Legendary American jazz accordion Art Van Damme, fronting a quintet, makes a special appearance as one of the guest artistes at the Caister 'Accordions International' Festival, Haven Holiday Park Norfolk, England, November 2nd to 6th. Other accordion guests at the festival include Giancarlo Caporilli (Italy), Pearl Fawcett-Adriano (CD's picture below left, available online), Gary Blair, Jack Emblow and Tony Compton, Romano Viazzani, and Norvic Concordia.
Originally from Chicago, Art Van Damme has toured the world many times, made countless recordings, and is widely recognised as one of the great accordion legends of modern times. One musicologist made the following neat comment: "The hippest cat ever to swing an accordion, Art Van Damme dared go where no man had gone before: jazz accordion".
This year’s Caister Festival incorporates the bi-annual National Accordion Music Composers’ Competition’, organised by the North Staffs Accordion Club. All festival activities take place in and around Neptune’s Palace and the Restaurant. The accommodation nearby consists of chalets and caravans. The festival includes concerts, workshops, master classes, 'free and easy' sessions, dancing and a trade show.
In the Cologne the Westphalia New Philharmonic Orchestra recently performed the symphony ‘Herr der Ringe’. In addition to the usual symphonic instruments, ‘Herr der Ringe’ has parts for accordion, celeste and the typically Irish tin whistle. Claudia Iserloh (right) was chosen for the accordion part using a Hohner ‘Fun Flash’ accordion, which fitted perfectly into the performance that was viewed by an audience of approximately 6,000 people!
Claudia Iserloh was born 1978 in Münster. She has played since she was nine years old, and began studies in 1998 with Helmut Quakernack, from Bielefeld, and later continued her studies with Professor Elsbeth Moser at the college of music in Hanover. In February 2005 she completed her final examination in the soloist class of Professor Moser. She is a winner of several national and international competitions, and is concentrating her career as a soloist in chamber music formations. In 2002 she released her first solo CD with the title ‘Four Years’.
From the September 9th to 12th, the annual Salon du Musique e Son, a music fair with considerable accordion involvement, will take place in Paris, at the Expo Porte de Versailles Hall 3.
Scheduled events include:
° a musical program concentrated around well-known music styles with more than 100 concerts by talented artistes on 3 stages.
° Conferences with possibilities to meet professional artistes
° Master classes for authors, composers or interpreters
° Master classes for learning more about your favourite instrument and sound
French accordionist Jean-Louis Noton (pictured above) and accordion manufacture Cavagnolo will be present at the stand ‘Guy Duchêne’, and from Italy, the accordion manufacturers Pigini and Excelsior and Fisart, as well as many others from Europe.
Melbourne played host to the touring Viennese Chamber Accordion Ensemble, currently touring in Australia. The Saturday (19th August) evening concert was opened by the Accordion Orchestra of Melbourne, conducted by Bernadette Conlon, with a selection from Mozart, Strauss and Bert Kaempfert.
(Left - picture of concerts performers) Bernadette Conlon then gave a solo performance followed by a new quintet which Bernadette formed especially for the occasion. This quintet of five girls, whose spirited and enthusiastic performance, inspired the title of ‘Hot Stuff’ is an internationally flavoured group, having members from the Ukraine, France, New Zealand and China including Bernadette from Australia. The quinetet completed the first half of the sell out concert, with selections from Bach, Mozart, Strauss and Rossini.
The Viennese Chamber Accordion Ensemble, led by Werner Weibert, gave a program that included classical transcriptions from Strauss, Piazzolla, Mozart, as well as Broadway musicals. They then formed a choir, which sang Austrian folk songs, as well as providing dance music, capping off a wonderful evening of varied entertainment, at Melbourne's Austrian Club.
The following evening the Austrian Orchestra was honoured at a dinner hosted at the home of Bernadette, by the Accordion Orchestra of Melbourne. A concert featuring performers from both groups ensued into the early hours of the following day morning.
This concert affirms the growing popularity of the accordion in Melbourne, encouraged by the Accordion Orchestra of Melbourne's ground breaking work to promote the accordion, in any style of music, to the people and with local and visiting accordionists.
Every summer, in the French village La Bourboule, the musical association ‘Les rencontres musicales des Monts Dores’ organize many master courses for different musical instruments. Domi Emorine and Roman Jbanov (both professors of Jacques Mornet’s international accordion center CNIMA), have led an accordion week for the last five years. The training took place in the halls of Casino de La Bourboule, where last year the CMA ‘Trophée Mondiale’ was held. In the program of individual courses was some technique of bellows shake; different sounds; musical expression; making of incidental music, and others subjects.
On the first day Domi Emorine and Roman Jbanov gave a public concert as ‘Paris-Moscow Duo'. They played classical, French and Russian compositions.
Participants in the master classes included students from France and Switzerland. The first day every student video recorded one piece that they had chosen to work on during this week. The participants had 1 hour 20 minutes each day of individual lessons and between this time they had a room to practice alone.
At the end they had one more session of video recording, and after which they watched and analysed the progress between the first and last day. The trainees gave the public concert in the municipal theater of La Bourboule, and music included J.S. Bach, V. Vlasov, D. Scarlatti, A. Kusiakov, J. Mosalini, V. Semionov, and F. Lacroix. It was a good concert, filling everybody with a great deal of satisfaction. Next summer the accordion week takes place from July 8th to 14th 2007.
