Accordions Worldwide The Squeeze

31st July 1998
- Weekly Accordion News from around the world -

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Editors note:

Hi everyone!
I often hear stories about concerts and accordion happenings where very amusing situations occur. These can be exceptionally funny and it's good that we can laugh as well as make music. If you have any humorous, funny stories to share, please email them to us: We would be happy to include suitable items in the "Articles" section of Accordions Worldwide.

Wayne Knights

This weeks news:

Over 1200 Compete in Competitions - France
Guinness Book Accordion Invasion - USA
Dissertation on Accordion History - Germany
"Guided Improvisations" Show - Italy
"Trio Victoria" Performance - Switzerland
Accordion at Highland Games - USA
Galliano at Jazz Festival - Canada
Accordion Orchestra Tour to Australia
Oktoberfest in Fiji
Walter Maurer Lectures in China
Bulgarian Accordion Workshop - USA
Accordion Presentation in Japan
New Masters of Handicraft - Germany
International Button Box Festival - USA
Pop CD Includes Accordionist - England
Northeast Squeeze-In - USA
Accordionist Performs for Handicapped - New Zealand
Accordion Kings Festival Extravaganza - USA


Contributed by Frederic Deschamps

Saint Pol Sur Mer Municipal Accordion OrchestraNational music competitions took place on June 28th in Gravellines, Northern France for choral groups, accordion orchestras and big bands with over 1200 participants. The President for this event was Mr Philippe Fournier, President of the Fédération Régionale des Sociétés Musicales (Regional Federation of Music Societies) in the Nord-Pas-De-Calais region. The jury was made up of well known accordionists such as Casilda Rodriguez, Frédéric Deschamps, Philippe Fournier and Celino Bratti.

Competition winners:

Saint Pol Sur Mer Municipal Accordion Orchestra (with honours)
Violainois Accordionists (with honours)
Bruay La Buissiere Municipal Accordion Club (with honours)
La Madeleine Accordion Orchestra
Oisse Accordion Orchestra
"Les Cols Bleus Avionnais" Accordion Symphony


Contributed by Jamis MacNiven

On September 20th in Menlo Park, California an "Accordion Invasion" will take place in conjunction with an annual soapbox derby. The race will start with a parade featuring what may be the largest accordion band ever, playing "Lady of Spain". The Guinness Book of Records has been contacted and over 500 accordionists are expected to participate. There has been no previously recorded information for an accordion event of this type so it will be a "first".

Over 20,000 people are expected to attend this festival which aims to provide a family fun day and to raise money to fund contemporary youth programs.

For further information email:


Contributed by the Intermusik

A dissertation about the "Standardisation process of the Accordion" was recently published by the European Publishing House of Sciences, Frankfurt. Author Hans-Peter Graf studied the development of the accordion from 1820 to 1920. He shows the standardisation process of the instrument and the fast industrial influence in Germany at that time. By including social factors, the work presents an interesting view of accordion history including instrument making, musical development, economical and cultural-historical development. Hans-Peter Graf also includes bandoneon and harmonica trends along with other cultural-historical aspects.


Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Italian accordionist Renzo Ruggieri recently experimented with a new type of accordion improvisation in his show "Guided Improvisations", staged at the "Archimimus" Theatre, Viterbo. Ruggieri (who is always looking for new accordion sounds), began by developing a single theme not strictly connected with music, and did so without any pre-determined rhythmic, harmonic or melodic patterns. This process generated a feeling of expectation that was shared and enjoyed by the audience. It was the first accordion concert to be entirely improvised, although the formula had been applied to piano concertos in the past. A CD recording of the show will be distributed next Autumn.


Contributed by Jean-Claude Pouly

Accordionists "Trio Victoria" will perform at the "Atelier Hinterruti" in Horgen, Zurich on August 2nd. Trio members Ruedi Burkhardt (accordion & violin), Ben Jeger (accordion) and Peter Born (accordion, bass accordion) play a variety of music including musette, Gypsy & standards, tunes by Tom Waits & Ry Cooder and compositions by Nino Rota (who composed pieces for Federico Fellini's movies).

For further information phone: + 41 1 725 88 54


Contributed by Sylvia Miskoe

The 23rd Annual New Hampshire Highland Games will be held from September 18th to 20th at Loon Mountain, Lincoln New Hampshire which will include an International Tattoo parade, concerts, workshops, celtic music, pipers and dancers.

At the Opening Gala Dinner & Ceilidh Dance, Scottish accordionist Freeland Barbour will provide the music for lively country ceilidh dancing. Throughout the games he will also be giving concerts and workshops and judging the "other instrument" competition.


Contributed by Vladimir Sidorov

In early July, Richard Galliano performed five concerts at the International Jazz Festival in Montreal. Each evening he performed with different musicians including the well known Montreal Chamber Orchestra "I Musici de Montreal" who played pieces composed by Astor Piazzolla and Richard Galliano to a very enthusiastic audience.


Contributed by Heather Masefield

The North Shore Musicale Accordion Orchestra (New Zealand) will tour Queensland, Australia from August 8th to 16th. The orchestra consists of 11 accordionists who will perform concerts in Brisbane and Cairns which have been organised by the Queensland Accordion Club. Conducted by Lionel Reekie and Erica Knights the program will include Tritsch Tratsch Polka (Strauss), Tarantella, Semper Fidelis March (Sousa), Blues Medley (arr. Gary Daverne), I Don't Know How To Love Him from "Jesus Christ Superstar", Summertime (Gershwin), Overture from Barber of Seville (Rossini) and Country Accordion Medley (arr. Gary Daverne).


