Andre Thierry (USA) — Impelling blues with Creole Roots
With his 30 years of age, Andre Thierry is already considered a legendary talent, having cast a spell over other musicians already as a child.
He comes from Richmond, California, and stems from a French-Creole family with a high affinity for zydeco music.
Andre is a virtuoso on various types of accordion, playing cajun accordion (a single-row diatonic concertina), two- and three-row concertinas and chromatic piano accordion.
From traditional Creole waltz to his speciality the hard impelling blues, he knows how to decorate traditional zydeco with jazz-rock and hip hop.
Daniel Andersson (Sweden) — Viking goes Vivaldi
Young Swede Daniel Andersson has played accordion since the age of nine and studied in Saint Petersburg and Paris.
As is customary in the classical accordion world, he has participated in many competitions and gained various international prizes. To name a few: he was already accordionist of the year in Sweden in 2005 and twice won the national Swedish competition for accordion.
Quite the globetrotter, Daniel performs in Europe, the USA and Africa. He gives concerts as a soloist, but is also on tour with various ensembles with an assorted programme of classical music, folk, tango and other styles.
He is also a welcome visitor to the Royal Swedish Familiy.
Janire Egaña Zelaia (Basque) — Sun from the wild Basque country
Basque Janire Egaña Zelaia had an accordion put in her cradle by her family, so it was quite natural for her to perform in public already as a child.
She plays chromatic piano accordion and the diatonic trikitixa accordion.
Together with her band „Dangiliske“ and fellow musicians, she has toured across Europe and South America. As a proud Basque, Janire takes a stand for her culture but also loves to engage with different musical influences and styles.
With her radiating stage presence, she has already mesmerized the audience of the first Akkordeonale in 2009.
Maurizio Minardi (Italien) — Fellini on Accordion
Italian composer, accordionist and pianist Maurizio Minardi combines and interweaves musical influences of minimalist classical music, jazz and folk with tango and rumba and thus creates an intimate expressive sound.
His highly acclaimed album „The Cook, the Clown, the Monk and the Accordionist“ is a parody of the movie „The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover“ from Peter Greenaway. It has the qualities of a soundtrack and stands in the tradition of composers like Nino Rota, Yann Thiersen und Ennio Morricone.
Alongside own projects, Maurizio performs together with Carmen Souza, Paolo Fresu, Enrico Rava and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is currently living in London.
Servais Haanen (D/NL) — Master of Fine Sounds
Servais Haanen, that musical maverick mastermind! Not just the organizer of the Akkordeonale, he composes and arranges the festival’s ensemble pieces and guides the audience through the programme. Servais’ introductions to each composition and each musician have already acquired cult status, famous for their wit and wisdom.
For a long time now, he has been working on pushing the boundaries of what his accordion can do, integrating elements of New Music, minimalistic structures and other unusual and exceptional sounds. Thanks to his multifaceted work with bands (i.a. Appellation Contrôlée, Quatro Ventos, KlangWeltenFestival) and his activity as a composer for various productions at music theatres and for film documentaries, Servais brings into play diverse musical material.
In addition to being an accordion teacher, one of his dearest activities is his ensemble work with exceptional or impossible instrumentation.
“It’s always huge fun for me to invent a new programme every year with musicians from the most diverse countries, to be on tour with such a great gang and to put on such a great concert!”
Vanesa Muela (Spanien, Percussion and Vocals
Vanesa Muela is a Spanish traditional singer and percussionist.
She gave her first concert as a six-year-old, meanwhile they add up to more than 3500 in Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Germany. Vanesas musical presentations are based on years of field studies of the inhabitants of rural regions in Spain, which has earned her, as the first woman in Spain, the ethnological award „Cultura Viva“.
Her instruments are traditional and varied and some are even everyday objects: e.g. seashells, spoons, frying pan, mortar, zambomba (friction drum), pandereta (tambourine) and adufe (square frame drum).
Christoph Pfändler (Schweiz, Hammered Dulcimer)
The young Swiss Christoph Pfändler learned hammered dulcimer because he fancied an exceptional instrument.
He didn’t grow up with folk music and didn’t show an interest in it initially – he was rather attracted to the hard sound of bands like Metallica, Motörhead and AC/DC. This only changed during his musical studies, when he discovered Swiss folk music for himself. Together with his „Metal Kapelle“ he melds elements of rock, metal, pop, jazz, classical and folk music to a totally new sound, that’s sometimes raw, sometimes tender, but always melodic.
Chris performs at the Akkordeonale for the second time now.