Our February Concert

Our February concert started with Ann Parker playing Cuckoo Waltz, The Harry Lime Theme, Yodellin Polka and Bel Viso. Our next player Colin Ensor played Island Of Dreams, Freight Train, Folson Prison Blues, Seth Davey, Dublin In The Rare Auld Times, La Vie En Rose, Under Paris Skies and The Blacksmith. Steven Fox then made his debut at the club playing Wooden Heart, Save The Last Dance For Me, Chariots Of Fire, Coming Through The Rye, Old World Symphony (Hovis Ad) and Snow Waltz. I then took to the stage and played Oslo Waltz, Black Mask Waltz and Sailors Hornpipe Medley. David Rigby was our next performer, playing The Spinning Wheel, Whispering Hope, After The Ball Is Over, Daisy, Highland Cathedral and Irish Eyes. During the break Alan Venn played his keyboard to entertain us. After the break we had Bernard Bamber playing Mothers Chair, Cottage In The Country, Tobermoray Bay, Light Of Lochindaal, Loneley Scapa Flow, Scotland The Brave and Northern Lights Of Old Aberdeen. A new visitor to the club, Ella Young, made her debut at the club on her first night, she played one tune but I did not get the title of it. Our next player was Graham Driver who plays a melodion, Graham played Vannitaise, The Pullet, Rochdale Coconut Dance, Weasels Revenge and Lovely Nancy. Our next tunes came from Colin Ensor, he started with O Sole Mio and You’ll Never Know. Colin continued with May You Always, Someday, White Rose Of Athens, Why Did You Make Me Care, Domino and Who’s Taking You Home Tonight. To finish the night I played Whispering Hope and Now Is The Hour. It had been a great night of entertainment as usual, there was a good crowd who seemed to be in a good party mood and we had a great time. This month is is our guest artist concert, I hope you can make it on Wednesday when we have a duo making their debut at Leyland, so dont miss it!

David Batty


This Wednesday

This Wednesday is one of our Guest Artists concerts featuring Lindsay Garvin and Anthony King and some great local performers. Lindsay attended Chethams School of music then formed a duo as an accordionist with musician, keyboard/vocalist, Anthony King. As a duo they are called ‘Bon Soir’. They play a wide mixture of music from France, Italy, Spain, Cuba, Latin America, Popular, Classical and Jazz. Anthony was an assistant organist from the age of twelve at St Peters Church in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire. Additionally, he also achieved Bishops’ chorister and Deans’ chorister awards for singing at Manchester Cathedral. Anthony attended Leeds College of Music, from there, he worked in various bands as a soloist and a member of larger set-ups. He appeared in the film “Shooting Stars” for Granada Television. In the 1980/90’s, Anthony worked predominantly as in-house keyboard player and composer in a recording studio that made jingles for advertising on local radio as well as continuing to work with local bands. His song “Drive the dream” was nominated by the BBC to front Manchester’s Olympic bid. Anthony has worked as a keyboard player for the legendary Gloria Gaynor and Bernard Manning. In 1997 Anthony worked on a George Michael tribute album with the jazz band Kymara which received air-time on Jazz FM and was performed live at Ronnie Scotts, London. As well as becoming a regular face at Paul Weller’s London recording studios. During this time, Anthony cemented his ability to write full orchestral score/arrangements and music for visual medium(s). Between December 2007 and January 2008, he wrote and completed three musical albums: ’Songs from the noose’, ‘Piano Samples’, and ’Music for the Soul’ at Sinclair Studios in Stockport. To follow this he produced another musical album in December 2008. Other up-coming projects include making a full album with Lindsay as Bon Soir duo as well as touring the UK and abroad as a duo. See you on Wednesday to see Anthony and Lindsay in Concert at Leyland, doors open at 7.30pm. David Batty


Accordionist Wanted

11th – 15th May 2010 For an amateur production of ‘Fiddler On The Roof’ in Leyland, Lancashire. We are a friendly bunch looking to do as professional a production as possible. Our producer has played Tevye three times and he is a semi professional actor. You would need to be available from the Tuesday til Saturday and for at least one full dress rehearsal previous to these dates. Music will be available in advance and fee is negotiable.
Phone Maria on 01772 467153 or email maria1@blueyonder.co.uk


