Cathrin Pfeifer (Germany) — Enchantress on the Accordion
Cosmopolitan Cathrin Pfeifer integrates traces from various regions of the world into her very own musical concept, which doesn’t leave out neither complex rhythms nor jazzy arrangements and improvisations.
Geographical and stylistic sources become so independent in her compositions, that it is sometimes no longer possible to locate their actual origin. She fascinates her audience with her very own unusual way of getting sounds out of the accordion, whether solo, with her Trio Trezoulè or in various musical projects. She enchanted us at the Akkordeonale 2011.
Andrew Waite (Scotland) — High-Speed-Folk
Young Scot Andrew Waite was a small child when he was infected with the love for accordion by his grandfather. It went that far, that he would be playing accordion for two hours before going to school. Of his own accord!
At the age of 13 he performed at Royal Albert Hall at the first BBC Folk Proms. Andrew’s music has traditional Scottish, Irish and English roots, mixing with influences from various other genres such as jazz, gypsy jazz, bluegrass, funk and classical music.
He is touring with different bands, among others Dallahan, and has played together with Sting and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Zabou Guérin (France) — Colorful - Lively – Virtuosic
Frenchwoman Zabou Guérin was already carried away by the sound of the accordion in her mother's womb and was born, so to speak, as an accordionist.
Whether as a soloist or in bands, whether classical music, tango, song accompaniment, traditional music from different countries or swing waltzes ... Zabou plays what she likes. She arranges, she transforms, she creates and when she has a little free time, she teaches.
The fact that she grew up with central French dance music is especially experienced (and at best experienced through dancing) with her duo Michaud/ Guérin.
Zabou is also touring with her fado-pop band Madragoa, a musical juggling show and a clown show.
Alf Hågedal (Sweden) — Vintage Sound Caprioles
Swedish musician Alf Hågedal showed an early talent and interest in composing and consequently studied composition (contemporary classical music).
At the age of 22, he discovered his intensified interest in the accordion, learned it autodidactically and undertook serious attempts of promoting himself as an accordionist at the age of 25. Two years later he was voted Swedish “accordionist of the year“.
Alf plays intoxicating compositions from the early 20th century as well as own pieces with a retro touch — sometimes popular, sometimes classical operettalike.
Servais Haanen (D/NL) — 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 the Akkordeonale and being an accordion teacher, one of his dearest activities is his ensemble work with exceptional or impossible instrumentations.
Christoph Pfändler (Switzerland), Hammered Dulcimer
An old acquaintance of the Akkordeonale, young Swiss dulcimerist Christoph Pfändler delights the festival for the third time now.
With his hammered dulcimer, Chris explores unconventional paths like heavy metal, rock, rock’n’roll and certainly (new) Swiss folk music, sometimes raw, sometimes tender, but always utterly melodic.
Alongside his bands Stalldrang and Metal Kapelle, Chris plays in all kinds of temporary projects, takes on studio jobs, is a dulcimer teacher and writes comissioned compositions and arrangements.
Kaya Meller (Poland), Flugelhorn
Kaya Meller studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She is a jazz trumpet player, a flugelhorn player, a composer and arranger. Kaya is on stage with many projects, such as big band, symphonic orchestra and small jazz ensembles and has already played together with many jazz legends. Furthermore, she conducts her own Kaya Meller Quartett, based on her original music.