National Button Accordion Festival, Oklahoma - USA
Contributed by Norman Seaton
The National Button Accordion Festival, a ‘first’ for the National Accordion Association, had attendees’ from young children to 90 years plus, over 250 people!
Saturday visitors included the Alaska Polka Chips, the Alaska Button Box Band, the Fontana Button Accordion Band, from California, and the St Louis Button Box Club, from Missouri. When not playing or dancing, festival participants feasted on Czech food, Oklahoma barbeque, and/or fish with all the trimmings.
A unique feature of this festival under the leadership of Ron Pivovar, Dick Albreski, and Michele Young, was the “You Are the Entertainer” philosophy. Two large stages were available for participants to perform during 30-minute intervals.
Sunday morning started with a Polka Mass, followed with a Memorial Day concert. Norman Seaton (President, National Accordion Association, Inc. - picture left) served as the Master of Ceremonies, performers included the Bohemian Knights, Bob Ohnoutka, Pancho and Eleanor Martinez, Sharon Seaton, Leonard Trinka, the Alaska Polka Chips (Marge Ford and Patti Gersich), Nick Ballarini, Ed and Bev Neubaum, Jonathan Conner, the Fontana Slovene Button Box Club, Josef Villager, Jim Loncar, Mike Stoops, the Alaska Button Box Gang, Bohumil Knittich, Micaiah Elliot, Tim Laine, Joshua Pelton, Jameson Pelton, and the Pivovar Trio.
At approximately 4pm, the regularly scheduled “open mike” and dance floor opened again and continued until midnight.
The semi-final of the first European Championships for players of the Roland Virtual Accordion takes place on October 6th in the Casino in the French town of Bourboule. The finals of this new competition will take place in Italy in November. There is a prize of 5,000 Euros for the winner.
Competitors need to fill in entry forms and submit an audio or video recording, and the closing date for entries is July 15th. Send to Roland Central Europe, V-Accordeon Festival, 4 rue Paul-Henri St Thibault des Vignes, Lagny, Cedex, France.
Charnwood Music, the UK’s oldest accordion publishing company (established 1958), announces that Ledgerline Publications, established in the 1970s by the late Cyril Pasby, will now be included within Charnwood Music and known as the Charnwood Music ‘Ledgerline Series’.
This follows the launch in 2006 of the Charnwood Music ‘Romany Rye Series’ and the Charnwood Music ‘Farran Series’.
The Charnwood Music ‘Ledgerline Series’ is immediately available from Charnwood Music direct, and will shortly be available online. The series includes some 48 accordion works for solo, duet and ensemble by eminent UK accordion composers including Graham Romani, Cyril Pasby, Jimmy Blair, Eddie Harris, George Barton, Albert Delroy and Gerald Crossman.
‘Squeeze Me - The Jazz and Swing Accordion Story’ is the title of a mammoth 101 track 4 CD box set that includes rare and historic recordings by many of the leading European and US jazz accordionists of the 20th Century. Accordionists featured include Art Van Damme, Mat Mathews, Tito Burns Gus Viseur, Tito Guidotti, Tony Murena, Michel Warlop, Rolf Syverson, Charles Verstraete, Cornell Smelser, Joe Mooney, Johnny Meier, Tommy Gumina and George Shearing.
The CD package also includes a fully illustrated 42-page booklet that contains extensive details of the careers and music of the many accordionists featured, and as such makes a unique historical record of a sub-genre that has been hitherto otherwise largely ignored by the jazz world.
Accordionist Mary Tokarski has released a new CD, which will be premiered at a concert on June 15th, 7.30pm, at the Blackstone Memorial Library, 758 Main Street, Branford, CT 06405. Admission is free.
Included on the CD are: ‘Musical Party’ (Daverne) recorded with the Moravian Symphony Orchestra, ‘Rondo, from Concerto in E’ (Deiro), ‘Remembering A Legend: Charles Magnante’ (Schimmel), ‘Gentilezza’ (Tacca), ‘Pioneer Concerto’ (Ettore), ‘Dance of the Demon’ (Holst), ‘Three Songs Without Words’ (Daverne) recorded with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, ‘Flat The Fifth’ (Mucedola), ‘Concerto in E flat Major, excerpts’ (Liszt), recorded in 1963!, ‘Mexican Carnival’ (Desiderio), and ‘The Fox & The Hound’ (Mucedola) recorded ‘live’ with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra.