Contributed by Lothar Wollmann

The Fiji Accordion Club plans to hold a traditional Oktoberfest from October 16th to 24th in Nadi. The German band "Jaegermeister Kapelle" will perform with guest accordionist and yodelling artist "Heidi".

Other planned events include Hat Dance, Chicken Dance (for children), Yodel Contest, Zillerthaler Hochzeits Marsch dance formation, Snake Dance, Cowbell music performances, Sing-along to the most popular Oktoberfest Songs, German Singing Contest, Schunkelwaltzes and Beer Drinking Contest.


Contributed by Wu Jie

During the '98 "Meishi" International Accordion Competition held in October, Professor Walter Maurer, (Secretary General of the CIA) will give three lectures in Chengdu City. Lecture topics are:

1. A short history of the accordion
2. Accordion teaching, competitions and overseas studies
3. How to organise an accordion ensemble or orchestra


Contributed by Sandie Merrill

On July 26th composer, musician and teacher Milen Slavov held a Bulgarian Accordion Workshop in Oakland, California on Bulgarian and Balkan Music.

The workshop covered traditional and contemporary Bulgarian sound and Slavov's own compositions. Participants also learnt how to play a pajdushko (5/8), ruchenitsa (7/8) and a dajchovo (9/8) with emphasis on ornaments typically used in Bulgarian folk music. There was also a lively discussion on the fact that Bulgarian music uses exotic modes and the ornamentation can include notes that Westerners would consider to be "outside the scale."

A native of Bulgaria, Milen Slavov has classical training as well as expertise in Bulgarian and Balkan music. He plays the accordion, keyboard, and tambura and is a vocalist. He graduated from the Philip Koutev Music School in Kotel, and attended the Academy of Music and Dance Ethnology in Plovdiv.


Contributed by Toru Katou

On September 12th the "Tokyo Accordion Class Music Presentation" will be held at the Concert Salon, Ranguwuddo Hotel, Nippori Ward, Tokyo, at 1.00pm. Over thirty accordionists will perform solo and ensemble pieces such as "Pearls of Crystal", "Adios Nonino", Theme from "Rocky", "Top of the World" and "Jealousy". For further information phone: + 81 03 5478-1707


Contributed by Dr Hans-Helmut Poppitz

The Chamber of Handicrafts in Cologne has welcomed two new members, Michael Rheinländer and Michael Hellmer who are now "craftsmen for hand-controlled bellow instruments". Rheinländer opened his Cologne Accordion Workshop in 1989 and Hellmer returned from Hohner England in 1994. Both attended the master-school in Markneukirchen (Saxony), because this school offers high quality education by research and practise specialists. With the help of an Italian accordion producer they each constructed an accordion of such caliber that they are now permitted to educate apprentices themselves.


Contributed by Sue Lopac

The International Buttonbox Folklife festival will be held on September 19th and 20th at Ironworld Discovery Center, Chisholm, Minnesota. Guest performers include the Emter family and Walter Ostanek.

For further information email Sue Lopac:


The Daily Telegraph (London) recently published an article about singer and songwriter Lucinda Williams and her latest album "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" which includes accordion, mandolin and rhythm guitar. The 13 track CD includes song titles "Lake Charles", "Greenville" and "Jackson".


Contributed by Jason O'Rouke

The Northeast Squeeze-In will be held from September 18th to 20th at Buckstreep Manor, Washington, Massachusetts. The event will include a variety of workshops, concerts and activities for players of free-reed instruments. There will also be spontaneous performances throughout the weekend, a variety of squeezeboxes for sale or swap, a display of curious and bizarre squeezeboxes and a traditional concert and contra dance on the Saturday night.


Contributed by Christine Adams

New Zealand accordionist Mary Downes performs regularly for an "Active in Age" program organised by the Intellectually Handicapped Society, New Plymouth.

Her repertoire includes popular pieces such as "Baby Blue", "Wheels", "Scotland the Brave" and "She'll be Comin' Round the Mountain". Society members are encouraged to participate with percussion instruments and sing-a-longs.


Contributed by Sam Gentry

The Accordion Kings Camp and Festival will be held on August 15th and 16th at Brushy Creek, Round Rock, Texas. Guest accordionists include Walter Mouton & The Scott Playboys, The Leo Majek Orchestra, Poullard & Garnier, Santiago Jimenez. In addition to concerts and dances there will be workshops for button and piano accordions.

For further information email:

Email of the week

Subject: Looking for new piano accordions

I am currently looking to purchase a new piano accordion, top professional model. I am trying to find literature and pictures of all the various makes.

If you would have any ideas on how I should go about this, please let me know.


Robby Santospago

Hello Robert,

I suggest that you first of all visit our Sites Index page, which lists all the internet sites we host for accordionists, organisations and businesses. There are a number of manufacturers there:

We also have a large list of all manufacturers in the world (as part of the Accordion Yellow Pages). For an index of these by country, go here:

Best wishes,

Wayne Knights
Accordions Worldwide

NEW SITES Australian manufacturer of diatonic accordions, made out of native timbers, which you can select! Bobby Raye is an accordion entertainer from the USA, who has performed over 6000 shows and on 500 cruises worldwide!

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