Lithuanian accordionist and pedagogue Raimondas Sviackevicius with singer Andre Pabarciute and percussionist Tomas Dobrovolskis have performed the experimental music project ‘The trip, or inner emigration’ during August in Vilnius, Lithuania, and at the International Modern Art Festival in Warsaw, Poland.
A master class for accordionists conducted by Professor Ladislav Horak, accordion teacher and Vice Director of the Conservatory of Prague and Giorgio Dellarole, accordion teacher and Vice Director of the Musicale Pareggiato of Valle d'Aosta took place recently in Aosta. The master class concluded with a magnificent concert on August 24th in the Church of Saint-Léger to Aymavilles, Aosta.
The course had been preceded by three concerts held in Aosta on August 19th by Professor Horak’s students Milena Kysilkova and Jiri Lukes, and the students of the Musical Institute and from the Accordion Ensemble of Aosta. These master classes and concerts have inspired all concerned, and will lead to more similar activity in the future.
Those Darn Accordions, based in San Francisco, have recently returned from their involvement at the Cotati Accordion Festival, which they described as “big fun, as per usual, and we had a great time at Curtis Park in Sacramento, too”.
TDA have the following dates in their diary:-
1st - Wilbert's Food & Music, Cleveland, Ohio
2nd and 3rd - Johnstown Folk Festival, Pennsylvania
5th - Radio, Radio, Indianapolis, Indiana
6th - Mike n' Molly's, Champaign, Illinois
7th - Shank Hall, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
8th - High Noon Saloon, Madison, Wisconsin
9th - FitzGerald's, Berwyn, Illinois
The cultural association ‘Franco Leuzzi’ from Mottola (TA) in collaboration with the city Hall from Noci (BA) will organize on September 9th the 2nd national accordion competition ‘Città di Noci’, and this will take place in the Center Polivalente. Any accordionists resident in Italy, with any kind of citizenship, may participate in the following categories:-
1a and 2a Section: varieté and organetto:
Cat. A: solo - under ten years of age (born in or since 1996), free program - maximum 5 minutes.
Cat. B: solo - under 14 years of age (born in or since 1992), free program - maximum 10 minutes.
Cat. C: solo under 18 years of age (born in or since 1988), free program - maximum 15 minutes.
Cat. D: solo without age limit - free program - maximum 20 minutes..
3a Section - keyboard:
Cat. A: solo under ten years of age (born in or since 1996), free program - max 5 minutes.
Cat. B: solo under14 years of age (born in or since 1992), free program - maximum 10 minutes.
Cat. C: solo under18 years (born in or since 1988), free program - maximum 15 minutes.
Cat. D: solo without age limit - free program - maximum 20 minutes.
4a Section – groups and accordion orchestras:-
Category without age limit - free program - max 20 minutes.
‘It's Happiness: A Polka Documentary’ is to be screened at The Bluegrass Independent Film Festival in Louisville, Kentucky on September 10th at 10am. The film is also being released on DVD.
This 90 minutes long film includes bands such as Karl and the Country Dutchmen playing for dancing, and polka's living legend Jimmy Sturr playing with Country and Western singer Willie Nelson at FarmAid in Chicago. Another feature is at Cottage Grove Elementary School, showing 400+ students as they try to set a Guinness World Record for the most people dancing the polka at one time. John Gable, the film’s producer, commented about all the players and dancers: "It was infectious how happy these people are."
‘The Long Accordion Night’ takes place at the Academy Darmstadt on September 23rd, from 8pm until 1.30am. Performers include: ‘Arte Di Musica’ - accordionists Annegret Cratz and Thomas Rohaska, performing ‘...from Bach to Piazzolla’; Ute Büttner – vocalist and Claudia Hornbach – accordion, performing Edith Piaf’s repertoire; ‘ACORDVOCE’ - Andrea Köhler – soprano, Ulrike Heilig – accordion, performing the songs and arias of W. A. Mozart; ‘The Four Seasons of Astor Piazzolla’, performed by Ana Zivkovic – violin, Susanne Wendel – klavier, Stefan Kutscher – accordion, Ralph Kögel – guitar, and Matthias Novak – bass.
Other artistes appearing in the concert include students of the Academy Darmstadt performing, including accordionists Elena Majer and Michael Krisnik, Bert Jonas – baritone and Beate Jatzkowski – accordion, Isabel Binder – recitation and Claudia Hornbach – accordion, and Dagmar Bauermann – klavier and Jens Michel – accordion.
September marks the commencement of the new NAO festival season in the United Kingdom with a series of 10 regional festivals being held around the country until the end of February 2007 - culminating in the NAO UK Championships 2007 next May in Scarborough.
In the autumn, ‘The Southern Area’, held in Wimborne, organised by Bob Downer, ‘The West Scotland’, in Paisley, organised by Brian and Graham Laurie, ‘The South East’, in Ripley, organised by John Cumiskey, and ‘The North West’, in Fleetwood, organised by Gina Brannelli will all take place.
The ‘Città di Lanciano’ International Competition for Accordionists, organised by the Associazione Gruppo Tradizioni Popolari, takes place in Lanciano on October 7th and 8th. This event incorporates two competitions, the ‘V1 International Competition for Accordionists Variété and Classic’, and the ‘VIII International Prize for Concert Accordionists’. Pictured left are Nicola Gargarella and Cesare Chiacchiaretta.
There are money prizes plus Diplomas of Laureate for the first three placed candidates, and all other competitors will receive a certificate of participation.