Accordions Worldwide "The Squeeze"
30th July 1999
- Weekly news from around the world-
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We received a very nice email last week from a teenage accordionist in the USA, who said "I have to tell you how much I love your site! It really opened my eyes to the success of the accordion in the music world. I felt like I was one of few unique musicians in the universe, and I was so surprised to learn how many other accordion players and fans there are out there. After reviewing your site, I practice a little more intensely every day with the new feeling that I am becoming a part of a growing and exciting accordion community. Thanks and keep up the great work!"

It seems very appropriate after such a letter to publicly thank all those enthusiasts who supply us with interesting news items from all corners of the world. There are so many exciting accordion activities happening to encourage and unite accordionists and the internet is a wonderful means to inexpensively convey that information.

Thanks again to our correspondents and to everyone for using Accordions Worldwide. We will continue doing our best to bring you interesting and useful information.

Wayne Knights Webmaster

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National Competitions - Yugoslavia

Dragan VasiljevicContributed by Milan Tomic

National competitions were held in Smederevo (60 km from Beograd) from July 2nd to 4th to choose representatives for the upcoming World Trophy and Coupe Mondiale competitions. Nine competitors took part in the eliminations, from which four were chosen. The jury consisted of Radomir Tomic (President), Djuric Slobodan and Jozef Kvintus.

Chosen participants for this year's Coupe Mondiale were:

  • Dragan Vasiljevic (Kragujevac) - senior
  • Voin Milevski (Zemun) - junior
  • Nikola Georgijevic (Smederevo) - junior
  • Grahovac Jovica (Novi Sad) - junior

White House Concert - USA

The Emter Family has been given the honor of performing an accordion concert on the East Lawn of the White House in Washington DC at 12 noon on August 3rd. The family was asked to represent the state of North Dakota at the request of U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan.

At 6pm on the same day they will play at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which will be broadcast live on the Internet.

For further information email:


Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships - Canada

Contributed by Mike Belitz

The Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships 25th anniversary gala event was held from July 5th to 11th in Kimberley. This event was listed in the top 100 events in North America to attend this year. Over 8,000 people enjoyed the competitions and festival, which included over 180 competitors. The Open (World Old Time Accordion Championship) was won this year by Len Gadica (who previously won in 1992). This year he performed polkas, waltzes and Scottish music, all of which were original compositions.

Being the 25th anniversary year, all past living "Open" Champions were invited back to take part in the "Night of Champions". Six were present, some of which were multiple year champions. These included Mike Belitz, Jim Howerton, Len Gadica, Rob Brabec, Barbra Ann Martindale and Edwin Erickson.

Guest artists, Riders In The Sky, Ranger Doug, Woody Paul, Too Slim, and Joey Miskulin put on a wonderfully entertaining show.


Crabb & Draugsvoll in Steinbach - Austria

Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

A concert by accordion duo James Crabb & Geir Draugsvoll was held recently in the Steinbach Church, Steinbach. The audience thoroughly enjoyed their program which included music by Edward Grieg, "Developments" by Hans-Henrik Nordstrom (world premiere), Mozart, Magner Am, Bach and Astor Piazzolla whose "Concerto for Bandoneon" was very well received.

Both musicians have won international competitions, recorded several CDs and taken part in different festivals of contemporary music. They also teach the accordion at the Royal Danish Conservatory in Copenhagen and at the "Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst" in Graz, Austria.


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Chamber Music Festival - Finland

Finnish accordionist Mika Väyrynen will perform at the "Tuusula-lake Chamber music" festival in the Tuusula-lake area from August 2nd to 7th. Composer Jean Sibelius lived in the area as well as many other famous painters and writers. Festival concerts will take place at the homes of these artists.

On August 3rd Mika will perform a concert including a new Finnish piece for accordion and cello called "Hymns" by composer Ilkka Kuusisto (former Chief of the Finnish National Opera).

On August 4th Mika will perform "Five Tango Sensations" (Astor Piazzolla) with a string quartet, which includes Jaakko and Pekka Kuusisto and Anna and Taneli Turunen. Jaakko Kuusisto has won several prizes in international violin competitions and also plays in the "Tango for Four" quartet with Mika.

On August 5th Mika and Jaakko (violin) will perform with the "Tango for Four" quartet which also includes Kalle Elkomaa (piano) and Janne Wessman (bass).

