Local fiddler Daniel Lapp and accordionist Adrian Dolan are among the featured performers at next week’s Victoria International Accordion Festival. Image contributed

Victoria accordion festival breaks stereotypes of unique instrument

International event runs from July 13 to 16 at multiple venues

Every time Jelena Milojevic plays the accordion, it’s like she’s performing as a small orchestra.

Unlike some instruments, accordions are portable harmonic instruments, able to play both melodies and harmonies in one. With the bellows it can be very expressive. It can be quiet and loud and make almost any sound imaginable.

“A piano can do that (play harmonies and melodies), but it’s not portable. Guitar is the only one that can measure up to the accordion, but it can’t do the dynamics that an accordion can. It’s not nearly as expressive,” said Milojevic.

The Saanich resident is trying to break the stereotype around the instrument, as one of the featured performers at next week’s 11th annual Victoria International Accordion Festival.

Milojevic started playing more than 25 years ago in her hometown of Pulla, Croatia. While she admits the accordion was not her first choice – she wanted to play the harp or piano – she quickly fell in love with it.

Growing up, she learned from some of the best accordionists in the world and began winning prizes and playing concerts. Eventually, she studied at a university in Serbia, one of the world centres for accordion.

These days, she’s keeping her musical passion alive.

“When people hear that I’m playing accordion here, they’re kind of surprised. They think of accordions as an old-fashion instrument that plays polka,” Milojevic said. “I explain that accordions are so much more than just playing polkas. It’s such a versatile instrument, it can play all different styles of music.”

The festival, running July 13 to 16, is focused on celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday and bringing together musicians, including accordionists from around the country and the world.

This year’s events includes a gala opening concert featuring performances by Canadian fiddlers Daniel Lapp and Pierre Schryer, as well as accordionist Adrian Dolan, Irish button accordionist Dermot Byrne, classical accordionist Michael Bridge and the accordion-trumpet duo of Jesse Mea and Roland Bourgeois from New Brunswick.

The gala kicks off the four-day festival on Thursday, July 13 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the First Metropolitan United Church, 932 Balmoral Rd. at Quadra Street.

Over the four days there will also be accordion lessons, workshops and an accordion competition at the University of Victoria.

For more information visit bcaccordion.ca.

kendra.wong

@vicnews.com

 

Just Posted

Sooke to host Western Canada’s first all-female boxing card

58 fighters from across North America to be featured at April 28 and 29 event

UPDATE: Two rescued after falling from ferry at Swartz Bay

One crew member is injured after rescue boat mechanism fails, causing it to fall from the ferry

Missing: 72-year old Gregory Helmer

Victoria Police are asking for your help in locating Gregory Helmer.

Victoria’s Elizabeth Buckley School to close in June

Independent school suffers teacher shortage after 30 years of providing education alternatives

From wet noodle to Killer bee

Sooke reporter reflects on four month boxing challenge

New play examines Indigenous identity

Belfry Theatres Salt Baby coming to Victoria April 17 - May 13

Builder of Kinder Morgan reinforces concerns over project

B.C. heads to court over pipeline jurisdiction as builder says doubt warranted

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

Health committee cheers idea of national pharmacare program, but cost an issue

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says she fears costs could be far higher than $19 billion

Canada’s oldest blood donor says it’s all gain, no pain after decades of giving

Great-grandmother and Coquitlam, B.C., resident has been donating blood since the late 1940s

Union says Trump bullying threatens hundreds of B.C. pulp mill jobs

Fear mounts that new U.S. anti-dumping duties could price Catalyst mills out of business

B.C. real estate regulator to undergo NDP review

B.C. real estate agents were self-regulated until 2016, when BC Liberals appointed superintendent

B.C. pizza shop broken into 4 times in 2 weeks

A Vernon business owner is beginning to feel targeted

Man accused of Abbotsford school stabbing hearing voices, intensely paranoid

Lawyer says Gabriel Klein not fit to stand trial in May because of deteriorating mental state

Most Read