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

Peace Walk fundraiser for hospice runs on Sunday

Take a walk, have a snack, and help donate to a local charity

City of Victoria joins national food waste reduction program

The City is partnering in the Love Food, Hate Waste Program

Thousands attend 31st TD Art Gallery Paint-In

Artists display their work along 20 blocks of Moss Street

Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health, VicPD offer no comment on report of investigation into alleged sexual assaults

Swimmer set for double crossing of Georgia Strait

Jill Yoneda’s Aug. 3 swim will benefit Canuck Place

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Brush fire breaks out west of Port Alberni

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 heading to Ucluelet and Tofino

Accident on Vancouver Island after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Witness says accident happend about 1 p.m. Saturday; RCMP investigating

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

Most Read