For further information email:


6th Accordion Seminar in San Sebastian - Spain

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The 6th "Seminario de Acordeon" was held in Basque City of San Sebastian from July 9th to 18th organized by the Acco Land Cultural Association. Claudio Jacomucci and Anne Landa held a series of lectures, seminars and workshops while other collaborators presented concerts, conferences, etc.

One of the highlights of this year's event was the contemporary music workshop held by Claudio Jacomucci, in which special emphasis was placed on music written after 1945. Participating accordionists had a chance to learn more about the history of music from Romanticism to the early avant-garde movement, including the study of Debussy, Mahler, Schonberg and the Vienna School. The workshop dealt with the analysis of compositions, improvisation and the search for links to the history of accordion.

During the course Jacomucci gave the first European performances of "The Roadrunner" (John Zorn - USA) and "Sanctuary" (Akemi Naito - Japan). Anne Landa presented an accordion version of "Overture to Orpheus" (Louis Andriessen). Claudio Jacomucci (bandoneon) and Anne Landa also performed pieces by Piazzolla and gave the first performance of Carlo Crivelli's "Tango" for bandoneon and accordion. The duo Felix Conde (flute) and Salvador Parada (accordion) performed pieces by Bach, Blardony, Igoa, Precz, Piazzolla.

The seminar closed with a concert featuring the students of the 6th "Seminario de Acordeon" who came from various regions of Spain and France.


5,000 Attend Celebration Evening - China

Contributed by Li Cong

Over 5,000 people from China, USA, Japan and Taiwan attended a recent function in Nan Ning City, Guang Xi Province to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Guang Xi Art Conservatory. A concert was given by an accordion orchestra conducted by Sir Qin Shi, who performed a varied program, which included "March of The Boyars" arranged by J.C. Sommers (USA). This was the biggest accordion event held in the Guang Xi Province and the Guang Xi TV Station aired the concert three times.

In October accordion exams will be held in Nan Ning and Gui Lin and Liu Zhou, Guang Xi Province. For further information phone Sir Qin Shi: + 86 771-5328752


Pitocco on Tour with Milva - Italy

Massimiliano PitoccoContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Massimiliano Pitocco (bandoneon) and his quartet "Four for Tango" have been performing in a series of concerts in Teramo (playing Piazzolla), Milano, Tivoli, Andria and Amsterdam during July. The Amsterdam concert will feature the great singer Milva (a personal friend of Astor Piazzolla) who is well-known for her interpretations of his pieces.

From July 28th to 31st Pitocco will accompany Milva along with the Toscanini Orchestra (based in Parma), and on the 30th he will play in Arona, near Milan. Further concerts are scheduled for the month of August - don't miss them!


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Accordion books in 2nd printing!

BooksThree books, arranged and recorded by Gary Dahl and published by Mel Bay are now in their 2nd printing! "Jazz Accordion Solos" is recommended by Art Van Damme and Frank Marocco (two of the world's most famous jazz accordionists). Jean Louis Noton finds the book "French Tangos for Accordion" and CD very romantic and exciting to play. The third book "Clifton Chenier King of Zydeco" is a breakthrough in accordion arranging for popular rock, zydeco, blues and cajun styles. For further information email:


"Exile" in Kyoto - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

On August 7th "Exile" (which features accordionist Norimichi Nagasaka) will perform at Nega-Posi, Kyoto at 7.30pm. The group will play a varied program including TV and movie themes, Irish, French and rock music.

The following day, Norimichi will perform on both the accordion and concertina at the Peruvian Restaurant Pehnya, Chuh'oh Ward, Osaka. For further information on both of these events email:


Tenri Cultural Institute Concerts and Workshops - USA

Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

On July 30th, 31st and August 1st Dr. William Schimmel will moderate a series of concerts and workshops at the Tenri Cultural Institute in Soho, New York City. The three day series, the fifth such event sponsored by the American Accordionists Association will include seminars, workshops, lectures, discussions and performances with over 20 participants.

