic and French music predominating.


    Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

    Bojan Jovanovich (accordion) from Serbia and Sergej Fjodorov (domra) from Russia are the newly founded duo "Istok" ("The Source"). Both artists completed their studies at Russia's Gnessin-Academy of Music in Moscow and are now professional musicians. In early January they were invited to Zweiersdorf (South Vienna) where their successful program included arrangements of virtuoso folk tunes and classical pieces.


    Contributed by Kath Worsfold

    On January 16th, the Troubadour Folk Club based in Warkworth township, the heart of rural Northland, New Zealand, celebrated its third anniversary with guest performers Bill and Kath Worsfold. The couple are known for their "bush dances" and play a variety of instruments including accordion, concertina, celtic harp, bagpipes, flutes, pennywhistle, South American, Greek and medieval instruments.

    They play music from a variety of cultures and specialise in New Zealand songs. As well as singing harmonies themselves, they also get the audience singing along as well.


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    Zheng Yalan, 15 year old accordion student at the Middle School, Sichuan Conservatory, received an admission notice from St. Petersburg Conservatory, St. Petersburg, Russia. She will be the first Chinese girl to study free bass accordion in the Russian Conservatory.

    "I will study accordion very hard and after studying in Russia, I want to teach free bass accordion in China" says Zheng Yalan.


    Contributed by Jim Wangemann

    On New Years eve, 70 year old accordionist Jim Wangemann played for six hours - three hours playing "dinner music" in a Bavarian Restaurant and another three hours playing "lots of funky stuff" in their lounge to a much younger crowd.

    Jim performs in an Austrian Restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights and at retirement and nursing homes during the week.


    Contributed by Margrit Bauer

    In January, the accordion ensemble Akkordeus from Uster, performed two Sunday concerts in Switzerland. The four accordionists Pierrette Hohl, Alain Freymond, Andreas Hanhart and Daniel Studer impressed the audience with their great musicality and virtuosity. Their first concert in Lufingen had the theme "Musical evening in the Church" and they started their program with works of J.S.Bach and his son J.C.Bach, then performed an original composition for accordion by S. Borris, "Concertino Op. 77" and works by Mozart, Boccherini and Rossini.

    Alain Freymond explained many interesting things about the accordion and then presented compositions. He regretted that such great composers like Bach, Mozart and Rossini never had the chance to write compositions for the accordion, as the instrument became known later.

    Their second concert on January 11th was held in Diegten/BL. President Daniel Hohl explained how the accordion ensemble came to Dietgen: Paul Müller, (Akkordeus leader Pierrette Hohl-Müller's father), founder of the former Harmonikaspielring Uster (now known as Akkordeus), was born in Diegten. Here he had his first students and founded a harmonica club. Pierrette thought the church would be big enough for her orchestra of 20, so the ensemble arrived and opened the concert with the festive "Ricercar in C" then Akkordeus presented their program. The orchestra completed the program with "Sinfonia alla Barocco" with Roland Thoma on drums.


    Contributed by Christine Adams

    On January 13th, Harley Jones was elected a "Fellow of the Institute" by the Institute of Registered Music Teachers of New Zealand. Harley flew to Dunedin (South Island of New Zealand) to receive this prestigious award.

    This honour was presented to him by the Council in recognition of his lengthy and distinguished service to the music profession. In 1985, Harley was the Secretary of the Education Committee to co-ordinate teacher training and his vision and drive led to the introduction a music teachers training program.

    Official Citation


    Contributed by Guy Klucevsek

    In May 1996, five composer/accordionists convened in Europe for a three week tour. As a result of the tour, a new CD entitled "Accordion Tribe" was released in January 1998.

    After the success of this accordion project with Guy Klucevsek, Maria Kalaniemi, Lars Hollmer, Otto Lechner and Bratko Bibic, a new European tour with composer/accordionists Guy Klucevsek, Pauline Oliveros, Amy Denio and Alan Bern is now confirmed for April, 1998.

    Each of these players is recognised as being not only technically skilled, but having profound compositional ability, as well as an unquenchable thirst for adventure. The program will feature solos, combinations, and compositions from group members.

    For European bookings and information contact Engelhardt Promotions
    phone: + 49 561 710166, fax: + 49 561 710167, e-mail:

    For American Bookings and information, email Guy Klucevsek at:


    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    Accordionist Renzo Ruggieri conducted an accordion survey recently which included thirty young accordionists and thirty non-musicians from central Italy.

    He asked two questions:

    • What musical genre do you think is most suited to an acoustic accordion?
    • And to electronic instruments (accordion and keyboards)?
    These are the results:

    YOUNG MUSICIANS (up to 18 years old)

    Type Classical Jazz Folk Modern
    Accordion 37% (11) 3% (1) 60% (18) 0
    Electronic 0 10% (3) 7% (2) 83% (25)

    YOUNG NON-MUSICIANS (up to 18 years old)

    Type Classical Jazz Folk Modern
    Accordion 30 % (9) 10% (3) 43% (13) 17% (5)
    Electronic 10% (3) 17% (5) 30% (9) 43% (13)

    The accordion is regarded as a folk instrument (60% - 43%), with a strong tendency towards classical music (37% - 30%). Electronic sounds, on the contrary, are usually associated to modern music (83% - 43%) or Jazz (10% - 17%). The most surprising element is that the image of the accordion as a folk instrument is more widespread among musicians than non-musicians.

    It is not surprising that the accordion is slowly losing its folk connotations and also that public opinion see it more and more autonomously with regard to pre-defined musical genres.

    For further information email Renzo Ruggieri at:


    Please mail me any information you have on learning how to play a three row diatonic accordion.

    Tammy Martinez

    Dear Tammy,

    Unfortunately, we do not have the books, but you could ask a publisher about three row diatonic learning books. You can find the nearest publisher to your place in Accordions Worldwide Yellow Pages at:

    Accordion Music Publishers

    With best regards,

    Tatiana Lanchtchikova
    Accordions Worldwide

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