Accordions Worldwide The Squeeze

29th May 1998
- Weekly Accordion News from around the world -

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Editors note:

Last weekend I had fun judging at the Australian International Championships in Sydney, where there were competitors and festival items from Australian, New Zealand and Chinese accordionists. This week has been hectic, leading up to the New Zealand Championships and Festival where I am also judging. These championships have gained a lot of publicity in New Zealand, with newspaper items, and TV1 also featured the quintet I'm performing in, live on their popular breakfast show, after which we spoke about the competitions and the accordion. Great publicity!

Wayne Knights

This weeks news:

Successful Accordion Festival - Australia
"Fisarmoniae '98" - Italy
Colchester Accordionists Succeed at National Championships - England
1998 Accordion Festival - USA
The Swingin' 50s - Germany
Coba Performs in Tokyo - Japan
Cardross Ceilidh - Scotland
Accordion Beatles Concert - Canada
International Accordion and Guitar Contest - Bulgaria
Art Museum Concert - USA
Summer Accordion Courses in Larodde, France
Annual International Polkafest - USA
Accordion Competition in Hubei - China
Accordion and Concertina Graduation - USA
Melodeon Workshop at St Albans Festival - England
First International Accordion Competition - China
Chartres Accordion Meeting - France
Accordion Concerts in Kiev - Ukraine
Last Chance for TDA! - USA


Contributed by Lionel Reekie

The Australian Accordion Teachers Association (AATA) celebrated its fifth annual festival in Sydney last weekend (May 22nd to 24th). The event welcomed accordionists from all over Australia as well as teachers and performers from China and New Zealand. In addition to competition classes and festival performances, a concert in honour of Australian accordion pioneer, Lou Campara was held. AATA President, Tania Lukic-Marx also honoured Mr Campara with a testimonial dinner on the Sunday evening.

The premiere solo class, the Australian International Solo Championship was won by Liu Jia (Beijing, China). The Australian National Title winner was Bernadette Conlon (Victoria). Throughout the weekend, festival performances were given by many of Australasia's top accordion entertainers including "ACE" Ensemble, Barry Cooper, Elizabeth Jones, Maurice Jones, Michael Kruger (accordion and concertina), John MacDonald, Ross Maio and Lionel Reekie. Also attending the festival were Ashley and Claire Ebbsworth and Leo Mazzei (Queensland Accordion Club) and Cathy Day (President of the Accordion Society of Australia).

Plans are already underway for the sixth festival to be held in May 1999 with interest being shown from many overseas soloists and orchestras.


Contributed by Renzo Ruggieri

The major international accordion event "Fisarmoniae '98" will be held in Baragiano from September 2nd to 5th, organised by the Italian Classical Accordion Association (AIFC). The festival program includes a variety of musical performances such as classical and jazz. There will also be workshops, master classes, conferences, pre-dinner concerts, concert lectures, group performances and the world premiere of Boris Porena's latest work.

Artists include Paola Bucan, Cesare Chiacchieretta, Gianni Coscia, Raffaele Crusco, Monica D'Emidio, Giancarlo Di Giovanni, Tiziana D'Orazio, Dario Flammini, Alisia Fragassi, Vincenzo Izzi, Eugenia Marini (President of AIFC), Mario Marzi, Milonga Quintet, Paolo Picchio, Mario Pietrodarchi, Rolando Pisauro, Adriano Nicola Ranieri, Christian Riganelli, Rocco Ronca, Maurizio Scocco and Giuseppe Tammone.

For further information email:


Contributed by Timothy Davis

Colchester Accordion Showband The National Championships at Scarborough attracted nearly 500 entries including bands and soloists from Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Colchester Accordion Showband, under the baton of Elaine Beecham retained the 'Entertainment' Championship for the 6th time. The Showband also entered and won a new section 'Mixed Ability Band'.

The Colchester Advanced Band and the Preparatory Band took 3rd place in their Test Piece sections and soloists and duettists from this group held their own against very strong competition with some sections having 25 entries. Beverley Loates (18 years) won the 'Advanced Solo' and the 'Premier Duet' with Jane Hughes (17 years).


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

The 1998 Accordion Festival will be held from July 8th to 13th in New Orleans, sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association.