Daily Workshops are from 3 to5pm and daily concerts begin at 7pm. This year the accordion will be presented in a past/present dimension recalling its relationship to the Palm Court, La Belle Epoque'n Vanderbilt Cotillions, Radio, round table, literary discussions, small hotels, Rodgers and Hart, the Titanic, the Beige Book, Lawrence Welk/Greek Mythology, the Civil War, organized crime, the Stork Club, Andy/Ultra Dali, art deco, the jazz organ, and the ultra modernist. For information please phone: + 1 212 876-0827


Music Days for Accordion - Estonia

Contributed by Vladimir Ushakov

Days of "Accordion Music" were held from July 6th to 11th in Estonia organized by Tiitu Kalluste, Valli Ilvik and the Estonia Accordion Society. Celebrations were held in Kuremaa (a small village near Tartuu) where over 100 accordionists and teachers attended events including master-classes, lectures, seminars, orchestra rehearsals and individual lessons. Lecturers were Tiit Kalluste (jazz accordionist and President of the Estonia Accordion Society), Ricardas Sviackiavecus (Professor of accordion at the Vilnus Music Academy in Lithuania) and Vladimir Ushakov and Serguei Likhachev (St. Petersburg Musette Ensemble, Russia).

Seminars covered a range of subjects from the exchange of traditional teaching methods to new methodological experiments. Vladimir Ushakov showed new music albums of popular music and talked about the history and development of popular accordion music with the use of audio materials. Sergei Likhachev held a seminar on new accordion teaching methods in the Children's Music School named after Andreev in St. Petersburg.

Other events were held in Tartu including various concerts and an International Children's Ensemble Competition. Entertainers included Tiit Kalluste and Villy Veski (accordion and saxophone), Ricardas Sviaskiavecus and the "Konzertino".quintet and Vladimir Ushakov and Serguei Likhachev.


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Noton Celebrates Birthday in China

Jean-Louis NotonContributed by Li Cong

French accordionist Jean Louis Noton celebrated his 47th birthday on July 21st during his concert tour to China. On the morning of his birthday he played to a group of children at a summer camp in Ying Chuan, Qing Hai Province. The enthusiastic group had prepared a sumptuous lunch and birthday cake for him.

Noton then traveled to perform at a restaurant in Shanghai. At midnight Li Cong, President of the Shanghai Accordion Association, cheered and toasted Noton's birthday much to the enjoyment of the crowd.


Ruggieri Writes Music for the Theatre - Italy

"Distrazioni Forzate"The premiere of the play "Distrazioni Forzate" (Compulsory Pastimes) by Maria Piera Regoli and Salvatore Zinna, with music written and arranged by accordionist Renzo Ruggieri, was staged on July 3rd during the "Summer Solstice" Festival held in Mezzo Corona (near Trento - Italy).

The play is a parody of TV shows in which the characters are victims of the mass-media who eventually rebel and win their freedom back. The music is full of TV effects and the songs are sung on stage by Salvatore Zinna. The musical atmospheres are drawn from rock and roll and pop songs with form and harmony adapted for the theatre.


Traditional Boer Music Meeting - South Africa

Contributed by Sean Minnie

The Pretoria Branch Traditional Boer Music Club meeting rescheduled for September 14th at Acacia Town Hall will take the form of a dance with bands taking turns at performing traditional South African Boer Music. Groups performing include the Jan Botes Band, Gert Jooste Band and Hugo Radley band (concertina, ukulele, guitar and double bass).

Recordings by members of the club will be on sale at the meeting. For further information email:


"Celebrity Interview", Prof. Li Wei Ming - China

The "Celebrity Interview" of Prof. Li Wei Ming is now on line. He is the accordion tutor and administrative Vice President of the famous and prestigious Xiamen University in China.

Questions are invited for the "Celebrity Interview" of Vladimir Zubitsky, Russian composer, teacher and artist by the 9th August to interview moderator Wallace Liggett.


