Dimos Vougioukas (Greece) — Accordion from Mount Olympus
Dimos Vougioukas entered the conservatoire of Vólos at the age of eleven to study the accordion, earned his PhD with honors and specialized in the music of his homeland Greece and the Balkans. He played together with Balkan top-class accordionists like Petar Ralchev and Ionica Minune and with several luminaries of Greek music (Nena Venetsanou, George Dalaras, Glykeria, Nana Mouskouri etc.).
In addition to being a soloist (i.a. at Estoudiantina Orchestra and the philharmonic orchestra of Vólos), Dimos has two bands: “Athens Tango” and the “Dimos Vougioukas Gypsy Ensemble“.
He also works as a composer and arranger.
João Pedro Teixeira (Brasil) — Fiery Forró do Brasil
João Pedro's musical roots reach into a broad palette of Brazilian music genres, from the pure southern xotes and milongas to the richness of north-eastern Forró Pé-de-Serra. João Pedro has created for himself an exceptional technique of playing the accordion, which shows for example in his unique way of using the basses.
The intimacy between him and his instrument, his compositions and improvisations, are stirring and thrilling.
By now, João Pedro already counts to the legendary accordionists of Brazil, like Hermeto Pascoal, Sivuca, Oswaldinho do Acordeão and Dominguinhos.
Youssra El Hawary (Egypt) — The Rose of Cairo
Youssra El Hawary is an accordionist, a composer, a song-writer, a singer and an actress.
Her unique musical style has been shaped by various genres.
Youssra accompanies her sociocritical political songs herself with the accordion. In a very short time she became one of Egypt’s expressed female voices, gaining a lot of attention after her first music video "El Soor" or "The Wall" (a snappy commentary on the situation in Egypt).
"El Soor" won first place in the world wide Fair Play Competion for music videos against corruption.
Together with her Youssra El Hawary Band she plays concerts and tours festivals in Egypt and abroad.
Omar Massa (Argentina) — Magic on Bandoneon
Omar Massa made his debut at the age of seven playing Astor Piazzola pieces in the renowned tango house "Café Tortoni" in Buenos Aires. Aged twelve, he began to study the bandoneon at the National Conservatoire, taught by famous maestros like Rodolfo Mederos, Marcos Madrigal, Julio Pane. and Alejandro Barletta.
Although Omar’s roots are in tango music, he dedicates himself to concert music, especially to music from Astor Piazzola and the European and Latin American repertoire of the Baroque.
Omar was on stage with internationally renowned artists like Placido Domingo, composed several ensemble pieces and is as a soloist in great demand for symphonic and chamber orchestras in America and Europe.
Servais Haanen (The Netherlands) — The 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.
Veronica Perego (Italien), Kontrabass
The first time, Veronica Perego experienced the double bass at a concert, she immediately fell in love with it. Not only due to its rich sound, but also because of its role in an ensemble.
So besides the piano, she also studied her new favourite instrument at the academy of music in Turin with master Furio Di Castri and attended various jazz master-classes.
Veronica played at the Open Jazz Festival Ivrea with Alessandro Minetto and with Giampaolo Casati at TedxCrocetta. She is always a welcomed guest at jazz festivals and in jazz clubs throughout Italy. In addition to jazz she is also interested in folk and pop music.
Rafael Fraga (Portugal), Guitar and Fado-Guitar
Rafael Fraga studied classical composing in Lisbon and Amsterdam.
His most important musical influences are bossanova, Portuguese folkmusic, jazz and classical contemporary music.
As a composer and arranger, his work is characterized by uniting these manifold musical relations and perspectives in a balanced way.
Rafael works as a guitarist, composer and orchestra musician in various projects and in various ensembles together with fado singers and all sorts of artists.
And then there is the Rafael Fraga Quartet with the beautiful programme “Fado meets Bossanova“. In 2014 he already contributed to the Akkordeonale.