Janire Egaña Zelaia (Basque country, Spain)
Basque Janire Egaña Zelaia grew up with the accordion from earliest childhood on, thus it was natural for her to perform in public already as a child.
She plays chromatic piano accordion and the diatonic Basque trikitixa accordion.
Together with her band “Dangiliske” and fellow musicians, she played in many places throughout Europe and South America.
As a proud Basque she stands for her culture but also loves to deal with other musical influences.
Janire has a sparkling and stirring stage personality.
Yannick Monot (France)
On his diatonic single-row Cajun accordion, Yannick Monot is the European ambassador of Cajun and zydeco – the music of his Breton ancestors, who settled in the Mississippi delta.
He himself left Brittany, went to Sweden and finally ended up in Germany where he founded his Cajun band “Nouvelle France”.
Meanwhile, one can’t imagine the Cajun and zydeco scene without Yannick Monot, where he has become an inspiring role model.
He has twice been honoured for his music by the German Critics Award.
Gabriel Merlino (Argentina)
Argentinean Gabriel Merlino is a master of bandoneon.
He had his first classes at the age of eight, given by Marco Madrigal. As a twelve year old, he already studied at the Conservatorio Nacional de Buenos Aires and subsequently attended the master classes of Osvaldo Montes and Nestor Marconi.
In Argentina, he is a star of his genre.
Internationally, he performs not only as a solo artist but is on stage with various tango formations.
Gabriel Merlino plays Argentine tango, but he also likes excursions into jazz and chanson.
Jean Medicis Maryse Rabesiaka, in short “Medicis”, comes from Toliara, Madagascar.
He is a charismatic young accordionist, singer, composer and arranger, who acquired his instrument, the chromatic button accordion, autodidactically. He was no older than six when he started to play and he played, as he is left-handed, on a reversed accordion.
In the course of years, he was honoured with several awards (among others Alliance Française, l’Association Unisson de France) and is committed to the contact and exchange between Madagascan musicians and their foreign colleagues.
Addendum: Sadly, Medicis is no longer with us – he was killed in March 2010 in Tanananarivo – Madagascar loses with him one of the country’s most promising musicians.
Servais Haanen (Netherlands)
Dutchman Servais Haanen, exceptional accordionist and musical contrarian, is string puller and organiser of the Akkordeonale. Among other things, he composes and arranges the festivals’ ensemble pieces and leads through the programme with a lot of humour and expertise. With the diatonic accordion, he has made a name for himself as a sensitive musician and composer, who knows how to get to the heart of musical ideas and sharpen them to an essence.
Minimal respective structures and magnetically pulling melodies are characteristic for his sentient and poetic compositions that lack any attitude of kitsch.
With his accordion he boldly goes where it did not have a place yet…
Sammy (Madagascar, various instruments)
Sammy (Samoela Andriamalalaharijaona) comes from the Madagascan highlands (Merino) and is originator of the known group “Tarika”.
Above all, he is a multi-instrumentalist and knows how to play about all traditional instruments of his island (e.g. kabosy, lohanga violin, valiha, bamboo flute, percussion etc.).
Sammy plays and sings with a lot of expression and soul.
Bernhard Mohl (Germany, Violin)
Bernhard Mohl from Tübingen fiddles, sings, sets poetry to music, writes songs, busies himself with theatre music and plays in the Finnish folk band “Jääräpäät”.
Elke Rogge (electro-acoustic Hurdy-Gurdy)
Elke Rogge came to be known through her band “hoelderlin express”, with which she toured Europe and made her mark not only in the folk scene.
She weaves spheric sound tapestries, plays crisp earthy soli and delights with her easy grooves.
Beyond the German borders, Elke Rogge is talked about as an exceptional talent on her instrument.