Eastbourne Accordion Festival

Last weekend’s Eastbourne Accordion Festival took place at the Queens Hotel on the seafront, and was well organized and supported. The organizers were Jackie and John Romero. The opening concert began with spots by Harry Hussey and Gennaro Fiondella, after which Jack Emblow and Tony Compton performed two lengthy sets of jazz standards. The following morning Emblow and Compton returned to play more music and to take questions about their careers and influences, how they improvise, create harmonies, etc. They also took the opportunity to pay tribute to the late Art Van Damme, cited as a major influence. Italy’s Mauro Carra appeared twice in concert, on Saturday and Sunday evenings, giving outstanding performances of Italian and French musette music, and some classical and jazz pieces. There were also two concert performances by London accordionist Romano Viazzani, one of which was a demonstration of the new Roland FR7X digital accordion. Other accordionists performing during the festival included Alan Young, Gennaro Fiondella, Harry Hussey, Harvie Sharpe and Roman Volushchuk. The Saturday evening concert was followed by a lively Scottish ceilidh to the music of Harvie Sharpe – accordion, and Alan Young – piano. Harry Hussey and Alan Young led jam busking sessions. Workshops included ‘Orchestra’ and ‘Playing Bel Viso’ – Gennaro Fiondella, and ‘Playing By Ear’ – Trevani. The trade show included The Accordion Shop, Trevani, Birmingham Accordion Centre, and Rob Howard’s ‘An A to Z of the Accordion’ 4-volume series of books. The next festival is set for October 8th to 11th, at the Langholm Hotel, Eastbourne. For further information email: jr@carillonstudios.co.uk.


Jimmy Blair Accordion Orchestra

The Jimmy Blair Accordion Orchestra was originally formed by Jimmy Blair in the early 1970s, evolving into several bands that competed at Preparatory, Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced levels in NAO regional competitions and the All Britain Championships. By the late 1970s, the orchestra was the dominant force on the competition scene, winning competitions in all orchestra sections as well as many of the band members winning group, duet and solo sections. The band also played concerts at home and abroad, and foreign visits included trips to France, Belgium and Canada. With the untimely death of Jimmy Blair in 1981, the JBAO was taken over by his wife Lola, and then by son Gary. Gary maintained the high standard of the band, but unfortunately the band folded in the later 1980s due to a lack of commitment.In August 2009 Gary Blair decided the time was right to form a new orchestra under the prestigious Jimmy Blair Accordion Orchestra name. The new orchestra entered the NAO West of Scotland Championships in February 2010, came first in all their sections, with the intention of competing at the NAO UK Championships, Blackpool, in the Elementary and Advanced sections, April 25th to 25th. For further information email: gazzapt@yahoo.co.uk


Accordion World

Many many years ago, before most people had really heard of the Internet, I was busy making my own websites. I registered about 50 great domain names including our own www.accordionclub.co.uk and my own name www.davidbatty.com etc. One of these good domains is www.AccordionWorld.co.uk which has been pointing to our club website all these years. Now I have decided to change the location where that domain name takes people to, and instead of pointing to the front page of our website, it now points to another place where we have a new noticeboard/forum. This Forum allows people to register for free, then post messages to other accordionists. There are different sections for people wanting to chat about accordions, sections for chatting about non accordion related stuff, places to post adverts of accordions for sale, a section for other clubs to post details of their concerts or for festival organisers to post adverts for their festivals and I have even set up a section for traders to post their adverts or special offers. The forum, which was installed and set up by Rebecca was only made live on the 1st of March but so far we have 36 members on there and the number is rising daily. Please visit www.accordionworld.co.uk or click on the noticeboard on our website to register on the forum and join in the chat.


Art Van Damme

Art Van Damme died on February 15th 2010 after being ill with pneumonia for several weeks. A Memorial to this great accordion jazz legend is now online and you can add your Tribute to his Tribute Wall on the Art Van Damme memorials site. Art Van Damme was born on April 9th 1920 in Norway, Michigan, and brought up in Chicago. Art Van Damme took up the piano accordion in 1929 at the age of nine, and was classically trained before discovering jazz as a teenager – inspired by the recordings of Benny Goodman. In 1941 he joined Ben Bernie’s band as an accordionist, then from 1945 to 1960 he worked for NBC, performing on ‘The Dinah Shore Show’, ‘Tonight’, ‘The Dave Garroway Show’, and other radio and TV shows with Garroway. He recorded 130 episodes of the 15-minute ‘The Art Van Damme Show’ for NBC Radio, and from the 1940s onwards also enjoyed a successful and extended recording career.
Van Damme toured Europe and was also popular with jazz listeners in Japan, and regularly won the US ‘Downbeat’ magazine reader’s poll for his instrument. He also toured in Russia and New Zealand. In 2005, Art Van Damme, Myron Floren and Dick Contino – three all-American accordion legends – were all honoured at the Las Vegas Accordion Convention, and the following year Art was the chief guest at the ‘Accordions International 2006’ festival, held at Caister, UK.
Art Van Damme, in his prime years, played so many gigs in clubs, hotels and concert stages across the USA and Europe that it is said that he never needed to do any practice. He was constantly in action, developing and honing his skills and repertoire, pioneering the use of the accordion as a jazz lead instrument. So influential was Art’s playing style that he has influenced most of the western world’s jazz accordionists. 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”.Art Van Damme died on February 15th 2010. He was 89 years old, and had been ill with pneumonia for several weeks.