Antonio Rivas (Kolumbien)
Colombian Antonio Rivas is considered to be the Rey Vallenato of the diatonic accordion. Music has always had a prominent place in his family. At the age of fifteen, he started to teach himself the accordion autodidactically.
His hard hammering staccato way of playing makes him an indispensable interpreter of Vallenato music, and he is its ambassador in Europe.
Johanna Juhola (Finnland)
Finn Johanna Juhola studied accordion at the folk music department of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.
She loves Finnish tango and embraces also tango nuevo and other passionate music. She is known for merging music and performing arts and composes for dance, theatre and circus.
She’s regarded as an influential accordionist, happy to try out new things in diverse musical combinations.
Petar Ralchev (Bulgarien)
Petar Ralchev comes from Bulgaria and started already at the age of five to play the accordion. After his studies, he won various international awards.
Being a sought-after musician throughout the world, his specialty is, next to his orchestral activity, ethno-jazz with a Bulgarian touch. Virtuosity, melody, rich harmonies and improvisations mark his play. His music is the crystallisation of all that is currently evolving in the field of contemporary folk music, but without breaking with folklore tradition.
Serge Desaunay (Frankreich)
Frenchman Serge Desaunay revolutionized traditional French music for diatonic accordion – many of his compositions are rated as classics nowadays.
He gained international renown through his pursuit of various traditional musical styles, which he often mastered better than the local residents.
With his subtle way of playing and his compositions that radiate with joy, deepness and nostalgia, Serge is a great role model for all lovers of diatonic accordion.
Servais Haanen (Niederlande)
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 the programme, charming audiences with his wit 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 are entirely lacking in musical cliches.
With his accordion, Servais is constantly looking to break new musical ground.
Johanna Stein (Cello)
Johanna Stein from Cologne began to play cello at the age of seven. She completed her classical studies at the Royal Scottish academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, Scotland, followed by a master programme at the Conservatoire in Arnheim, Netherlands.
She plays and arranges with a lot of love for her string quartet “Badz”. Be it classical music, jazz, rock, pop, blues, fusion or world music – no style is foreign to her!
Julius Oppermann (Percussion)
Young multi-national percussionist Julius Oppermann (GER/FR/USA) has his musical roots as well in jazz and classical music as in world music.
He is currently finishing his studies in Latin Percussion at the renowned Conservatoire in Rotterdam.
He plays everything from samba to salsa and surprises the audience with his virtuosic abilities on unusual instruments like the Afro-Cuban Batás.