Many exciting events have been scheduled for this festival including the AAA's 60th Anniversary Celebrations, Battle of the Bands, Endless Performance Ballroom, Accordion Summit Meeting and Breakfast, Massed Accordion Band and "Press and Squeeze" party where the media will chronicle the event.

Guests include Art Van Damme, Mat Mathews, Carmelo Pino, Maddalena Belfiore, the Kay Trio, the University of Missouri Accordion Orchestra (conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers), and many other accordionists including an Elvis Presley look-alike.

For further details e-mail:


Contributed by Stefan Sauer

The Griesheim Accordion Orchestra have organised a concert and dance with hits from the 50s and 60s on Saturday June 13th at 8 pm. The 50-member orchestra specialises in entertainment music from the 50s and 60s, as well as classical, rock and jazz.

Guest artists include the "Magic Sound Big Band" and the "Gardegruppe" (guard) of the Carnevalsverein St. Stephan. The Magic Sound Big Band has performed at many national and international dancing contests and accompanied famous singers like Ireen Sheer, Gene Williams and others. After the concert they will play dance music. The "Gardegruppe" will perform pieces from the musical "Grease". For further information email:


Contributed by Toru Katou

Accordionist "Coba" (Yasuhiro Kobayashi) will perform a concert on June 6th at 6.30pm at the "Akasaka Blitz", Tokyo. Coba will play with band members Tsuneo (guitar), Bakabon (bass) and Yoshie (drums).

The following day the "Amigo 1st Concert" will be held in Tokyo at 1pm at Koto-Ward Sogo Kumin Centre. For further information email Mr Ideura:


Contributed by Gary Blair

On May 23rd Gary Blair performed at a 5-hour Ceilidh in Cardross, Helensburgh, as a fund raising event for the local primary school. They performed a variety of dances from the Gay Gordon's to the Gypsy Tap to an enthusiastic audience of 140 who danced most of the evening. The event is so popular that next years Ceilidh is already a sell-out!


Contributed by Domenic "the Accordion Beatles guy" Amatucci

On June 3rd, Domenic Amatucci will perform an accordion Beatles concert at the Safari Bar Grill & Billiards, Toronto at 7:30pm. He will play a variety of Beatles songs from Please Please Me to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, as well as zydeco, rock, blues, jazz, pop, tangos, musette, latino, waltzes and polkas.

The Internet Life magazine "Yahoo" included an item recently on Domenic, and his Accordion Beatles page was featured in Yahoo's Pick of the Week. Domenic has been performing Beatles hits in Toronto subways since October 1997. He recently attended the Canadian Music Week and took part in an interview of Sir George Martin.

For further information email:


Contributed by Peter Marinov

The International Accordion and Guitar contest will be held from September 22nd to 26th organised by the Municipality of Assenovgrad, the Academy of Musik and Dances (Plovdiv) and the Privers Rotary Club (Assenovgrad).

Competition categories include 15 and under, 18 and under and open solo classes as well as chamber ensembles, duets, trios and quartets that must comprise of at least one accordionist and one guitarist. Total competition prizemoney equals 10,200 DM

For further information email:


Contributed by The Classical Free-reed

On June 3 at 8pm, a benefit concert for the City Music Center will be held at the Frick Art Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by accordionist Henry Doktorski. Henry will perform the tango "Adios Nonino" (Astor Piazzolla) with Marina de Pretoro (piano), Galina Istomin (violin), Tomislav Dima (violin) and Jeff Turner (bass).

For further information email:


Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

The "Centre National et International de Musique et Accordéon" (National and International Centre of Music and the Accordion) have organised summer accordion courses for accordionists of all ages and levels. The courses will cover a variety of styles such as musette, classical, jazz and contemporary music, as well as accordion pedagogy for teachers.

Course director is Jacques Mornet, who has taught prizewinners of international competitions such as Frédéric Deschamps, Jean-Marc Marroni, Alain Musichini and Christine Rossi.

