Accordions Worldwide
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weekly news
The Squeeze

23rd May 1997

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Editors note:
I hope you all had a chance to read the results of both the Klingenthal International Accordion Competition and the UK National Championships, both of which were on last weeks news. If you didn't, follow the link to past news to read all about them!

Once again, I am away for this weekend, to Australia for the Australian International Accordion Championships and Festival. This promises to be the largest accordion event for a long time in Australia, with a full weekends programme, and performers from Australia, New Zealand, China and Slovakia.

Wayne Knights

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This weeks titles:

  • International Musical Festival "Baltica-Harmonika-97"
  • Myron Floren Performs in New Hampshire
  • John MacDonald Concert in New Zealand
  • Children's Concert on 1st of June - China
  • Waltz Workshop and Dance - USA
  • Chicago Accordion Club - USA
  • Accordion Concert, Kiev, Ukraine
  • Fathers Day Concert in Lauchringen, Germany
  • Tribute Concert at AAA Festival in Washington, USA
  • Recital by Igor Zavadski - Ukraine
  • "Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration" - USA
  • Accordion Music from France
  • Dick Contino at El Cajon Performing Arts Centre - USA
  • Accordion Orchestra Trip to Matamata, New Zealand


    Contributed by Nikolay Kravtsov

    The International Musical Festival "Baltica-Harmonika-97" took place from the 26th of April to the 3rd of May in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Festival was organised by St. Petersburg State Conservatory (named after Rimsky-Korsakov). The leadership of the Festival was carried out by the Honoured Artist of Russia, and Professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Peter Govorushko and the Honoured Artist of Russia, Laureate of the International Competition, and Professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Oleg Sharov.

    The programme of the Festival consisted of:

    1. The competition of accordion groups in public concerts, which was held in the Concert Hall of the Concert-Culture Centre "Mayak"
    2. The competition of soloists according to the different instruments, style of music and age
    3. Non competition performers who were guests at the Festival

    Groups, soloists, both professional and amateur were invited to take part in the Festival.


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

    Beloved accordion personality, Myron Floren draws adoration wherever he performs. Last weekend accordionist Joyce Ashcroft of Concord, New Hampshire caught the show starring Myron Floren and posted the following delighted review.

    Here's what Joyce had to say, "Reporting from the seventh row at the "Stars of the Welk Show" and all I can say is WOW! Everyone was great, but of course I was there mostly to see and hear Myron Floren. I'd bought an extra ticket because a non-squeezing friend would be visiting this weekend-- wanting to be a good hostess, you know. She said sure, she'd go along, but I'm not sure she expected to actually enjoy herself. Surprise, surprise...she loved it!

    "He played in a packed auditorium of (mostly) senior citizens clapping, tapping, singing along, and having the time of their lives. Hard to tell who was having more fun; Mr Floren or the audience. Technically he was absolutely wonderful, and coupled with the sheer joy he brought to the performance, I just can't say enough nice things about how well it all went. This was the second time I've seen him in person, and I can't wait for my third!

    "Floren says he plays about 150 performances a year all over the U.S. and Canada. My best advice to y'all out there is, if you can get to one, do it!"


    Contributed by Roy Jackson President of the Timaru Pipe Band

    On the 15th of May, at the Chateau in Timaru, a crowd of about 120 filled the seats eagerly anticipating John MacDonald (direct from Australia) who enthralled the audience with his highly accomplished accordion playing. His competence, good choice in music and original settings proved to be extremely popular with the crowd. Worth a special mention was John's rendition of music from the world acclaimed "Riverdance" show, as well as his sensitive interpretation of the New Zealand favourite "Pokarekare ana".


    Contributed by Wu Shou Zhi, President of the China Accordion Society

    On the 1st of June at 8.00am a Children's Concert will be held in the Qianjiang Big Auditorium of Qianjiang city (a small city of Hubei province). Included in this concert will be singing, dancing, playing musical instruments etc. There will be three accordion performances by children aged from six to ten years old. Their teacher is Mr Ye Xingyuan, a private accordion teacher in Qianjiang City. The highlight of their programme is as follows:

    1. Wish You Happy - 8 performers play in unison
    2. Girl's Polka - Trio
    3. Hunt Tiger in Forest - Solo.


    Contributed by Wendy Morrison

    On the 17th of May, Wendy Morrison (accordionist) and her band, "Waltz on a Dime" played at the Baltimore Folk Music Festival. The dance mainly featured tangos, because there had been a tango workshop that afternoon.