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Russian Folk Music Night - Switzerland

Contributed by Jean-Claude Pouly

"Duo Russitchi" (Russia) which includes accordionist Sergei Tchoumakov and Valdimir Goloubtchikov (balaïka) will perform at Moods Jazz Restaurant in Zurich on August 3rd at 7pm. Their program will include various styles of music such as Russian folk. For further information email: or phone: +41 1 201 22 30


Accordion Masterclass in Belluno - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The 10th Annual course of Music Performance is currently underway in Belluno until August 14th. Accordion master classes will be held by Ivano Battiston. The course will include emphasis on 19th century and early 20th century music. For further information email:


Noel Hill Irish Concertina Workshops - USA

Contributed by Toby Koosman

The Noel Hill Irish Concertina School will hold anglo-concertina workshops from August 8th to 13th in Putnam Valley, New York. This year's event (which is sold out) will cover workshops for players of all levels. For further information email:


"La Bouttine Souriante" - Scotland

Contributed by Gary Blair

On July 20th popular group "La Bouttine Souriante" performed at the Pisley Town Hall to a packed house. The nine piece band, which features Yves Lambert (button accordion) and Denis Frechette (piano accordion) and horn section were an outstanding success and had the old Town Hall "rocking to its roots".

They performed tunes such as Reel du Forgeron (Kepa Junkera), Arin Quebec and Metis Suite.


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Guest Appearance of Pasquale Coviello - Italy

Pasquale CovielloContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Pasquale Coviello recently appeared as a special guest in a concert held in the medieval town of Osimo with the local accordion orchestra directed by Marco Guarnieri. A large and enthusiastic audience enjoyed a program featuring a wide range of musical styles, including pieces by Verdi and Gershwin


Concertina Folk Nights - Hong Kong

Contributed by David Palmer

Folk Nights are held on the first Tuesday of each month at the Fringe Club in Central, Hong Kong from 8pm. Many different groups and soloists (including concertina players) perform frequently.

For further information email:


Massimiliano Pitocco in America

Contributed by Renzo Ruggieri and Holda Paoletti-Kampl

On July 2nd Massimiliano Pitocco (accordion and bandoneon) and Rosario Mastroserio (piano) held a concert in Sumney Town (USA). Their program included works by Astor Piazzolla.

This was Pitocco's first appearance in North America. He also gave solo performances of pieces by Albeniz, Nayunkin, Zubitsky, Scarlatti and Liszt. A local critic wrote: "Pitocco is a refined musician of great skill. He is deeply committed to the promotion of accordion music and of Piazzolla's works in particular, in which he reaches moments of great expressiveness and emotional force."


Smithsonian Folklife Festival - USA

Contributed by Sylvia Miskoe

The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival was held recently in Washington DC. This year's event featured Romania and South Africa and celebrated New Hampshire life, traditions, cultures and environment. Musical genres included New England contra and square dances, Franco-American song and fiddle, Polish, African-American Gospel, Mexican, Klezmer, Irish and Scottish.

Participating accordionists were Gary Szredienkski (Polish music), Sylvia Miskoe (Scottish and contra), Bob McQuillen (contra), Francis Orzechowski (contra) and Ruth Weiner-Harris (klezmer).


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UK Squeezers Tour The Netherlands

Contributed by Barry Callaghan

On August 22nd a group of musicians (including melodeon and concertina players) will sail on a ten-day tour from the UK to Holland in a 1930 sailing fishing ketch. The group plan impromptu performances at informal events and bars and would like to meet up with Dutch musicians for sessions. Depending on which way the wind is blowing they hope to head for Ljmuiden, Vlissingen, Middelburg and Amsterdam.

They play mostly English dance music, and are members of various bands. Players include Chris Coe (concertina) and John Adams (melodeon, keyboards and violin).

For further information email:


Search for Teacher - USA

Jim Vandelly has been trying to find out what happened to his accordion teacher, George Janis from Gardner, Massachusetts, USA. George and members of his music studio, the "Georgine Studio" used to travel through many small towns in north-central Massachusetts looking for students. Jim last saw George in 1962 when he bought George's accordion, which he still owns. Jim would like to know if George is still alive and where he can be contacted. If you can help please email:


Claudio Jacomucci Course in Santarcangelo - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Claudio Jacomucci is currently offering an accordion course in Santarcangelo di Romagna (Italy) until July 31st which includes a seminar on contemporary music. For further information email:


Antique Accordion Information

Robert Hays would like some information on a small 120 bass accordion with a Hohner insigna on the top front. It has a white pearl finish and a black band at the top of the keyboard (approximately 4" wide) that runs from where the bellows connect to the front down to the keyboard with the name "Bertini". On the bottom of the rear panel it has "Cremona" and "Model 46n6405". If you can help please

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New Sites Information on the manufacture of reed blocks by the FAS Company


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