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The Squeeze
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News from November 15th 1996

This weeks titles:


Contributed by Wu Jie and Wu Shouzhi

This data has been collected from past accordion activities in China and from reports of Chinese accordion organisations and publications.

According to statistics, there are currently more than 300,000 accordion students in China. The approximate distribution of Chinese accordion players is as follows:

Province No of players Cities within the Province
Hebei 80,000 Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Zhangjiakou and Tangsan
Jiangsu 60,000 Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuci and Xuzhou
Liaoning 20,000 Shenyang, Dalian, Ansan, Fushun and Dandong
Sichuan 20,000 Chengdu, Chongqing, Lesan, Panzhihua, Mianyang, Luzhou, Zigong, Yibin, Wanxian, Xuning and Liangsan
Fujian 20,000 Fuzhou, Xiamen, Zhangzhou, Sanming and Longyan
Guangdong 20,000 Guangdong, Shantou, Zhanjiang, Shengzhen and Shaoqing
Heilongjiang 10,000 Haerbing, Qiqihaer, Daqing, Mudanjiang and Jiamusi
Hubei 10,000 Wuhan, Shashi, Siyanshi, Yichang and Xiangfan
Hunan 10,000 Changsha, Zhuzhou, Hengyang, Huaihua and Xingyang
Shanxi 10,000 Xian, Baoji, Yanan, Hanzhong and Huainan

Three other provinces have 5,000 accordionists, four have 2,000, five have 1,000 and included is Tibet, with approximately 300 accordionists.

Other statistics:

  • The annual rate of elimination of Chinese students is 15%, and the number of new students increases by 20% (60,000 people).

  • The annual rate of new instrument buyers increases by 10% (30,000 people)


Contributed by Gus Garelick

Accordionist Jim Boggio died on November 6th in Cotati, California, USA at the age of 56, from heart failure. Jim Boggio and his band, The Sonoma Swampdogs, were becoming the hottest Zydeco and swamp boogie band in the North San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, Jim's new shop, Cotati Accordions, was becoming the major accordion supplier in Northern California. Jim had just finished a recording project with mandolin virtuoso David Grisman, and was on his way to Los Angeles to meet with executives from the House of Blues Records for a possible record deal for the Swamp Dogs. Jim was well known in the North Bay not only for the Swamp Dogs, but also because he helped organise the annual Cotati Accordion Festival (began in 1991).

He played and recorded with numerous groups in this area, and recorded film scores for recent movies. He was also featured in a recent article in "Keyboards Magazine" about Zydeco accordion players, praising him as one of the three finest accordion stylists in America!

Jim's musical roots go back to the midwest, where he first began playing professionally for Frankie Yankovich. He came to California in the 60s and studied keyboards and accordion at San Francisco State University, before moving on to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and finally rural Sonoma County, where he appeared at numerous festivals, wineries, and special events throughout the Northern region.

The funeral service was held in Petaluma last Monday morning. The funeral home was absolutely jammed, and the service itself was extremely touching and moving, with tributes by family and accordion players Peter Di Bono and Lou Soper, and an audio tape by Blair Hardman, featuring some of Jim's best accordion/piano/B3/ vocals and comedy.

The first tribute for Jim was held later that night at the Tradewinds Lounge in Cotati. Everyone from the original Swampdogs band played, as well as local blues musicians, well into the night. There was another tribute on Thursday night at the Rancho Caymus Inn, in Rutherford, in the Napa Valley, featuring local Napa musicians.

The biggest tribute will be held in Petaluma on Nov. 24th at the Mystic Theatre. Proceeds from this concert/tribute will be used to construct a statue of Jim Boggio in the town square in Cotati. Information about that concert is available through Zone Music in Cotati (707-6641221). Those interested in contributing to the statue fund can make donations in care of the Exchange Bank, Cotati Branch, Cotati, CA 94931.


Queensland Accordion Orchestra (Australia)

Contributed by Bernadette Conlon

This was the first ever tour to Europe by an accordion orchestra from Australia. Congratulations on such a successful trip.
It sounds as though a great time was had by all! Editor

Our tour began at the ungodly hour of 4.30am on the morning of November 7th 1996. After stopping off for shopping at Bali and Singapore, we arrived in Amsterdam. After more shopping, we moved onto Langenhagen, where we were struck by the warm hospitality of the Langenhagen Accordion Orchestra. I stayed with a family on a dairy farm, that had been in the same family for 600 years!! We had a fantastic concert the next night, after which we were taken out to dinner, which turned into an accordion playing night-fun for all

The next morning it was off to Hof. Here we played in the "Liberty Hall", to an audience of over 600 people. We also played in Wunsiedel and in the competition hall in Klingenthal, where we received standing ovations!

From Hof we went to Berlin. After we settled into our hotel, we went to hear the Charlottenbourg Accordion Orchestra rehearsal. At exactly 8pm, everyone put their accordions down and had champagne and nibbles. They told us that they do this every week, because there is always something to celebrate. It was incredible, everyone was at the rehearsal!! In Berlin we had two concerts, one at a nursing home and the other at an enormous University.