Here they could see, how the top model Hohner accordions are built. As thanks for the friendly visit, these three performers gave a spontaneous concert for the manufacturing workshop staff. Picture of Cyril and ‘Speedy’ performing to workers, and Grayson with Dr Braeuning performing.
The Hohner workers were inspired by the fine music and Dr. Braeuning, Manager of Musikinstrumente GmbH & Co. KG, thanked them cordially. Picture below, left to right: Dr. Braeuning, Speedy Gonzales, Grayson Masefield, Cyril Blanchard, Frédéric Deschamps.
Frances Brougher Dies, Texas – USA
Contributed by Norman Seaton
Frances Brougher, long time friend of the National Accordion Association, died on Monday May 28th at the age of 89. She played accordion, organ, piano and sang for many years, and was instrumental in starting the Central Texas Accordion Association (NAA). She also sponsored touring groups such as the International Trio, Jason, Betty Jo Simon, Leo Aquino, Gary Daverne, and others.
‘Art of Accordion’ 9th World Music Festival, Innsbruck – Austria
Contributed by Erik Hörenberg, Manager of the Hohner Conservatory
The recent Innsbruck World Music Festival was another large-scale event, involving musicians from many different countries. The festival of over 10,000 bellows players included accordion and harmonica contests for solo, duet, group and orchestral entries.
The Hohner Conservatory Orchestra, under the direction of Andreas Nebl, gave outstanding concert performances, and there were competition successes for Michaela Hepp, Sarah Staiger, Ralf Brendle, Alexander Cargnelli and Clemens Tschallener. A report and photographs and results of the Innsbruck World Music Festival is online.
This is the thirteenth smash year for this prestigious series of master classes led by William Schimmel. The three day event will take place at: The Tenri Cultural Institute of New York - 43A West 13th St - between 5th and 6th Ave. The dates are: July 27th, 28th and 29th. Master Classes are at 3pm, Concerts are at 7pm.
Each Master Class will begin with about four or five performers who will receive advice, encouragement and tools for improvement from the audience, the participants and William Schimmel.
‘Mundharmonika, Tango und andere Kurzweil’ Graz – Austria
Contributed by Hermi Kaleta
A concert titled 'Harmonica, Tango and other Kurzweil' takes place in Graz on June 1st, organised for the Harmonikazentrum Graz, and sponsored by Kulturreferat der Stadt Voitsberg, Â Harmonikazentrum Graz and the Â Weststeirisch Â Kammerorchester. Artistes performing include Josef Fürpass – bandoneon, Isabella Krapf – harmonica, Lothar Lässer – accordion (picture), and the Weststeirisches Kammerorchester, conducted by Selma Trefflinger.
A chamber music concert involving accordionist Owen Murray takes place at the prestigious Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1U 2BP, on June 8th, at 7.30pm. The program includes Mozart - ‘Adagio and Rondo K617’, Arnold Schoenberg – ‘Second String Quartet’, and Poul Ruders – ‘On the Shores of the Cosmic Ocean’, the latter being a London premiere dedicated to Owen Murray.
The Pineto Jazz Accordion Festival, which takes place from July 20th to 22nd, seeks to encourage the spread of the jazz accordion. Performers include Renzo Ruggieri, Peppino Principe, Luciano Biondini, Renato Borghetti (Brazil), Sergio Caputo (USA), and the the Dixieland Brass Band, directed by Pine Mannello. Entrance to all concerts is entirely free.
The French based Bandzydeco, featuring accordionist/vocalist Roger Morand, perform as follows:
June 9th, 9pm - Les berges, Laroque
22nd – Feu de la St Jean, Sauve
July 5th, 9pm – Avoine Zone Blues Festival
18th - Les berges, Laroque
29th – Gramat Country Festival
August 11th, 9pm – 31st ‘Ete à Goult’, Goult
18th - Rencontres de la vaire, Annot
21st - Festival Mondial Folk, Plozevet
Australian Accordion Teachers Association competition timetable is now online. From next weekend will be Daily Reports and Results from the Australian International Accordion Championships & Festival run by the AATA.