    On the 18th of May there was a 1/2 hour waltz workshop before the dance, at which Wendy's band played waltzes, mixed with other couple dances.

    On the 23rd of May, Wendy will be joining another group that play northern style fiddle tunes: Irish, Scottish, Shetland, French Canadian, New England, and Scandinavian tunes.


    Contributed by Tom Collins

    The Chicago Accordion Club meeting on the 20th of May featured Frank Marocco with Friends.

    Future meetings are as follows:

    • June 16th - President John Simkus with the quintet.
    • July 21st - Mario Tacca & Mary Mancini along with Gelso Pellegrini & Anthony Rolando.
    • August 18th - from Sweden with Love, Jorgen Sundeqvist.

    For further details, please contact Dale Pahrman, President of Five Valley Accordion Association: phone + 1 406 728 9236


    Contributed by Tatiana Lanchtchikova

    On the 23rd of May, Professor Vladimir Besfamilnov's students will perform a concert in the Concert Hall of the Ukraine National Academy of Music, Kiev (capital city of Ukraine).

    Vladimir Besfamilnov is a Professor at the Folk Instruments Department of the Academy, Honoured Artist of Ukraine, and a teacher of many winners of International Competitions. From June to July 1996 he was a judge at the International Accordion Competition in Italy and in March 1997, he was Chairman of the Jury at the Russian National Accordion Competitions in Kurgan.

    Ten students from various countries will perform at this concert, such as: Dermut Dan (Ireland), Natasha Maximovic (Serbia), Vadim Khavrun (Ukraine), Irana Jukic (Chernogoria), Marinka Milovic (Serbia) Vladimir Lukic (Serbia) and others. Programme of the concert will include works by Bach, Paganini, Semionov, Repnikov, Brahms/Yashkevich, Mendelsson, Liszt, Stravinski and others.


    Contributed by Uli Ebner

    In spite of the cold weather and the impending rain a few visitors found their way to the school square in Lauchringen. The eclectic tunes of the accordion orchestra Schluechtal together with the beer fresh from the barrel and the knuckle of pork quickly provided a little more warmth. The one and a half hour concert was a huge success, even though some of the players caught a cold!


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

    A bevy of accordion stars will perform at the gala Tribute Concert which will take place on Friday, July 11th, at 7:00 pm in the Ballroom of the Sheraton City Centre Hotel, New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. The line up of star-studded performers includes accordion great Tony Dannon, jazz star Eddie Monteiro, pop musician Carmelo Pino, concert artist Peter Soave, entertainer Mario Tacca and songstress Mary Mancini, and the exciting "K" Trio comprised of Mary Tokarski, Julie Cardone and Walter Kasprzyk.

    The honorees are being cited at the Tribute Concert for 30 or more years on the American Accordionists' Association's governing board. They are Maddalena Belfiore, Elsie Bennett, Carmen Carrozza, Lee (Pietro) Deiro, Aldo DeRossi, Anthony Ettore, Louis Iorio and Marcello Roviaro. These eight distinguished accordion personalities will be feted at a Testimonial Banquet the following evening, Saturday, July 12, at which special entertainment will include the US Army Strolling Strings featuring accordionist Manuel Bobenreuth as well as other accordion notables. These events are part of AAA's Accordion Festival from July 9th to 13th, 1997 in Washington.


    Contributed by Vladimir Besfamilnov

    On the 1st of June, Igor Zavadski, post-graduate student of professor Nikolai Davidov, will give a concert, which will held in the Ukrainian Home, Kiev, Ukraine and will be dedicated to International Children's Day.

    Igor has won many International Accordion Competitions. His programme will include works by Zolotariov, Dacan, Scarlatti, Paganini, Palmer-Hughes and Vlasov.


    Contributed by Tom Collins

    The "Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration" will be held from the 1st to the 3rd of August, in Philipsburg, Montana, USA. This event is sponsored by The Five Valley Accordion Association of Missoula, Montana and the Philipsburg Chamber of Commerce.