After Berlin it was onto Salzburg, home of Mozart. Here we played a concert with the Salzburger song and dance group, who played traditional Austrian music and danced. It was great! We also had a great time looking through the Mozart museum.

Saalfalden was the next stop, where we played at the famous Kaprun Castle (which is 400 years old). It was quite a haul carrying the accordions up 2000 stone steps, but it was all worthwhile because the acoustics were wonderful. The hospitality in Saalfalden was wonderful. They showed us through the town, including "The Eagles Nest" - Hitlers holiday hideaway.

We then proceeded back to Germany, to Baden Baden. Here we played in the Baden-Baden casino, the oldest in Europe. The hall had wonderful acoustics and we were rewarded with standing ovation for our final concert. The next day we drove some of the orchestra (who were going home early) to the airport. We spent the next two days sightseeing in France, before leaving for home. We all had a great time with wonderful hospitality.


40thAnniversary (Russia)

Contributed by Dimitry Ermakov and Tatiana Lanchtchikova

For ten days from the 1st November, musicians of Novosibirsk, Russia celebrated this anniversary. There was a concert held every evening, where students, ex-students and teachers from all departments of the conservatory performed. Some of the accordion performers included:
  • Roman Zhbanov (student, winner of the Russian All-Union Competition).
  • Alexander Krupin (teacher, winner of the Klingenthal International Competition), who, along with the College Folk Instruments Orchestra performed "Capriccio" by Repnikov.
  • Vladimir Gaidukov and Sergei Larionov (winner of an International Competition, Moscow 1996), performed with the Novosibirsk Radio Folk Orchestra.
  • Andrei Romanov. He won the Russian All-Union Accordion Competition and has a diploma of International Competition. He brilliantly performed Vivaldi's "Four Seasons", one of his pieces from his recent successful tour of Finland.


Contributed by Viacheslav Semionov and Tatiana Lanchtchikova

Professor Viacheslav Semionov has recently returned to Russia and the Gnessins Academy of Music from a tour of the Netherlands, Germany and Lithuania where he had a series of concerts and workshops in Arnheim, Amsterdam, Nordhorn (Germany) and Vilnius (Lithuania). The tour lasted two weeks from October 12th. Among the pieces he played his own compositions, and also played with his wife Natalya (who plays the Domra, a traditional Russian folk instrument).


Vilnius, Lithuania

Contributed by Viacheslav Semionov and Tatiana Lanchtchikova

The Baltic Accordion Festival, organised by Ricardas Sviackevicius, was held in Vilnius, Lithuania from October 23rd to 27th. There were many concerts and workshops, by invited accordionists from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine as well as Lithuania. Performers included the Lithuania Academy of Music Accordion Orchestra, Accordion Quintet "Concertino", Duettists Eduardas Gabnys and Gennady Savkov, Victor Novikov, Viacheslav Semionov and Russian accordion great, Frederick Lips.


CD Release

Contributed by Steve Litwin

On his new CD, "From the Porch "Old Country Style," Gary Sredzienski uses the piano accordion to express his musical Polish heritage. Featuring a mixture of songs, this recording also includes a few original compositions. The 23 tracks run the gamut of a "Goralski Medley," to "Evening Bell," a Russian waltz popular years ago with Polish Americans. "My Two Sons," an original, presents Gary's Father, Ed, on harmonica.

Several of the cuts has Gary playing "Buckshot," a noisy antique accordion from Naples, Italy, with no felts under the hammers and missing keys, "but has an excellent sound for playing this dance music in an Old Country style.

You'll also find a "Polish Bagpipe Medley", "Goat Head", "Bagpipe", "Valse In G flat Op. 70 Nr.1", "Kasztanka" and "Long Forgotten. The cuts featuring Gary on accordion and his Father, Ed, on harmonica sparkle like flawless diamonds. The efforts of Gary Sredzienski not only keeps the music alive, but also the heritage. From the Porch "Old Country" Style is available from:

Gary Sredzienski
c/o Ossian USA
118 Beck Rd
NH 03301-1119


CD Release

Contributed by Steve Litwin

Chuck Pendrak of Palmyra, New Jersey, has just released a new Sneak Preview Plus compact Disc on the Pen/Bar label. Featuring seven cuts, this release offers a preview of a full-length project set to be released in 1997, as well as some cuts never featured on CD before.

The "Grabber" on this one is definitely the "Accordionette" polka, with truly astounding accordion work on this accordion version of the "Clarinet" polka. This demonstration of accordion work will amaze the listener.

The "Classic Clarinet" polka, "Smokin' Sax", "My Love", "Everybody Dance", "Nightingale" polka and "Polka Tra La La" are the other cuts on this compact disc. The talents of Pendrak, on accordion, saxophone and clarinet, are masterful musicianship. For a copy write to:

Pen/Bar Records
P.O. Box 437
NJ 08065

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