Course dates are:
July 20th to 25th
July 27th to August 1st
August 17th to 22nd
August 24th to 29th

For further information please phone: + 33 4 73222745


Contributed by Sue Lopac

Myron FlorenRoger Bright The 21st Annual International Polkafest will be held at Ironworld Discovery Center, Chisholm, Minnesota from June 25th to 28th. Ironworld is a history theme park sited on the edge of an iron ore pit and is designed to preserve the history and heritage of the people who originally settled in the area with displays, exhibits and fun festival days. The polkafest features many accordionists including:

Jeorian Chmielewski Myron Floren (who will host the Polka Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony)
Jam sessions with "Accordion to Pete"
Joey Miskulin with the Roger Bright Band
Chmielewski Funtime Band
Eddie Korosa and the Boys from Illinois
Al Meixner Trio

For further information email Sue Lopac:


Contributed by Wu Jie

From June 18th to 21st the "Jing Cup Accordion Competition" will be held in the Wuhan Conservatory, Wuhan, Hubei Province sponsored by the Hubei Accordion Association.

There will be over 300 contestants participating in the event, which will be divided into two rounds; preliminary and final. All contestants are required to play Chinese music.


Contributed by Helmi Harrington

On Sunday May 24th the Accordion-concertina Repair and Technicians School (Directed by Helmi Harrington, PhD), graduated the 1998 class at a ceremony in Duluth, Minnesota. The festivities and concert were held at "A World of Accordions Museum", amidst hundreds of accordions on display. Members of the 1998 class are Lynda Griffith, ATC, PT; Tony Lutzkanov (Bulgaria), Chad Walker and Tara Wiebe. Lynda will remain in Minnesota to continue her performance studies with Dr Harrington and set up her repair facility. Tony plans to attend the accordion performance degree program at the University of Denver.


Contributed by Alison Macfarlane

The St Albans Festival will take place from July 1st to 12th in St Albans, Herts which will include concerts, parades, circus artists, folk dancers and puppet shows. As part of the festival, Frederic Paris will hold a Melodeon Workshop on July 12th, that will focus on dance music from central France. Later that day he will perform with the group "Achille".

There will be melodeonists and piano accordionists playing throughout the event including "The Chipolata Five" and the "Committee Band".

For further information email:


Contributed by Wu Jie

The "First International Accordion Competition" will be held at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, Chengdu, Sichuan on October 3rd sponsored by the Chinese Accordion Society.

Competition jurors include Professor Walter Maurer (Secretary General of Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes), Professor Elsbeth Moser (Germany), Professor Oleg Sharov (Russia) and Professor Joan Cochran Sommers (USA).

There are also plans to invite guest accordionists from France to perform at the event.


Contributed by Frédéric Deschamps

The Chartres Accordion Meeting will be held from June 5th to 7th in Chartres. Included will be concerts of sacred, classical, contemporary, folk and jazz music and an accordion exhibition from various manufacturers.

Performers include Inigo Aizpiolea (Spain), Quatuor Chevalier (France), Pascal Contet (France), Frédéric Deschamps (France), Quatuor Sébastien Farge (France), Oivind Farmen (Norway), Youri & Ludmila Fedorov (Ukraine), Bruno Maurice (France), Owen Murray (United Kingdom), Victor Novikov (Russia), Antonio Rivas (Colombia) and Philippe Spiesser (France).


Contributed by Tatiana Lanchtchikova

Students of Professor Vladimir Besfamilnov gave successful final concerts recently at the Ukraine National Musical Academy as a result of their year's educational program. They performed various styles of music from Bach to contemporary composers. Vladimir Besfamilnov is a well known accordionist and teacher, who has tutored many top-class performers and winners of prestigious accordion competitions, including Vladimir Zubitsky and Tania Lukic-Marx. This year, Besfamilnov has tutored international students including Dan Dermut (Ireland), Vladimir Lukic and Sasha Ivanovic (Yugosalvia), Vladimir Khavrun and Dmitry Sidorov (Ukraine) and others.


Contributed by Paul Rogers

This weekend will be the last chance for fans to see "Those Darn Accordions" play, before they leave on a two-week tour of Milwaukee and the Midwest.

On Friday May 29th at 8:30pm they will be performing at the "Freight and Salvage", Berkeley, California and the following evening they will perform at 8pm at "Kuumba's", Santa Cruz, California.

Email of the week

Subject: accordion wanted

I want information about prices and conditions to buy an accordion by mail. I will pay using my visa credit card

Name unknown


We do not sell accordions, rather we host internet sites for accordion businesses and organisations. I suggest that you contact them directly. We have many manufacturers on that list, which you can find at:

Many of them have submit forms and email addresses for you to contact them.

Good luck with your search for the accordion of your dreams!

Wayne Knights
Accordions Worldwide

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