    Program of events is as follows:
    Friday August 1st - Registration at Sunshine Station with informal jam & dance at the Platzl.

    Saturday August 2nd:

    • 9:00 am Performances on stage at Platzl - Centre of town
    • 2:00 pm Concert at MacDonald Opera House featuring renowned accordion artists, Lindy Kao from Chicago, and Bonnie Birch from Seattle.
    • 5:00 pm Montana Steak Fry and Potluck
    • 8:00 pm Jam and Dance at Platzl

    Sunday August 3rd:

    • 9:00 am Pancake & Sausage Breakfast Platzl Performances
    • 1:00 pm Second Concert at MacDonald Opera House with special guest artists, Bonnie Birch & Lindy Kao.


    Contributed by Wu Shou Zhi, President of the Chinese Accordion Society

    On the 15th of May, Sichuan Technology Publishing House published an accordion music score and accordion recording tape called - "Jazz & Dance Music". The compositions are all composed and performed by Mr Guy Vivier, a French accordionist, accordion composer, and President of a French Accordion Association. Mr Vivier has been eager to publish his compositions in China for a long time, so he entrusted Mr Wu Shou Zhi, his old friend and the President of the Chinese Accordion Society, with responsibility for the work last year, when they met in France.

    On the tape, Mr Vivier plays all of the music which is published on the score, plus Chinese accordion music - "Speeding Train". He said: "I love Chinese accordion music very much, so I wanted to record a Chinese piece on my tape."

    This is the first time French accordion jazz music has been published in China. The music which Mr. Guy Vivier writes is welcome in China, and the scores and the tapes are in great demand. In only three days, they have sold close to 5,000 scores and tapes in China.


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

    Las Vegas star, accordionist Dick Contino will debut in San Deigo, California where the Accordion Lovers Society International will present him in concert at the El Cajon Performing Arts Centre on September 14th, 1997. Advance publicity describes Contino as "intimate, captivating an audience of any size with his charm, great looks and technical virtuosity, Contino is nothing short of amazing and he surprises audiences with his fine vocal style."

    The program will include Latin, light jazz, swing, big band, nostalgic and sentimental tunes. For information about the event, phone + 1 619 453 5486


    On the 18th of May, three accordion orchestras from Auckland (the largest city in New Zealand) travelled in a 70 seater double decker fun bus to Matamata (2 hours south) to perform at the Matamata War Memorial Hall. The audience was most appreciative of the variety and talent of the players.

    The orchestras were The West Auckland Senior Orchestra, North Shore Accordiana Orchestra and North Shore Musicale. These three orchestras will compete for the New Zealand Accordion Orchestra Championship at the New Zealand Accordion Championships to be held from 30th May to 1st June.

    Also performing was soloist Lionel Reekie, who captured the hearts of the audience with his unique accordion and singing style and The North Shore Quartet (Marie Masefield, Robin Hill, Wayne Knights and Stephen Gutmann.


    Subject: Thanks!

    Congratulations for your excellent work. We hope to see you one nice day in our beautiful country.

    With best regards to all the team.

    Vjera & Zeljko Jembrih (Zagreb, Croatia)



    Thanks for the very nice words! I'm glad you are enjoying the site! I'd love to visit Croatia some day particularly since I have several Croatian friends here in New Zealand. Hopefully you can visit New Zealand someday.

    Best regards,

    Wayne Knights
    Accordions Worldwide

    Subject: Hello from Slovenia!

    I am very surprised that I found this page of accordion news. It means a lot to me. It is very good and I love it! I am also an accordion enthusiast. I play piano accordion starting of age 8 (now 27) and I love JAZZ. I adore music of Art Van Damme and similar. My idol is also great artist Peppino Principe from Italy.

    I have also two questions: where on the Internet I could download sound files from the artists you mentioned in the news (Yogi, Tom Collins ....); it would be very educative to me and probably for others, too.

    Marsell Marinsek

    Dear Marsell,

    We are hoping to get some of these on the site very soon! I will put it in the editors note in the Weekly News when it does appear.

    Thanks for the nice comments about Accordions Worldwide!

    Yours musically,

    Wayne Knights
    Accordions Worldwide

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